Clever 4 Ever is the fourth game in the clever series and it has been anticipated for quite a while in my household as I didn’t enjoy the third one (Clever Cubed) as much as the first two (That’s Pretty Clever and Twice As Clever).
So the question is does this new addition get the dice rolling again or should I throw it out with the paper recycling? Read on to find out.
Keep Rollin, Rollin, Rollin, Yeah!
A very brief introduction to the Clever series for anyone not familiar with it. This is the pure definition of a Roll and Write game. You have six dice and on your turn you roll all of them and decide which one you want to use. Any dice with a lower pip value are placed on the silver platter for your opponents and then you roll the remaining dice and pick another one for yourself. You do this a final time and then all of the other players get to use one of the dice on the silver platter. The active player then changes to the next person in a clockwise order and you repeat the process. Each die scores in different ways and almost act like their own mini games within the main game. In addition each colour can interact with the other colours and combinations can be fired off numerous times throughout the game.
Out With The Old & In With The Familiar?
This new entry to the series sticks to the tried and tested formula with a few variations which I will now explain.
Yellow Die – Three rows which can be started in any order but always from the left and not missing any boxes. The top row doesn’t score any points and each subsequent die placed must be a higher number than the previous one. In the second row you score negative points for each number placed but there are some great bonuses to obtain. In the final row you score positive points and all three boxes in a column are required for the bonus scores.
Blue – Once again you must use the blue die with the white one at the same time. Now the white indicates which column you will write in and the blue will indicate which row. Once you cross off two boxes in a row you get that bonus for the row and if you do two in a column you get the score shown on the bottom of the column.
Grey – This is sideways Tetris. You have polyomino shapes to fill which must be started from the left and then subsequent ones must be orthogonally touching an already completed one. The grey dice value must at least match the number of squares in the shape you wish to fill. Scores are given for each completed column.
Green – Each green square is divided into triangles. Once again you start from the left and work across but you can do that with the bottom triangle or the top one. The bottom one gives you the bonus shown whilst you only score each box if you have a number in both the top and bottom triangle.
Pink – You can place any number in the boxes (from left to right) and you will score as far as you reach but bonuses are only given if you place a five or six in the box it is associated with. Two’s give you a bonus two points. Three’s allow you to place another three in the next box. Four’s give you a bonus four points and finally sixes also give you a bonus three points (in addition to the bonus under the box)
Also new to the series is the silver platter modifier. This allows you to add or deduct one value from the dice sitting on the platter.
You’ve Gotta Roll With It
I really like the direction Clever 4 Ever has taken by reducing the complexity when compared to the third game (Clever Cubed). I can teach new players this game in just a few minutes and they will be able to play well enough on their own.
I really enjoyed the yellow and pink dice this time and always felt I could do better so another game was immediately started once scores were totalled.
If you didn’t enjoy the previous entries from this series there is nothing here to sway your opinion but for fans of Wolfgang Warsch’s dice extravaganza they will really enjoy their time with Clever 4 Ever.
Now what will the fifth game be called? maybe ‘The Fifth Clever Sense’.