A fan of new Knizia games
Doug Adams writes:
After an enjoyable game of Giganten, we decided to give Klunker it's first playing at Billabong. This game, from the designer who's given us Mamma Mia and Bohnanza, had a bit of expectation hanging off it, given the popularity the other two games have enjoyed at Billabong.
It was an unusual game. Roger read out the rules, while Craig, Bernie and Doug tried to follow along. However the rules didn't seem to flow and we really didn't know what we were doing when we began the game. Perhaps Bernie did...
The theme of the game is each player owns a jeweller shop from which they peddle jewels, store cash, as well as lock valuables away in the hope they will turn to cash. From a hand of six cards, they must/may put jewels into their shop window where they available to for purchase by the other players. Then the players may store jewels into their safe from their hand, the idea being you can cash sets of four-of-a-kind in for cash. The last phase of a turn is to purchase jewellery from other players shop windows, which must go into your safe - so purchases that will aid in the quest for four-of-a-kind are what you are looking for.
Jewels are cashed in from the safe on a 1 jewel for 1 coin basis (flip the jewel card to it's cash side as in Bohnanza to represent cash). So a set of four will turn into four coins in an ideal world, however that it reduced by 1 coin for each other set in the player's safe. Tricky, that.
We blundered through the game, however by the half way point I think the penny was beginning to drop, especially in Bernie's case. Bernie jumped out to an excellent start, with two large conversions of jewels to cash. The subtleties of purchases, or refusing to purchase, became evident as the first refusal to purchase will end the current game turn, and deny players after you the chance to purchase. Nice trade off, that.
For perhaps three quarters of the game Roger was audibly exclaiming he didn't understand what was happening, and it appeared to take half the game before he cashed in a set of jewels. Craig did well, once we cured him of the 'put bought cards in the hand' habit. Bernie, who appeared to have the rules understood from the beginning, played solidly and hence won. Understanding the rules seemed to help, as perhaps it should :)
Doug's rating: 6. I thought it was okay, doesn't have that addictive quality Bohnanza and Mamma Mia has, but I'll happily play it now I've understood the rules.