How does Uwe Rosenberg do it? He followed up his incredibly successful and enjoyable Bohnanza with both Mamma Mia (which is a simple, yet wonderful card game of filling pizza orders) with Klunker, another light, yet immensely fun card game of selling and saving jewelry.
Like many games, this one takes playing once or twice before one gets the hang of the mechanics. During a player's turn, one must offer one or more articles of jewelry for sale in his 'Schaufenster' (Show Window). After everyone has offered up a few items for display to tempt their opponents, players then begin placing cards into their bank. The idea is to collect four of an item ... preferably only one item at a time. For once a player has collected four of an item, he sells them for $4 and banks the money (which is represented by turning over these four cards into his bank .. they are double printed, as in Bohnanza). Problem is that it is difficult to collect only one set at a time. Each additional item of jewelry in one's bank reduces the monetary take of a set of four by $1. Thus, if a player managed to acquire a set of 4 tongue studs (yes, tongue studs), but also had one gold tooth (yes, gold tooth) and one earring, then one's take would only be $2 (4 - 2) for the set of tongue rings.
Once a player finished placing items in his safe, he may grab the #1 card, which will give him the first option to purchase jewelry from a player's window that turn. Players can continue to place items in their safe, or grab another 'purchase' card. Once all players have grabbed a purchase card, the buying begins.
Beginning with the player who scooped purchase card #1, he MUST purchase for $1 ALL of the items in one player's window. Items purchased are promptly placed in his safe. If a set is completed, it is immediately sold in the manner described above. If a player doesn't wish to purchase anything from an opponent, he then purchases the items in his own window, but it costs nothing. These, too, are added to his safe.
The only time a player does not have to purchase items is IF his own shop window is empty (which means an opponent already purchased the items from him). Then, a player may pass, which immediately ends the purchase round. Thus, several players may find themselves without the opportunity to purchase items that round. Ouch.
Each player then refills his hand to six cards and the cycle is repeated. The game continues in the same manner until the jewelry deck is depleted, at which time players add up the money they have collected. The player with the highest total is the victor.
I like this game. I really like this game. It is light, family fun, but there is some nice things to think about and do during the course of the game. It's not quite in the same league as Bohnanza, but it is fun nonetheless. I do wish the artwork could have been better, though. My wife could have drawn better pictures. The art is of poor quality and appears to have been drawn by a brother-in-law that needed some extra money. Not up to the usual Rosenberg standards.
In spite of the artwork, the game is on my 'Will Purchase' list. Future releases by Rosenberg will now be eagerly awaited.
In our game of this, Ty Douds and I seemed to be doing the best as jewelry salesmen and collectors. Jay Ouzts seemed to be a bit out of it, as did Jonathan Degann. On what turned out to be the final transaction of the game, Jonathan purchased some jewelry from my window, paying me $1 for the transaction. That turned out to be my margin of victory, much to Ty's disgust!
Greg 19, Ty 18, Jay 11, Jonathan 10
Ratings: Greg 7, Ty 6 (this has gone up since due to another playing), Jonathan 5