"A small but robust humanoid being. Witty and nimble, if skillfully controlled."
The Clonk titles are a series of Side View German PC games, that put you in command of one or more of the eponymous clonks. As a general rule, you'll need to use them to build a functioning settlement, harvest all the gold/oil/whatever in a map, or kill off all of someone else's clonks. But it might be a race. Or a murder mystery in progress. Or a game of tag. Or maybe there'll be no goal at all. It varies hugely between levels, since the engine is fairly versatile and players can easily develop their own objects and scenarios.The original games were Updated Rereleases, starting with the original ClonkDOS game from 1994, which consisted, more or less, of groups of Clonks throwing rocks at each other in sequential two-player battles. Clonk 2 Debakel was an experimental attempt to add Turn-Based Strategy elements: A multiplayer game of Clonk 2 took place in a hex map, and the melee skirmishes, which were almost identical to those of Clonk 1, appeared as encounters between hostile players on the map. Clonk A. P. E. (Advanced Players Edition) (1995) reverted Clonk to its original principle, removing the hex map and city management, and introduced single-player and co-op settlement challenges and separate, configurable scenarios instead of Clonk 1's fixed, sequential two-player fights. It's also noticeable for introducing the Wipf, Clonk's other Series Mascot (aside from the monster, which existed ever since Clonk 1).Clonk 3 Radikal greatly extended the complexity of the game and the construction/management elements; many new structures, vehicles and materials were introduced. Clonk 4 mainly tweaked the physics and the functionality of existing elements, added some further objects and also introduced the option to create objects and scenarios yourself, which is a great part of what defines Clonk today. Clonk Planet and Clonk Endeavour further enhanced the complexity, modernized some elements, gave birth to many expansion packs, and added netplay, which was greatly simplified in Clonk Rage.The latest official update is Clonk Rage, which was the last game finished before the head of the team had to quit. A 3D release was planned, but ended up being cancelled. Meanwhile, the game code has been released to allow continuation as an open-source game. Some fans, as well as the other members of the development team, are working on Open Clonk, an attempt to bring the series in a new direction by rebuilding the engine from the ground upwards instead of upgrading Clonk Rage. There are also lots and lots of Game Mods, although most of them, like the fanbase, are German.Clonk Rage is Shareware, of the limited-content demo variety, while all the older games are available for free.The series provides examples of:
Abandonware: Sort of. Pre-Clonk Endeavour titles, which used to be shareware, are fully available for free.
Abnormal Ammo: Cannons and catapults can launch everything, from rocks, construction kits and barrels to animals. A heavy artillery cannon can even launchclonks.
And Call Him George: The lizard-like 'monsters' "just want to play". Unfortunately, their definition of playing consists of trampling down all kinds of other creatures, or - in case of fire monsters - spitting fire on them.
Artificial Stupidity: The AI doesn't have very good long-term path-finding. If told to bring a tree to a lumberwill, it can and easily will have your clonk jump off a cliff, to an already felled tree floating in a lake, and will then leave you with no way of getting back.
Cycle of Hurting: If someone throws a rock at you while standing in a pile of more rocks, they can spam you with the other rocks faster than you can recover from the flinching animation. And if you fall into a small pit with a monster inside, the monster will usually walk back and forth running into you again and again and juggling you in the air.
Death from Above: The meteor hail spell, mainly used in settlement melees to destroy enemy structures.
Desert Skull: The standard desert scenarios contain, along with cacti, animal skulls as decoration.
Easter Egg: Here and there. One mission contains a corpse that shares the name of the game's creator. Also, smoke very rarely has the shape of a Wipf. Fan-made scenarios (and some ascended former fan scenarios, like "Dragon Rock") tend to absolutely crawl with in-jokes.
Edge Gravity: The game is fairly strict with this; a clonk tends to fall off a cliff if he's standing on the ground with less than half of his hitbox.
Explosion Propulsion: Introduced into the game by the fan scenario "Pressurewavefight" (the title is an incomprehensiblybroken translation of the German "Druckwellenkampf". What is meant is something in the lines of "Blastwave Battle".), and officially inserted as a general gameplay element with Clonk Rage.
Fake Platform: Unfixed bridge segments are background objects, but hard to distinguish from the fixed ones, so you might end up jumping on one of them falling into a bottomless pit.
Floating Platforms: The terrain system allows "sky islands", which are a popular and famous element of the game. Basements and basically anything you can stand on also stay in place if the ground below them is removed.
Floating Continent: Many levels take place in the sky. Their floating is never explained. In the case of "Sky Atoll" the description states that an ancient island kingdom just rose out of the ocean. Somehow.
Invincible Minor Minion: Zaps in many scenarios. They can't be damaged normally; you can submerge or bury them for instant death, but they'll try to avoid this, and these options are often unavailable. The flame wall spell from the Fantasy pack and the Eke Reloaded flamethrower can kill them without much trouble, though...
Just Add Water: For crafting things, you just have to know the construction plan, select the product and put the materials into a workshop or anvil.
Man on Fire: Setting your enemies on fire is one of the pillars of basic-warfare in this series *
Along with throwing stuff at them, and throwing stuff at them that explodes
. Although the death isn't instant, and if you don't keep your distance it can become a more frightening trope.
Mirror Match: In most melee scenarios, both sides start with exactly the same prerequisites.
Nintendo Hard: Cheerful music and smiling Clonks aside, the more advanced scenarios will take you hours to complete, if you can beat them at all. The record for Seven Keys, for instance, is two hours. For a single player, eleven hours is entirely possible.
Pre Explosion Glow: The normally dark veins of delayed flints shine brightly when they are ignited.
Selective Gravity: Not just the floating continents, but buildings in general. Most buildings have solid basements, which will never move. Bridges can be made out of a balloon or blimp, and and won't move either.
Soft Water: Objects (and fan-made clonks who take fall damage) can impact on a water surface from high speed without consequences. Water instantly stops you as well, preventing you from hitting the ground below.
Stylistic Suck: The community has spawned the phenomenon of "Niwoh" (a malapropism of the word "Niveau" meaning 'level' as sophistication) scenarios, which are a combination of this, purposely inserted bugs, in-jokes, non-sequiturs, bad puns and general wackiness.
Clonks really enjoy fighting each other, it's a wonder there are any left. The backstory for "Greed" for instance, explains that a group of miners were trapped underground by an earthquake. With gold that's four times as valuable as normal. You win by killing off everyone else.
Wipfs and other animals aren't able to notice if the pit they are jumping into contains lava or acid. Or if the pit has anything in it at all.
Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Not only, but especially, treasure. Chunks of (solid) gold, like rocks, are the size of a clonk's head, and "crystals" (of an unspecified, magical variety) are a bit larger still.
Trick Arrow: Explosive arrows. Fan-made arrows include arrows splitting into bouncing rocks, arrows launching a small frostwave, arrows creating a bridge of earth, arrows turning the ground they hit into sinking quicksand, teleport arrows and so on.
KnightsThe Knights pack is set in a Ye Goode Olde Days medieval setting. It usually features knights battling each other, either in small tournaments or large battles between rivaling castles. Castles consist of combinable modules that can be built by players, making huge Wide-Open Sandbox knight levels popular too.
FantasyThe Fantasy pack mostly features mages competing in tournaments. The original fantasy scenarios radically differ from the fanmade ones which are extremely common in network; the original scenarios feature settling elements and are generally similar to normal clonk melees, while many fanmade ones play more like a sidescrolling magic shooter; mostly due to mana being cheap and quickly regenerating, the fanmade version of the Toad Jump spell which practically allows infinite Double Jumps, and some spells that can One-Hit Kill a target.
Alchemy Is Magic: If the alchemy system is activated, spells require "magic components" extracted from materials.
Metal and MagicThe "Metal and Magic" pack combines contents and gameplay mechanics of the Knights and Fantasy packs and adds a great amount of new elements, like religion or assassins. Unlike most other Clonk packs, it has an elaborate Back Story. The magic system is rebalanced to allow fair fights between mages and knights.
Animate Dead: Paladins are capable of this, creating ghosts or skeletons, depending on which god they follow.
Ballistic Bone: The mystic can launch these with enormous velocity using power drawn from an animal skull.
Family Friendly Firearms: Subverted. While the energy rifle and particle cannon are typical examples of this, the pack also features weapons like miniguns, grenade launchers, flamethrowers and chainsaws. Though there is no blood or gore at all...
Gun Accessories: Certain firearms can be upgraded; the weapon part generally adds explosive effects to projectiles, the laser turns guns into laser guns, and the bio upgrade adds a poisonous slime effect.
Informal Eulogy: If you get killed, the game snarkily comments your death, also depending on death cause.
Eke ReloadedEke Reloaded is an action shooter pack with a military setting. Though it deals with a civil war and an alien invasion, it has a tongue-in-cheek tone and parodies cliches of soldiers, military games and the Action genre in general. Unlike most other Clonk packs, it has an official backstory.
Badass: The Special Force Trooper is a deliberate parody of this. He kicks down trees.
Trick Arrow: The harpoon can fire explosive arrows at machinegun rate and be immediately reloaded as long as you still have ammunition left.
Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Averted. Because Clonk fire (by default) does not extinguish over time, burning means certain death if there is no neohexine or water to extinguish you. The flamethrower is extremely efficient against stippels, because releasing a short flare only consumes a minimal amount of fuel.
Blastwave BattleAn unusual competitive scenario with two player teams. The unusual thing about it is that unlike in most Clonk scenarios you cannot directly reach your opponent to throw objects at them at close range, as the middle half of the map is a bottomless pit, and you instantly die anyway if you manage to get across. Instead, you're supposed to utilize blastwaves to propel flints and other items to the enemy side, in order to either deplete all respawns of the enemy team by killing their clonks repeatedly or destroy their generator. There's also some money management thrown in, thanks to an interest rate system.Technically, its English title is "Pressurewavefight", but this is an incomprehensiblybroken translation of the German "Druckwellenkampf", and "Blastwave Battle" is what's actually meant.
Mirror Match: Both teams start out with the same map layout and ressources. This carries over to mods with a dynamic map generator.
KeepersA tactical team scenario with RPG Elements. Inspired by the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre.Based on the Metal and Magic pack, but plays quite differently.For convenience, the STR, AGI and INT professions will be from now on referred to as fighters, rangers and mages.
Awesome, but Impractical: The Iceblast spell looks cool and deals high damage, but with the preparation time, enemies will usually interrupt your channeling or jump out of range... unless you combine it with stun, the Spider Web spell or the like, in which case it becomes Awesome Yet Practical.
Back Stab: The fighter's Shadow Dagger lets you invisibly sneak up on your enemies and do this for extra damage.
Boring, but Practical: Fire globs are not especially interesting, but one of the strongest attack spells of the game if backed by high INT. Their fire effect is relatively powerful, fast and stackable.
Damage-Increasing Debuff: Battlecry and Swarm percentally increase their subject's damage. Battlecry's power depends on its user's skill level, while Swarm consists of many little insects, and the effect strength depends on how many insects reached their target.
Dem Bones: Skeletons are one of two kinds of creeps.
Drop the Hammer: The warhammer is an even slower, but stronger and stunning upgrade of the axe.
Elite Tweak: High-tier upgrade items like shadow daggers, elemental boomerangs, hook mines or Skadi's Cape.
Just Add Water: Several items require components; to create those items, just buy the components and then the item itself.
Land Mine Goes Click: There are several types as well: Normal mines, the stronger goblin mines, the poisoned Plague Mines and the capturing, ranger-only hook mines.
Life Drain: The vampire tooth adds a slight life drain effect to all magical attacks of its user, in exchange for a slight drop in power.
Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Not as bad as most examples, but fighters still tend to be stronger in the beginning (when most of their enemies have low health and can be killed in few or one hits) and mages tend to be stronger in the endgame (when they usually have sufficiently ludicrous intelligence and equipment to just fry anything in the way, shrug off damage with mana shields and can basically overheal five or six times their total health.). Some ways of building a fighter offer similar power as well, though.
Magikarp Power: Initially, the Mushroom Bed spell creates just a single short-lived explosive mushroom dealing okayish damage, but at higher levels and backed by decent intelligence, it summons many durable, powerful ones.
Mana Burn: The fighter's Blade of the Anti-Mage does this.
Power Glows: Dragon Claws, elemental boomerangs and homing arrows.
Roboteching: Homing arrows do this. Also, boomerangs home back to their user, even if they were knocked back across half of the map.
Skill Gate Characters: Not characters, but skills/items. The Water Bomb spell deals great damage to an unwary enemy, but experienced players can just jump over the waves or knock down the caster. The shadow dagger allows invisibility and backstabbing, but can be evaded as well by leaving the fighter's range or repeatedly jumping into the air.
Standard Status Effects: Burn, Freeze, Poison, Silence and Stun. The Elemental Overload spell tweaks these, turning Freeze (which normally just slows movement) into a periodic stop effect and Burn into lava chunks, which in turn can themselves deal fire damage over a short time.
Stop Helping Me!: With its strong knockback/pull and returning properties, the Bouncing Spear is a powerful ranged weapon for the strength class, but inconsiderate use of it can screw up allies' targeting by knocking enemies out of close combat or a spell's area of effect.
Trick Arrow: Several of the archer's spells enchant arrows, for example to home on target, to chain them down or to leave a burning trail in the air.
Unstable Equilibrium: Skilled players will keep getting kills and obtain better equipment and enhanced skills which make getting more kills more likely and taking one less likely. Like in other MOBAs, low-skill players tend to "feed", getting killed often and bestowing much experience and money for the other team without getting mentionably more powerful themselves.
PollenA tactical knight melee with an unusually high focus on ambience.