Journey Deep Into The Pyramids In Clank! The Mummy’s CurseOctober 15, 2018
Since its release in 2016, Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure has been a big hit for Renegade Game Studios. With its deck-building mechanism as the foundation for its dungeon crawl, Clank! resonated with gamers and Renegade has pumped out expansions with various themes and a standalone sequel (and expansion) in space.
Clank! The Mummy’s Curse is a terrific game to play during this Halloween season. You and your fellow adventures that escaped the original dungeon in Clank! have now made it to the ancient pyramid (and sphinx) in search of more fortune and glory.
Alas, another dragon has found the treasure so you’ll have to avoid it before you’re burnt to a crisp. There’s also a mummy wandering around, throwing curses onto anyone who dares enter. Will you be able to grab an artifact and make it back to the surface? Or will you be doomed to become another relic trapped inside for eternity?
Like the original Clank!, you’re trying to steal an artifact and race back to the surface before the dragon kills you. Each player gets their own deck of cards. On your turn, draw five cards and play them for movement, combat, or skill, depending on what icons are on them.
Spend boots for movement, allowing you to delve deeper into the pyramid. Spend swords to defeat any monsters in your way, earning rewards or cursing your opponents. Or spend skill to add cards to your deck; these contain companions and items that’ll improve your chances at survival.
Of course, it’s not that easy. It never is, right? Any time you defeat the mummy you run the risk of gaining a curse, which are negative points at the end. After you’ve defeated the mummy you’ll roll the pyramid die, which moves the mummy. If it’s moved to an area with your opponents, they’ll take a curse!
As you explore the pyramid you’ll gain new secrets like the mummy’s treasure or mummy’s chalice. Both are worth gold or victory points and force you to roll the pyramid die to move the mummy.
The dragon, as always, is the one to avoid. Any time a card forces you to add one of your cubes to the Clank! area, your chances of taking damage the next time the dragon arrives increases. When the dragon eventually shows up, you’ll toss all of the cubes into the bag and pull out a few. If one or more of yours is pulled, you take damage. If you reach 10 damage, it’s all over for you.
Once you’ve found an artifact you’ll want to hightail it back to the surface. If you’re the first up there, you’re safe from further dragon attacks, but your opponents aren’t. In fact, they’ll be subject to increased attacks. Serves them right for being greedy and going deeper in the pyramid!
Whoever survives will count up the treasures they’ve collected as well as any points on the cards in their decks. Most points is the winner.
Clank! has been one of my favorite deck builders since its release. While I enjoy the deck-building mechanism, I’ve always preferred it as part of a board game instead of straight card game. Whether it’s Trains or Tyrants of the Underdark I like using deck-building as a way to perform other actions and accomplish goals on an actual board.
Like the previous expansion, Sunken Treasures, The Mummy’s Curse expands the original Clank! game without bloating it beyond recognition. The core game is still solid, with new cards to play and new items to procure. It adds variety and replayability without too much fuss. Simply lay out the new board, put a few additional pieces on the board, and mix in the new cards into the base game’s standard deck.
The Mummy wandering around the pyramid is a fun addition to the game. It’s a simple mechanism and I wouldn’t hesitate to use with new players. Everyone will get their fair share of curses, but if you defeat the mummy with three swords instead of two then you’ll remove half of your curses. There are also new cards that allow you to lose curses.
The combination of deck building, press your luck, and take that is used in fine fashion here, allowing players a more interactive experience that a pure deck builder would. I love the relentlessness of the dragon and the mummy; it’s an ongoing tension that ratchets up as everyone continues exploring. Nothing beats having a bunch of cubes in the Clank! bag, only to pull out your opponents’ cubes as you make your way to safety.
While it’s not an essential expansion, Clank!: The Mummy’s Curse will please Clank! fans and may gain new ones as well. No matter who wins, there are enough twists and turns during the game that’ll keep everyone engaged. And with its classic tomb raider theme, it’s the perfect Clank! game for your Halloween game night.