Board Game Review: Ganz Schön Clever
Rating: 8 out of 10 stars
What I hope to accomplish with my board game reviews is to introduce you to a new game and help you determine whether the game is a good fit for you. I will consider and rank five criteria: gameplay, design, strategy, originality, and replayability.
Ganz Schön Clever is a competitive roll-and-write game for 1-4 players. The game takes about 30 minutes to complete and is recommended for ages 8 and up.
Gameplay (9 out of 10 stars)
There are six colors of dice in this game that each allow you to mark off different parts of your game sheet (shown above).
The yellow die allows you to cross off the corresponding number in the yellow-bordered section. Completing a row or column in the yellow section gives the bonuses indicated on the sheet (for example, 20 points or the chance to add a 4 to the orange section.)
The blue die is added to the white die to cross off the corresponding number in the blue-bordered section. Once again, completing a row or column provides a bonus.
The green die must be greater than or equal to the number in each spot in the green-bordered section to mark it off. Green spots must be marked off from left to right. The bonus under a green spot is gained when it is marked off.
The orange die allows you to take the number on the dice and write it in the orange-bordered section. Orange spots must be marked off from left to right. The bonus under an orange spot is gained when it is marked off.
The purple die allows you to write a number in the purple-bordered section. Numbers do not have to be consecutive, but each one has to be greater than the last until reaching 6, after which you can start the cycle over. The bonus under an orange spot is gained when it is marked off.
The white die is a wild, standing for any color.
At any time in the game, each person is either an active or passive player.
Active players first roll all the dice. Then they choose a numbered die and mark off what they chose on their sheet. All numbered die of lower value are then placed in the Silver Platter (shown above). The remaining dice are then rolled, and the active player picks another die. Those dice of lower value go into the Silver Platter. This cycle repeats one more time.
Then the passive players choose one dice from those in the Silver Platter and mark the corresponding spot on their sheets. More than one player can use the same die.
If these actions are available, the players can use rerolls or add +1 to a die.
The points from the blue section and the yellow section are calculated based on what columns and rows are completed.
The green section gives the amount of points indicated above the last marked spot.
The orange and purple sections both are calculated by adding the numbers in their respective rows.
Each fox obtained during the game is equal to the number of points in the lowest scoring out of all the categories.
Design (7 out of 10 stars)
Design includes two categories: art and components.
The art is simple and minimal. The components will need replaced if used frequently because of the limited number of sheets and limited ink.
Paper sheets are fine, but it would have been better to have small dry erase boards instead of paper, such as those used in the game Wits & Wagers.
The markers running out is inevitable for this kind of game. Just buy more small markers if you run out, or use pens or even pencils.
The instruction manual was very well done. There are specific examples of what a turn would look like, as well as a chart to see how good at the game you really are. My whole family consistently scores in the lowest bracket–I can’t imagine how someone would make the highest bracket and qualify as clever.
Strategy (9 out of 10 stars)
Sure, the game utilizes luck, but there is so much strategy involved. Luck is minimized anyway due to the actions such as rerolls and adding +1 to rolls.
Focus too much in one area and your foxes will be worth next to nothing. Generalize too much and none of your categories will reach their potential. The whole thing is a balancing act.
Even which dice you discard must be strategic because your opponents can use what you rejected to their advantage.
Originality/Creativity (8 out of 10 stars)
Many consider this game to be one of the best roll-and-writes. The concept of the foxes is pretty unique, and so is the fact that passive players can use dice rejected by the active player.
Replayability (7 out of 10)
This game is fun and has a thick pad of sheets for gameplay, so it is conducive to replays. However, this is a game I would personally not want to play more than once in one day. It’s a good, light game to play anytime.
To learn more, I recommend visiting Board Game Geek.
To learn how to play with a video, I recommend this video by Meeple University.