Magic Bytes
1988
Arcade: Adventure
£8.99
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

19
Ben Stone, Robin Candy, Bym Welthy
Chris Bourne

Clever and Smart are two German cartoon characters now on the Spectrum screen - a pair of private eyes, complementing one another with their multifarious talents. Clever is master of disguise and can slip into something a little more unrecognisable to complete his investigations. Smart, his ever-present chum, is the intellectual of the two.

In this licence released by Magic Bytes, one of Ariolasoft's many new labels, Dr Bacterius has been kidnapped, and the two have been hired to find him.

You start off in the streets of a town. There Clever and Smart can move among the buildings, investigating and entering those they find of interest. There are numerous flats, restaurants, shops, the kindergarten, a prison, and phone boxes which can pass on useful messages.

Clever and Smart get paid in advance, so they have money to purchase useful things and eat out in restaurants (hunger is an ever-present problem). The money won't last long, but they can live on the edge of the law, enter a flat and steal a chequebook, forging the owner's signature to draw more cash.

But there are hazards on the street, such as killer cars and the occasional bomb.

Roaming around the town may produce valuable clues, but going underground may be even more worthwhile. Enter the sewer system, locate the telephone cables, and Clever and Smart can start listening to telephone conversations. Like any other sewer, this one has rats, and contact with rats makes the two heroes hungry of not logical). They can deter rats by wearing rat suits, but if the cat comes they've got real problems.

Locating a kidnap victim is hard enough at the best of times, and what with hunger, stolen chequebooks, sewers, and remembering the names of all Ariolasoft 's labels (whatever happened to Viz Design?), Clever and Smart have a lot to contend with.

CRITICISM

'Clever & Smart is one of the weirdest games I've had the misfortune to play recently. It's difficult to get into, because the documentation is so bad, and once you do work out what's going on it's boring. The nice title is about all that Clever & Smart has got going for it - and that's a shame because the idea is fairly sound, albeit not original.' BEN … 27%

'Clever & Smart is weird - it takes a while to work out what's going on and I'm not sure the effort is worth it. The graphics are colourful but on the whole very simplistic, and the animation of the two characters is unrealistic, though the sound is effective. Clever & Smart isn't too hard, but it's boring.' ROBIN … 44%

'If you're a maze-minded maniac this is for you. Clever & Smart is totally maze-oriented, so it isn't Bym-compatible, and the hyperactive characters don't add any the enjoyment. I would find grovelling around in real sewers much more exciting than trying to take bearings on the blank walls in this game.' BYM … 65%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: large, colourful and simplistic graphics
Sound: no music but effective spot FX
General Rating: An odd and rather boring game, licensed from German cartoon characters whose twee humour may not appeal to the British market.

58%
47%
42%
28%
45%

Screenshot Text

Clever & Smart: neither.