Review: Clever Cubed

Clever Cubed adds an extra dimension to the Clever series. By cleverly filling in your dice numbers in the different categories, you win the game!

Publisher

999games

+/- 30
minutes

€15
cost

1-4
players

Game explanation

After two hugely successful predecessors in this series, namely, That's pretty Clever and Twice as Clever, a little brother is added, Clever Cubed! In this dice game, you roll all the dice several times each turn. After rolling, you choose 1 die and fill it in a certain way on the score sheet. However, you have to do this smart, because there are so many choices and possibilities that you quickly make a bad choice. After making your choice, you must place all the dice that were lower than your choice on the silver dish and you may no longer use them. Afterwards, you throw the remaining dice and make a choice again. You will do this 3 times, after which you place any remaining dice on the silver dish. The passive player (your opponent(s)) may then choose 1 die from the silver dish and fill it in, but there are rules attached to this!

Filling in the dice on the score sheet can be done in different categories. These categories are divided into colours as follows: 

Yellow: When a player chooses the yellow die, he must mark 1 of the 3 spaces in that category with the result thrown. If he is the active player, he may only mark in the top line on the 1st throw, in the middle line on the 2nd throw, and so on. The passive player may only cross in the fields with a grey background. 
Blue-green: When a player chooses the blue-green die, he must tick 1 of the 5 spaces with the result thrown in this category. However, if you already had one or more dice of the same value, you can also tick that number!
Blue: You do not tick any fields in the blue category, but you fill in numbers in the empty fields. On the left side of the 7, you have to fill in 1 number lower each time and on the right side 1 number higher. You can always fill in a 7 to reset the row and start again from 7. You always fill in the value of the blue and white dice together, regardless of where they both are. 
Brown: If a player chooses the brown die, he may cross a number of exactly that value in the brown category. However, only a value that is to the right of the last crossed-off field may be crossed out. You can also skip numbers! 
Pink: In this category, a player fills in numbers from left to right. You can choose whether you take the multiplier (top) or the bonus (bottom). If the bonus is taken, only half of the points may be filled in. 
White: This is not a category, but there is a white die. This can be used as a joker for any colour.

When filling in these categories, several bonuses can be unlocked. For example, you can directly check off a box of your choice in a category. There are also bonuses that you can keep such as reroll, dice joker and extra dice. After using this bonus, you 'have to check it off. You can also unlock a fox that will give you extra points at the end.

Scoring points is different for each category, but the main rule is: the more you cross off in a category, the more points you score with it. After playing 5 or 6 rounds (depending on the number of players), the game ends and you enter the score on the back of the sheet. The player with the most points wins.

Our thoughts 

Clever tot de 3e macht is een hele leuke toevoeging aan je collectie, ook als je de vorige 2 clevers al hebt. Het principe is hetzelfde, maar de manier van scoren is heel anders. Vergeleken met Clever komt de naam ’tot de 3e macht’ zeker tot zijn recht. Het scoren is een stuk complexer en er zijn meer regels waar je rekening mee moet houden. Dit kan in het begin wel lastig zijn en zorgt er waarschijnlijk voor dat je het spelregelboekje er bij moet houden. Deze extra regels maken het ook moeilijker om overzicht te bewaren. Je moet in deze versie zeker wat meer nadenken over je keuzes.

We really like that more chain reactions can be formed. This way you can get a bonus somewhere and with that bonus get another bonus. This can sometimes go on for a while and feels really good! The new bonus "dice joker" also adds an extra dimension. It is often really good to see where and when you can best activate which bonus!

We think it's a downside that the categories are not the same colours as Clever. If it were, you would only have to buy Clever Cubed's score blocks. However, this does not influence the game itself!

Playing with 2 players

Clever Cubed can be played with up to 4 players. However, we think it excels with 1 to 2 players. You sometimes have to wait a long time for your turn (depending on your opponents). When you play with more opponents, this waiting time will of course only increase. We like that playing with 2 players is fast!

The solo version is just as fun as the predecessors. After having played Clever a lot solo, we can say that this new version is just as much fun. This version can also be played online, so you don't go through the score sheets so quickly. This online version is in German and can be found if you search for Clever Hogh Drei online. You can also practice here to develop a good strategy and outsmart your opponents!

 Pros and cons

+ New categories
+ Enough difference from predecessors

+ Fast
+ More chain reactions

Categories are not in the same colour as predecessors
 Hard to keep an overview
Depending on your opponent you have to wait a long time

This game has been kindly gifted by Jolie-Spellen for review purposes.