It's been a little over a month, so sorry about the impromptu hiatus, as it wasn't really planned. I just had life get in the way. Today, I'm continuing my series on board games that pack a lot of punch for their price point. If you missed the first one, check it out here. I'll kick things off with introducing you to one of my favorite roll-and-write games ever, That's Pretty Clever!
Designed by: Wolfgang Warsch
Art by: Leon Schiffer
Released: 2018 from Schmidt Spiel and Stronghold Games
Primary Mechanisms: Dice rolling, Dice Drafting, Paper-and-pencil
Components Review: Not much to say here...You get wooden dice (which are fine), markers (which work well), and a score pad...That's it. So, on the whole, there's not much to review, as is the case with most roll-and-writes. The presentation is colorful but nothing to write home about.
Theme Review: There is none. It's literally just crossing off numbers...So, why is it fun again? Just trust me.
Weight Review: This game is pretty light as far as I'm concerned. Definitely a step up in complexity from Yahtzee, but it's an inordinately better game for it, in my opinion. It definitively replaces Yahtzee for me in this genre of "roll three times, write stuff on score sheet" space.
Mechanisms Review: Each turn, you roll all the available dice and draft one of them to mark off a space or fill in a number in the corresponding colored section of your score sheet. In the yellow section, you're trying to complete rows and columns with the matching die result; in the blue section, you're combining the results of the wild white die with the blue die to mark off as many spaces as possible; in the green section, you're trying to mark off spaces in ascending order that are greater than or equal to the green die result; in the orange space, you fill in any number; and in the purple space, you are filling in numbers in ascending order. When you take a die, however, you immediately put all dice with lower values onto the silver platter, which will be available for your opponent(s) to draft at the end of your turn, so you're always on the lookout for what they want as well. It's a simple formula, but it works brilliantly once the game sorta turns a corner mid-way through and you're unlocking bonus after bonus.
Re-playability and Price Review: Well, you're rolling dice, so no two games will ever be the exact same. We've burned through an entire score sheet pad and had to re-order the game that's how many times we've played it. I'll also say that the solo rules are simple and fun. At $20, this is a great foundation for a new board game collection for 1-4 players, and I can't recommend it enough. It teaches quickly; there's no setup required, and it plays in about a half hour. It's the perfect game to fill time and engage your brain. We liked it so much that we bought the sequel, Doppelt so Clever! (Twice as Clever!), which is just as good...if not even a bit better just because of a tiny bit of added complexity.
Overall rating: 8.5/10
Credit: All images come from Boardgamegeek
Or, the writing gamer...
An infrequent review of my collection of hobby board games, coverage of the board game hobby at-large, lists, purchasing advice, and maybe some writing updates here and there.