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Clank! The Mummy's Curse Review

Quick Look:

Clank! The Mummy's Curse Renegade Game Studios Box Art
Box art courtesy of Renegade Game Studios 
Designer: Andy Clautice
Artists: Derek Herring, Raul Ramos
Publisher: Renegade Game Studios, Dire Wolf Digital
Year Published: 2018
No. of Players: 2-4
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 60 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

Grave robbing will only get a burglar so far. Unless, of course, the grave you're robbing is actually the tomb of a wealthy Ancient, buried deep inside a massive pyramid. What could possibly go wrong?

Lots of things, apparently. There's an undead mummy that stalks the pyramid, giving out curses like candy on Halloween, more monsters to fend off, and cursed tunnels! With new cards, new secrets, and a new threat, Clank! The Mummy's Curse is a heart-thumping adventure with fun additions to the base game that give even more variety to an already action-packed and exciting game.

Are you content with robbing the dark passages underneath Dragon Keep, or are the new dangers within the ancient pyramidal catacombs enough to entice you for a deeper delve? Read on and find out if this expansion is for you! (Spoilers: I dig it.)

Rules and Setup:

Clank! The Mummy's Curse Expansion Pyramid Board Setup

The rules and setup are pretty much the same for the base game of Clank!, but with a few exceptions. Basically, when using The Mummy’s Curse expansion, include the new cards, secrets, market item (the Ankh), and place the mummy on the zone with the icon that looks like a chair (or llama, depending on how you see things). The market items can be used in other iterations of Clank! as well, since they aren’t dependent on this particular expansion (the cards can as well, although some work better with the mummy). Place the market board off to the side; this is where the market items will be kept from now on (yay!). The mummy monster card is placed in Reserve, next to the goblin (more on that below), and the pyramid die is placed near the board. The Supreme Monkey Idol is placed on its allotted spot on the board, and the new major and minor secrets are added to the mix.

With those additions, along with normal setup using the base game, you’re ready to start clanking!

Clank! The Mummy's Curse Expansion Supreme Monkey Idol, Mummy monster, and Curse
The mummy, curses in the tunnels,
and the new Supreme Monkey Idol Token
Gameplay is the same as the original Clank! but with added terrors (i.e. the mummy, curses, and new monsters). While these new additions don’t make it an entirely new game, they do add a bit more depth and strategy when it comes to coming out on top (both figuratively and literally). Some people I played with didn’t think the mummy or curses added enough to be worth it, however I think they are fine additions. If you’re not heavy into the Clank! scene, then this expansion might not be enough to get you hooked. But, if you’re like me and love all things Clank!, then these new additions in The Mummy’s Curse expansion will tickle your fancy quite nicely.

Theme and Mechanics:
Clank! The Mummy's Curse Expansion CroxobekThe Egyptian theme is encapsulated well in the board, new cards, and addition of the mummy monster and curses. I’ve never been one too obsessed with ancient Egypt (although I do enjoy learning the history from there), but I absolutely loved this new Clank! theme. Traveling to the depths of the pyramid was a blast and, as those who know me will attest, I’m a sucker for a good theme. Despite not having any pre-established affinity to the Egyptian theme, I really did love the Mummy’s Curse theme found in this new expansion. 

The mechanics are the same from the original Clank!, only with a few additions. Throughout the game, the mummy moves from zone to zone (as indicated by four new symbols on the board). If it moves into a zone where another player is, that player takes a curse token (curses!). Just like the goblin in the base game, the mummy can be defeated at any time (so long the active player is in the same zone as the mummy), and it will always remain an option to defeat. Once defeated, the mummy die is rolled and the mummy moves to a new zone. Certain cards also require players to roll the mummy die on those cards’ arrival.

There are two ways to defeat the mummy—with two swords or three swords. Defeating the mummy with two swords gifts you four gold and a curse token. This is a great way to make some easy cash (but at what cost?). Defeating the mummy with three swords removes half of your curses, rounded up.

Clank! The Mummy's Curse Expansion Mummy Monster Card

This makes for some interesting choices. Because gold is technically worth points at the end of the game, gaining four gold (4 points) and a curse (-2 points) really isn’t that bad of a deal. Get too many curses, however, and things could start going south quickly. But, if you have swords a-plenty, then why not wrack up some money (and curses) by defeating the mummy with two swords, then occasionally defeat it with three swords to lose some of those curses? Not a bad strategy…unless, of course, the mummy moves, and getting to the mummy’s new zone could put you at risk of dying in the depths. There’s a lot to think about. Good times.

The other new mechanic (not really a "mechanic" per se, but we'll talk about it in this section anyway) is the curse icons in the tunnels. When traveling through a tunnel with a curse icon (or multiple curse icons), that player must take curses in number that match the number of icons in the tunnel. While -2 points might not seem like such a bad idea to get something with much higher points further along the tunnels, they certainly add up (especially when there are more than one curse icons in a tunnel, and doubling back is the only way you can go). I find this addition a lot of fun, as it makes me think twice about going somewhere I desperately want to be.

Artwork and Components:
Clank! The Mummy's Curse Expansion Major Secrets, Minor Secrets, Curse Tokens, and Pyramid Die DiceThe artwork is just like the other Clank! artwork—fun and totally within the theme. I love how the artist(s) gives these new cards a good Egyptian skin, much like the deep, dark dungeon from the original. It really helps add to the overall feel of the game.

The components are the same high-quality cards, tokens, and figures as you would expect in a Clank! game. The cards are made of good stock, the tokens are thick, and the mummy and new dragon figures are solid wood. Love it.

The Good:
Clank! The Mummy's Curse Expansion Market Board and Ankh
The new double-sided board spreads everything out nicely, giving players more to think about when they’re on the prowl for riches.

The mummy brings an added sense of fear to the game (although not as deeply rooted as the fear that comes with each dragon attack). The ever-present mummy provides new ways to get ahead, as well as ways to fall behind.

The additional secrets, market item, and cards fit the theme well, and feel right at home in any iteration of Clank! (of course, some work better with the expansion board, due to their focus on curses and mummy movement, etc.).

The new market board helps declutter the board by giving the market items a place to hang out away from the action.

The Mummy’s Curse adds more variety to an already diverse game.

The Bad:
Some of the people I played with didn’t think the mummy brought enough pain and anguish, and that the curses were too easy to get rid of. While I agree that the curses were easy to get rid of due to card abilities and whatnot, they still kept players from getting better cards because they would rather have cards that reduced their number of curses.

As for the mummy, I felt like there could have been more cards that made players roll the mummy die to get it moving around more. That being said, most people I played with ignored the mummy when they were in its same section, which kept the mummy from moving more frequently (remember, the mummy moves after it is defeated). While I understand the concerns of some of those I played with, I think the mummy is a useful tool that, when utilized well, can really impact the game in a new and fun dimension.

Final Thoughts:
Clank! The Mummy's Curse Green Pawn Are You My Mummy?
"Are you my mummy?"
Clank! The Mummy’s Curse expansion adds a bit more depth and excitement to an already blood-pumping game. While the mummy may not seem to add a ton to the game, what it does well is it helps build tension among players, especially during close games where losing even a few points may cost you the win. Personally, I'm a fan of this expansion, and I will be playing on this new board and additions for a long time to come.

I can only assume Renegade and Dire Wolf will be adding The Mummy's Curse to the app. I love using the app for the original Clank!, so I look forward to seeing what additions the digital side will bring to this expansion.

Players Who Like:
Fans of the Clank! series will find Clank! The Mummy’s Curse expansion to be a fun and welcome addition to the family. Don’t forget, though, that the base game is required for this expansion (you won’t get very far without it).

If you like deck builders, dungeon crawlers, and the constant fear of being gobbled up by a dragon, then Clank! and this expansion are for you.

Check out Clank! The Mummy's Curse on:


About the Author:

Benjamin Kocher Everything Board Games Clank! The Mummy's Curse Expansion

Benjamin Kocher hails from Canada but now lives in Utah with his wife and kids. He's a freelance writer and editor, as well as a budding game designer. An avid writer of science fiction and fantasy, it comes as no surprise that his favorite board games are those with a rich, engaging theme. When he’s not writing or playing games, Benjamin loves to play ultimate Frisbee, watch and play rugby, and read the most epic fantasy books available. Follow him on Twitter @BenjaminKocher and read his board game-inspired fiction at BenjaminKocher.com.

Clank! The Mummy's Curse Review Clank! The Mummy's Curse Review Reviewed by Benjamin Kocher on March 19, 2018 Rating: 5

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