Board Game Reviews: Clank! Sunken Treasures

Clank%21+Sunken+Treasures+includes+a+new+double-sided+board+in+a+water+environment+to+expand+the+Clank%21+series.++Flooded+rooms+add+a+variety+of+new+obstacles+for+players+to+overcome.

Nikhil Vyas

Clank! Sunken Treasures includes a new double-sided board in a water environment to expand the Clank! series. Flooded rooms add a variety of new obstacles for players to overcome.

You already stole all the artifacts from the dragon’s dungeon, but you’ll need to acquire new skills to steal from a partially flooded maze. All it takes is one misstep or a splash, and the dragon gets closer to catching you.

Clank! Sunken Treasures is the first expansion for Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure and takes your burglary skills to new levels as you use dungeon cards to deal with flooded rooms. If you don’t know how to play the original game, Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure, you should read my review for that first; the game is somewhat complex. If you already know how to play Clank, then read ahead about what this expansion has to offer.

How to Play

The biggest thing you’ll notice when you open the box is the double-sided game board. You’ll recognize many parts of the board, like where the various tokens go, but there are some new rooms and pathways that have new icons. You can see what some of these smaller details look like and do in pictures throughout this review, but the main nuance is that some of the rooms in the dungeon are flooded.

You get gold when you enter a room with gold in it, such as the crystal cave in this photo. The pathway that takes you into the water has a new icon on it. If you take that path and splash into the water, you will make one clank since there is one icon on that path. At the bottom, the paths connecting two water rooms require either two movement points or one movement point and the Scuba market item to move across them. All of these rules are easy to teach and help bring out the game’s theme. Some of these elements are so good that they return in future Clank expansions. (Nikhil Vyas)

The way flooded rooms work is that if you start your turn in a flooded room and don’t go into a non-flooded room, then you take one damage; thematically, you failed to get air. Therefore, going to flooded rooms is dangerous because you have to feel confident that you can move on your next turn. This adds new challenges in getting artifacts and secrets that are positioned in the water. If you remember that you have to stop in crystal caves, you’ll soon realize how difficult it could be to grab something from a flooded crystal cave room without taking water damage.

The other big thing the expansion adds is new cards. You can shuffle these cards into your dungeon deck. The abilities on these cards are new; many of them give benefits for discarding cards, with or without using another card’s ability. There are also many simple cards that have cool abilities to add to your deck.

On the smaller side, this expansion also provides a market board to place market items, and Scuba, a new market item. There are also some more major and minor secrets that you will need to know to play on the new boards.

Final Thoughts

I probably spoiled that I enjoy playing with this expansion; I always felt that Clank needed more boards to add replayability. I wasn’t expecting Clank to start adding new environments, but I think it was a great choice because of how well they produced this expansion.

The game includes some smaller components too. The market board is beneficial for putting all the market items in a recognizable place. The new Scuba market item, shown on the market board, lets you avoid water damage and provides help when moving between flooded rooms. There is also a new major secret that lets you get one movement, one sword, and one heart when you use it. The minor secrets are not new and can be found in the base game. (Nikhil Vyas)

There are many things I like about the expansion. All the small details, like getting gold when you enter a room, are great. They added enough elements related to the water theme for the environment choice to shine. It’s not just that you have to get air if you start your turn in a water room; you also make clank when you splash into the water, need more movement points to swim than to run, and can buy Scuba to avoid the effects of the water.

The new market item, Scuba, is balanced. It may seem too powerful, but when you compare it to the backpack and key, which are worth the same number of points as Scuba, it’s clear that Scuba is just as good as the other items. However, something I dislike about Scuba is that it negates the game’s new challenges; if you get Scuba, you are basically playing regular Clank on a new board.

The other new thing in the game is the cards. I enjoy the discard for reward cards and the cards that give amazingly good rewards if you can find a way to discard them that turn. The new expansion cards provide lots of synergies, but it’s unlikely that you will be able to get both types of cards and draw them in the same hand. I like the new monsters that have to do with flooded rooms because it’s another implementation of the theme.

These are nine of the new cards included in this expansion. Note that the Goldfish is always available to fight if you have enough swords and are in a flooded room. To get the discarding benefit on Short Cut, you have to discard it because of another card, such as Silver Pearl. (Nikhil Vyas)
The box cover of Clank! Sunken Treasures reflects the artwork of the components in this expansion. (Nikhil Vyas)

However, even this brilliant expansion isn’t going to change your opinion of Clank. For me, it further cements what I thought of the original game; it’s still an interesting combination of deck-building and pushing your luck. It also has good artwork and a fun theme that’s evident when playing the game. I still think the game is best with more players. The game-ending countdown track is a little slow and sometimes boring if a player generates no clank.

What that means is that if you don’t like the mechanisms in Clank, this expansion will not change your mind. If you do like Clank, you would like this expansion, but I don’t think everybody needs to get it. You only need to get this expansion if you want new boards to play Clank on. There are more cards in the expansion, but many of them only work on the new board, so I wouldn’t say you should get this if you are just looking for more cards.

Since I like games with replayability, I liked this expansion because of the new maps to play on. A lot of effort was put into this expansion that really makes the theme come through. I can use this expansion when I’m playing with only experienced players and the base game when there is a new player. If you are wondering how Clank! Sunken Treasures compares to the other Clank expansions, you should either get Clank! Sunken Treasures or Clank! The Mummy’s Curse first because it provides a box for your new components.

Clank! Sunken Treasures is a great expansion for Clank, and anyone interested in the new boards should get it. Another plus is that it only costs about $15-25. I rate expansions based on how essential they are; this expansion is not essential, but it is a must for big fans of Clank. Therefore, I will give Clank! Sunken Treasures a 6 out of 10.

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