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Farkle from SmartboxDesign is a new dice based strategy game made by Astraware for Palm devices. I’ve been playing the game for a few hours now, and as Sammy mentioned in today’s video cast he’s never heard me swear so much in such a short period of time, and we’ve worked together for a while now so that’s quite surprising! Though it might sound like a strange thing to say, I have been swearing a lot because Farkle is so addictive, so competitive and so challenging!!
The basis of Farkle is fairly simple. It is essentially very similar in its goals to the ever popular dice based game Yahtzee. To win at Farkle you must be the player with the highest score above 10,000 points on the final round of play. Each player takes turns rolling the dice. On your turn you roll all six dice, and you must select at least one scoring dice. The scoring combinations are as follows:
* A one or a five
* Three of a kind
* Three pairs
* A six dice straight
And the scoring system is as follow: (my apologies if this seems a little tedious, but for all you card and dice buffs out there like myself it is important and you have to know these things!) But the best way is to play. Anyway here we go:
* A one = 100 points
* A five = 50 points* Three ones = 1000 points
* Three of any other kind = the number of points multiplied by 100 e.g. three six’s = 600
* Three pairs = 500
* Six dice straight = 1000
* Three Farkles = -1000 (more on that later)
The best way rather than simply telling you the rules is to take an example. Let’s say you’ve rolled your six dice, and they have produced a combination of
* 1 – 4 – 3 – 6 – 6 – 2
As the rules of the game state you have to select a minimum of one scoring dice, and as you’re only scoring one is a one you can select that. Then you have a choice (which if often a very tough decision based on your situation) to make. You either “pass” and bank the points scored by your selected nice, or you “roll” and roll the remaining five.
Let’s take the following situation. You roll the five and you get three of a kind. The score of that is then added onto your 100 from the previous round, and you have the pass or roll choice again. You can either gamble and hope you get a scoring result from your two dice or pass and bank the points.Scoring is based on selected dice and you cannot earn points from combining dice from different rolls. However if you are unlucky and none of your rolled dice in earn any points, you get a Farkle; whereby you do not receive ANY points from that round. Your go is then over. The danger is if you get three Farkles in a row you lose 1000 points.
The game has another twist, as the final round begins as soon as any one player reaches 10,000 points. This player’s score is then frozen, and the two opposition players are given one final chance to get a maximum score. This is a particularly good feature if the game is close, and despite one player getting to 10,000 first, anybody can win!
Once you’ve got the hang of it Farkle is an excellent and incredibly addictive game. The graphics are nice and clear, and the user interface of the game is simple and easy to use. It can be played between CPU players or human players; complete customisation of the game is available, such as increasing or decreasing the cut off point of 10,000 points. However a nice touch is the names of your possible CPU competitors. And I took great pleasure earlier in beating Steady Stan, Average Ann, Smart Alec, Nervous Nell, Jammin’ Jen and Bonzai Bob!
This game is based on your own judgement, which only you are in control of, and is the reason the game is so compelling! The combination of skill, luck, and judgement are all required to succeed at this challenging and incredibly addictive game. Which is great to play against the CPU players or even better against friends.