When I learned that I could play Twice As Clever as a solitaire online, I knew that I was going to be doing just that. (http://www.brettspielwelt.de/Other/Clever/) Yes, I had to actually find the rules but that wasn’t too hard.
Now, Twice As Clever is one of the sequels to That’s Pretty Clever, which has become one of my favorite Roll and Writes, as well as being a game that should fire Yahtzee for dedicated gamers. So I went in both with a predilection towards liking it but with the question ‘would I rather play this rather than That’s Pretty Clever?’
Like it’s parent game, Twice As Clever is a dice drafting game. There are five color-coded zones that you use color coded dice to score in, plus a white die that’s wild. The active player gets three rolls and three picks while everyone else gets to pick through their discards.
Okay, here’s the selling point. Twice As Clever is more intricate. In addition to previous bonuses, there’s an ability to put dice back into the pool before rerolling. And each scoring area is more complex than the older game. For instance, getting points in the green area requires two separate rolls and subtracting the second from the first, even if it’s a negative number.
So, while Twice As Clever has almost the exact same structure as That’s Pretty Clever, the puzzles are completely different.
I have a bunch of interlocking questions to unpack about Twice As Clever. Do I think it’s a better game than That’s Pretty Clever? Would I rather play it? Would I rather own and teach it?
After about a dozen plays, my preliminary answer is ‘probably not’. Especially for the last one.
Twice As Clever is really what you play after you get bored with That’s Pretty Clever. Yeah, I might very well get the app for variety in solitaire play. But for a gaming group, I think you’d move on to a completely different light dice game. I also think that the original game is more intuitive and less swingy and that’s what I’m looking for if I’m going to be teaching it, particularly to a broader audience.
Twice As Clever is fun and I will play it some more. However, it doesn’t break enough new ground. The changes add more intricacy than depth. If you only play one Clever game, the original is still my recommendation.
And I will try out Clever hoch Drei at some point :D
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