With Doppelt as clever the author Wolfgang Warsch dares a new attack on brain wax. How well does it compare to its predecessor and can it hold a candle to it? His previous game, Pretty Clever, was nominated for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2018 and is a popular and well-played game.
A roll-and-write game with clever follow-up and bonus promotions
In the game Twice as clever As with the predecessor, it's about using the dice thrown skilfully and cleverly working through the areas on your own game sheet in order to score as many points as possible.
If possible, markings should be used so skillfully that follow-up and bonus campaigns are activated. The author Wolfgang Warsch has come up with new rules for new color areas that require more decisions and a little more calculation.
There is also a new action that can be used to get more out of intelligent use. The game is playable for 1 to 4 players, ages 10+, and thus also includes a solo mode. A game usually lasts around 30 minutes.
Schmidt Spiele promises:
You will find out in the course of the review whether it happened that way.
According to the principle “small but nice”, the small game box does not contain much content. In addition to the set of instructions, it contains 6 dice, 4 small pens and a playing block. The box could have been smaller, but the inlay has another function: it contains and shows the so-called Silver plate, whereupon dice are placed in the course of the game.
Promised rules video is missing
I find it particularly helpful if the publisher or author produces and offers their own rule video. That helps a lot to learn rules better and faster. Schmidt Spiele praises a rule video on the game package that can be called up by scanning the QR code.
To learn the rules, this time I wanted to give priority to the video. But where is it? The QR code leads to the Schmidt-Spiele product page. And there I have no video found.
Since a video is also offered for the predecessor, I tested this instead. Its QR code leads to the promised video on the Schmidt Spiele Youtube page. So the rules video is (still) missing Twice as clever. Pity! So now I've consulted the rulebook.
Rulebook with many helpful examples
The rulebook is well structured. First the rough process is described, then the cube colors and how the associated individual areas are handled. Finally, the actions are explained in more detail.
This time some of the color areas are a bit more complicated to handle than the previous one, but there are enough examples to understand the rules.
The instructions want to show rule differences to the previous one
I was confused by one statement at the beginning of the rule:
"Note: For those who know Pretty Clever: To make it easier to get started, all deviations from the Pretty Clever rule are highlighted in grey."Excerpt from the rules of the game Twice as clever
I searched and didn't understand what is meant by “grayed out”, because initially I couldn't find any text with a gray background. It was only when I looked very closely that I noticed that some text passages were actually highlighted in gray. However, this is hardly noticeable with the black main background, especially when light falls on the instructions while reading.
I find that done graphically suboptimally. Even when I now know exactly what to look out for, the marked text sometimes slips through. It really should have been designed differently. I can imagine that you wanted to be graphically very close to the predecessor, but that shouldn't be negative at the expense of legibility.
The course of the game
At the beginning of the regular game with 2 to 4 players, each player receives a piece of paper from the game pad and a pen. The starting player receives all 6 dice.
A distinction is made between active and passive players during the moves. The active player is the one who has the dice in hand, throws the dice and is allowed to decide. He rolls the dice a total of three times and after each roll chooses a dice that he places on his game sheet. According to the rules for the respective color of the dice, he then marks a value in the appropriate color area.
Then the active player places all face-up dice that differ in value under the value of the chosen dice on the silver plate of the playing box. From now on, these dice are taboo for the active player, so they are no longer allowed to use them to roll the dice.
He now rolls all remaining dice until he has selected a total of 3 dice and placed them on his game sheet.
After the third throw it is the turn of all other players, they are the passive players. At the same time you can choose a cube from the silver platter and mark a spot on your sheet of paper according to the color. This means that there is little downtime in the game as every player has something to do on every turn. Only then is it the turn of the next active player.
Choose the dice wisely and don't be too greedy at the beginning of your turn!
The first highlight for the active player is that if he chooses a dice with a high value at the beginning, he then has fewer dice available and runs the risk of not being able to place a marker on his hand. So that means you have to be careful with the available dice. In some cases, however, the player can trick by using the additional actions. For example, he may reroll the dice again. These should also be used smart at the right moment.
End of the game with different numbers of rounds
There are different numbers of rounds depending on the number of players. Because the fewer players participate, the fewer values can be entered as passive players.
A game ends after four rounds for 4 players and after five rounds for 3 players. The highest number of rounds of six is with 2 players and the solo game.
At the end of the game, the players enter the points scored for each color area on the back of the game slip and add them up. The one with the most points wins the game.
Every player unlocks bonus promotions little by little, which help them to achieve better points, provided they are used at the right moment. Some actions are activated automatically in a certain round, some only by placing dice and marking on the sheet.
Two types of action were already on Pretty clever where to find: During the re-roll action, the active player may reroll all dice that have just been rolled. With the additional dice action, a player - both the active and the passive player - may choose an additional dice at the end of his turn. This may be one of all six dice, including those that are with the active player. As soon as a player has activated an action, he must enter a circle in a free field in the respective action bar. After it has been used, this must be crossed out.
The new return campaign offers new opportunities
What is new in this game compared to its predecessor is the return action. The active player may retrieve one dice from the silver platter before throwing them and use it again to roll the dice. This is an interesting enrichment and offers new opportunities in the hunt for new high scores.
This action is very useful, for example, if we had to put a lot of dice on the silver platter on the first or second move because we absolutely had to use a large number. In the first game I saved these actions until the end and then retrieved several dice for one throw. You can also use a cube bit by bit. So you have many possibilities to bring this action into your turn in a meaningful way.
Combos with the bonuses
Depending on how the player places markings on the game slip, he releases bonuses. Some he has to play immediately and some he can save.
There are three types of bonuses:
- Promotion bonus: The player may mark the corresponding bonus as available once at the top.
- Question mark bonus: Any value can be entered in the displayed color field.
- Fox bonus: At the end of the game, the player receives additional bonus points for each Fox field. This is the color area with the fewest total points.
The clever use of bonuses and the use of combos make the special attraction Pretty clever and Twice as clever .
The five color areas and their rules at a glance
As with the predecessor, each color area has its own rules and this time requires a little more calculation.
Ideally suited for solo players
The game is very playable solo. The attraction then lies in cracking your own high score and surpassing it further and further. The rules of the game contain a table so that the solo player can compare his results.
The rules are largely the same, only of course the additional dice for the passive player is omitted. Therefore, after his three regular throws as a passive player, the solo player rolls all 6 dice again. The three dice with the lowest values are placed on the silver platter and the player can choose another dice from them.
Is it worth having both games?
The owner of a Pretty Clever game may be wondering if he really needs the sequel. Our opinion: definitely! This game is so addicting too! I even wanted to postpone writing the review and rather play a few more games. The attraction here is to get a new high score and I've actually improved in every game.
Images too twice as clever
Number of players: 1 to 4 players
Age: from 8 years
Playing time: 30 minutes
Long-term motivation: medium
Publisher: Schmidt Spiele
Author: Wolfgang Warsch
Year of publication: 2019
Cost: 11,99 Euro
Regarding the rules of the game, there is a need for some changes. Otherwise I had a lot of fun playing it. If the predecessor was perhaps a little too lax or is looking for a change, I can warmly recommend Doppelt so clever. Because you have to use your brain more to get a lot of points and "combos".
There is a lot of math involved and decisions must be weighed. That could lead to a little more downtime when brooding people are sitting at the table. However, the game has a good, pleasant playing time and is ideal for a short game in the evening or as a nightcap. The fact that it can also be played solo, which I personally always find a great treat, rounds off the game well.