While some question the decision of Renegade Games to hold back the announcement of Clank! In Space! as a surprise, and many were disappointed that it wasn’t something completely new, I’ve gotta admit that setting just about any game in space sends out a call to my brain.
Look, I’ve got nothing against the original Clank! It looked interesting enough, I just can’t play every game. But with Clank! In Space! around, I knew which one I had to try out.
I can’t compare the two games since I’ve never played the original, but here’s the basic gist: you’re a bunch of intergalactic thieves who have decided to rob the starbase of an evil galactic lord, because why not? The higher the risk, the better the reward, right?
To win, you’ll need to delve deep into the starbase to reach one of several artifacts worth fame and fortune (points), but it’s not so easy to get there. There are all manner of twisting passages ways, locked doors, security checkpoints, and even a forcefield blocking your way. To reach an artifact you’ll need to hack into the computer system in two separate places to gain the ability to pass through the forcefield, then head for an artifact, grab it, and make for the escape pods.
All the while, the evil galactic lord (sorry, names are escaping me here) is becoming more and more aware of your presence. The more noise you make, the more likely you are to get shot by the patrolling bots, and there’s no fame in being just another idiot to die. The noise mechanic involves colored cubes that go into a bag for certain actions you take, and at certain points in the game cubes are drawn from the bag. If yours come out, they do damage, and you only have 10 hitpoints.
Fortunately there are helpful tools along the way – keys to get you through locked doors, gems to power up your abilities, keycards to access the teleporters, and stations to heal your wounds.
Everything is driven by a deck-building system. You start with a basic deck which allows limited movement and combat, and makes a little noise now and then. Over the course of the game you’ll buy new cards to add to your deck that let you tackle more powerful enemies, move farther, and generally wreak havoc on the place. The best way to win is to build an efficient deck so you get the cards you need to get in, get out, and get paid.
Whatever the original was like, I rather enjoyed the gameplay of Clank! In Space! I think the deckbuilding element meshes well with the push-your-luck adventure, and the noise mechanism is particularly clever. It was fun to nab the various cool tools to add to my deck, and blast enemy robots to smithereens. I highly recommend you check it out!