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Clank! Catacombs

Clank! Catacombs

Written by Dan Barnett on 18 Jun 2024


Making noise is no laughing matter in this game. Up to four players descend down into the dark, dangerous catacombs to fight off Monsters, dodge ghosts and rescue prisoners as they seek to grab the biggest and most valuable treasure possible, then leg it for the exit. But make too much noise and you might just wake the dragon….


Clank Catacombs is an updated version of Clank which swaps the board of the previous editions for a new tile based system which effectively replicates a procedurally based dungeon crawler where every time a player moves off an edge, they place down a new random tile, lining up the paths to try and gain an advantage and help them move onwards.


Each player begins with an identical deck of cards giving them a few basic actions. The most important of these in the early game is the ability to buy new cards from a limited store which is refilled throughout the game. New cards allow you to increase the number of spaces you can move on the board in your turn, allow you to defeat more powerful monsters and grant a variety of additional abilities. Be careful though, because some cards give you clank, representing your character making a bit too much noise. Each point of clank adds cubes of your colour to the clank pile and when the dragon wakes these cubes are added to a bag which fills with more and more cubes throughout the game. A set number of cubes are drawn and the dragon attacks those who are unlucky enough to be on the receiving end.


The aim of the game is to find artifacts and valuable treasures concealed within the dungeon. The deeper in you get, the more valuable the artifacts become. The fun risk reward element of the game starts to set in once the first is put on the board - do you grab the cheapest and run, hoping that the other players will fall victim to the dragon before they can reach the exit with a more valuable one, or do you keep venturing deeper, looking for the perfect treasure and hope no-one else runs off first?!


Clank Catacombs is was originally released in 2022 but is a great game today, proving to be a perfect introduction to deck-building games with clear, simple mechanics. Combining it with a board game with lots of pleasingly large tiles, various collectibles and a range of great meeples (having each meeple visibly be a different class to the others rather than just a different colour is a great touch), is the cherry on top and its always great to get it out onto the tabletop.

It must be said however that it does suffer a little it the late game as once decks become strong enough the market of new cards can stagnate meaning that there are never any new cards you want to buy. It can take up a lot of table real estate too unless you deliberately only expand the dungeon in certain directions. We also recommend adding a few drawstring bags of your own (in addition to the one the game supplies), as the game wants a lot of its counters stacked in random piles which are very easy to knock over and the bags solve this problem.

Overall though this is a really fun game of medium-low complexity which makes it great to get out with family or more casual players as well as more dedicated groups.


Dan Barnett
About Dan Barnett

Dan first encountered anime at the ripe old age of six with a VHS copy of Laputa. Ten years later he re-discovered it in Robotech and overnight a DVD collection was born.

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