I’ve been acquiring a bunch of lite & lite-medium games slowly over the last few months, as well as running some of the ones I’ve had parked in my collection for some time. Taking a break from heavier games, I just want to get back to fun & funny games where people smile & laugh & have a great time.
The best of which, so far, has been Clonk! designed by Michael Xuereb & manufactured & distributed by Huch & Friends.
Up to four players mine various artefacts which are also bound in coloured crystals by liming them up in their galleries to be filled into their mine carts at the beginning of their next turn. This is important because if you leave a few spaces empty, you can refill your secret hand of cards or also potentially collect a bomb card.
Players are mining not only from their hands of cards, but from five mine shafts of cards set up at the beginning of the game, but look out if you risk filling your hand or taking a bomb (which can later be played to remove an undesirable card from the top of a shaft) - other players can place a card in your empty gallery spots on their turns!
Why might they want to do that? Scoring happens in three ways - via the value of some of the items, then from specific artefacts, then colours that players are going for - one of these is secret, the other is revealed, player’s choice. However! Many of the treasures have monster icons on them, & whoever has the most monsters icons at the end of the game, effectively made the most noise while mining & woke the monster. They’ll cop half the number monster icons they collected rounded up as a penalty!
It’s not exactly easy to stooge other people, tho - the rule for lining up loot in your gallery is each subsequent card has to match the last in either colour or artefact, & placing a card in someone else’s gallery has to follow the same rule. Be careful not to caught without options, though - if you can’t mine at least one card, sure, you’ll get to refill your hand plus get a bomb, but you’ll also get a ‘sleeping on the job’ card which makes your snoring worth three monster icons!
It’s a simple enough game that plays in about 30 to 40 minutes but has a great decision space for what it is. Everyone at the table really enjoyed it & I look forward to running it & games like it with groups in the future.