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Clank! Again!

Yes, it bothers me that Catacombs doesn't also get an exclamation mark. It's just rude. Grammatical inequity is not okay.

I have mixed feelings about Clank! — and that’s a sentence that would sound much less dramatic without the obligatory exclamation mark. When I wrote about it way back in 2017, my stance veered wildly between “This is an approachable and clever hybrid deck-building game” and “This feels deeply artificial, and also there are way too many dead turns.” I haven’t touched its offshoots: no Clank! In! Space!, no expansions, not even the legacy-game version. Ask me what designer Paul Dennen has been up to and I’ll excitedly tell you about Dune: Imperium instead.

In a way, that remoteness gives Clank! Catacombs the air of a reunion. Not a high school reunion, and certainly not a creepy polygamist ancestors reunion. Rather, a reunion with an old friend — more of an acquaintance, really — who’s become way cooler than you remember.

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Yeah, it's ugly and tilted. That's what happens when publishers don't put out forward-facing box images. The whole world suffers.

The best thing about Clank! is that it’s a deck-building game, which is one of those phrases I didn’t see myself using, right alongside “I wish I could take the bus more often” and “Cabbage tastes better when burnt.” And yet it’s the gospel truth. Clank! is a good game, maybe even a great game, and largely because it’s a deck-builder.

Then again, the worst thing about Clank! is also that it’s a deck-building game, so there’s that.

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