, , , ,

Word Monaco Solitaire and WordPop! Nominated for Best Mobile Software of 2007 by Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine

Below is the press release for the award we are up for. It is always fun when our peers nominate us for an award and this is a big one. It will be a few months before we know if we won and the other nominations are pretty great too. I must admint it would be great to win.

BELLINGHAM, WA – August 27, 2007 – The “Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine” staff and its board of experts have nominated the Windows Mobile versions of “Word Monaco Solitaire” and “WordPop!” for a 2007 Best Software Award in the category of “Word Puzzles”.

WordPop! challenges players to spell words in a checkerboard of letter tiles, with letters being eliminated as words are spelled with them, until the player eventually clears the board. WordPop! was a finalist in 2006 Best Software Award. Word Monaco Solitaire plays like a standard game of solitaire but with letters. Players may only lay a card on a stack if that stack will result with a word. Players win if they manage to overturn every card and each stack of cards spells out an entire word.

Smart Box President, Todd Sherman said of the announcement, “We are thrilled to have not one, but two games in the running. Our word puzzles are among our most popular games and this nomination means a lot to the teams.”

Smart Box Design is located in Bellingham, WA and creates many puzzle and strategy-based games for Treos, Palm devices, Windows Mobile Phones, Macs, and PCs.

, , ,

Video: Palm Addicts TV 91 – Products for your Smartphone

Smart Box Design is the proud sponsor of PATV91. Here is the latest from Sammy and his team. 

PATV91 – We want your thoughts on ebooks, Starsky & Hutch, Club Astraware, Astraware game development, CallPod, Neil on Palm Hardware, Thieves and Kings for Palm OS, Palmdoc Chronicles, Palm Discovery, Word Monaco Solitaire

In our 19 minute edition of PATV-91 we cover:

– We want to hear your thoughts on ebooks on Palm devices? Do you favour it? Or do you prefer to read books the old fashioned way? Please send your thoughts and we will read your thoughts on PATV – sammymcloughlin@gmail.com

– Reader, Mark Connelly thinks Jonathan Winter and I are like the Starsky & Hutch of PalmAddict

– We discuss Club Astraware and some of the benefits

– I like the look of CallPod but have some concerns about their pricing

– Reader Neil Tomlinson talks about Palm hardware and I have my say on some of the great devices from past and present. Read his thoughts in full.

– The Astraware Team Blog talks about Astraware Solitaire development

Thieves & Kings Solitaire for Palm OS

– Why Astraware does well at creating great games

– We take a look at sites we like today including Palm Discovery & PalmdocChronicles

– Smart Box Design’s game Word Monaco Solitaire is reduced at the moment, details here

– And a reminder about our weekend giveaway to win a Samsung Q1 UMPC, again the details can be found here.

, , ,

Upgrade Palm version of Word Monaco – More Words!

We want you to finish all of your games of Word Monaco Solitaire, including those games where you find a word that hasn’t been uttered since the 1700s but will let you make the final move! So to make this possible we’ve:

– Added new words (like “ai”, a 3 toed sloth)
– Added old words (like “als” a type of tree)
– Added forgotten words (like “ut”, old version of do)
– Made gameplay more fair and satisfying

Please visit our website and upgrade today for FREE.

Click Here to Read More, Upgrade, or Download the Trial

, , ,

Review: Murray from Palm-Mac Plays Word Monaco

Murray Alexander of Palm-Mac reviews Word Monaco Solitaire for Windows Mobile.

Palm-Mac is an award winning BLOG known for it reviews of mobile technology.

Word Monaco
Thanks to Todd Sherman at Smart Box Design for letting me try out a couple of games. The first one I had a go at is Word Monaco for WM5. This is card game of sorts, similar to Solitaire, with a huge twist…you are trying to make words with the cards as you would with Scrabble. So, the best way to describe it would be to call it Scrabitaire…that’s a direct cross between Scrabble and Solitaire.

I have to own up here. I have always loved card games and therefore I am going to be somewhat biased. I just feel they lend themselves ideally to the smaller screen format of our pda’s and smartphones. This game is no exception.

There are three different skill levels. The easy one is a good start to break you in gently as it includes 2 random jokers that can be used as any letter. To win you have to make words in all columns and have no unturned cards left. When you have made a word a small green diamond appears at the top of the column to signify success. You can move whole words or letters to other columns to make words in that one or to enable a new card to be turned over. Letters can be placed without an actual word being formed as long as the letters might lead to a word….so for example, you could leave SH on a column but not TT. Sounds easy? It is pretty straight forward on easy level but once you move up to medium and hard things become much harder.

This is the sort of game that you start off thinking, I’ll just have a quick 5 minutes and then 45 minutes later you’re still playing away. It demands a bit of concentration and use of the old grey matter. There are no time limits and you can come back to the game later on…these are features I always like to see as I hate games where there is some sort of timer involved. Basically, you can play at your own pace which suits me down to the ground.

There are three different versions of the game with slightly different aims but the basic premise is the same. It’s easy to pick up, the graphics are crisp and there are useful “tips” throughout the game.

If you are looking for a nicely paced game where you need a bit of the old grey matter then Word Monaco should be given a run out.

You can try Word Monaco Solitaire here: http://www.smartboxdesign.com/wordmonacoppc.html

, , ,

Doug Goldring of “Just Another Mobile” Monday Reviews Word Monaco

Review: Word Monaco. Vacation, With a Twist of Spelling…
February 24th, 2007 by dgoldring

Several months ago, I wrote a review of Paragon’s Can’t Stop Solitaires Collection. Any of you faithful readers who remember that review should find it to be no surprise that my favorite vacation activity is playing solitaire…particularly at the beach. Frankly though after several straight hours, traditional 52 card solitaire can become a bit tiresome, especially when the wind keeps blowing he cards off the blanket and whipping them through the air and into the sand. Before long, I need something more to keep my attention. Enter Word Monaco. Word Monaco is a game designed for tireless solitaire players like me who just need an added twist. And what is that twist, you might ask? Spelling. Our old grade school nemesis.

Installation and Registration: Installation is simple. Just download the desktop installer and load it onto your Pocket PC using ActiveSync. You can play 15 games using the full featured trial version before you will have to register, for unlimited spells of fun.

Gameplay: Word Monaco is similar to a traditional game of solitaire. The cards are dealt out of the deck into seven increasingly sized piles (so that the first has one card and the last has seven). Like solitaire, the top card of each pile is turned face up, while the rest of the cards remain hidden. Now, here comes the twist. Instead of numbers and suits, these cards each have letters. Create words by moving letters from column to column. Use all of the letters to form words and you win.

Variations: There are three variations of Word Monaco. Gameplay is the same in each variation, however, the ultimate goal of each variation is slightly modified, enhancing the excitement of gameplay as you switch from one variation to the next. The three available variations, which are all based on a vacation theme, include:

Larvotto Beach — where you must simply use all of the letters to form words

Royalty Cafe — where, in addition to using all of the letters to form words, you are also given three special cards (pink borders). The special cards must all be used in the same word, or each in different words. Each word must also contain three or more letters.

Train Station — where, in addition to using all of the letters to form words, you are also given four special cards (pink borders). The special cards must all be used in the same word, or each in different words. Each word must also contain four or more letters.

Frankly, once you start looking at how the variations can significantly affect the outcome of the game, it becomes apparent that there are countless variations of the basic game which could be made. This is a game which just screams for expansion packs, with different themes and variations of cards. While the available variations already make Word Monaco an incredibly addictive game, expansion packs would significantly enhance the appeal of this game by providing a wide variety of themes and gameplay variations.

Difficulty Levels: In addition to the three variations, there are also three different skill levels in each. The skill levels determine the universe of letters available in each deck.
Easy includes two jokers in each deck which can be substituted for any letter card.
Medium includes every letter in the alphabet except J, Q, V, X, and Z, and no jokers.
Hard includes every letter in the alphabet,and no jokers.

Cheating: There are two ways in which you can discover what cards are hidden under the dealt piles in each game. First, in the game settings menu, you can select the “Peek At Face-Down Cards.” Once checked, you need only tap any face down card to be shown what letter is hidden there.

Likewise, at any time during the game, you can also select the “Show Deck” option from the Game Menu. This will provide you with a list (in alphabetical order) of all of the cards showing and all of the cards which are still hidden. Unlike “Peek At Face-Down Cards”, this option will not show you the placement of each letter, but it will give you an overview of the letters at your disposal. Both options can be very useful for learning the rules and strategies of the game, as well as planning ahead during any of the variations of the game.

Statistics: One of my favorite features found in games such as Word Monaco are the statistics. Essentially, you are your only opponent, so it is nice to know how you stack up against yourself. Word Monaco does a nice job with this. It keeps track of how many games you have won in each variation versus how many games you have played. It also tells you your winning percentage and the fewest number of moves you have used to win each variation. Additionally, there is also a running list maintained of your best words from all of the games you have won.

Graphics: The graphics in Word Monaco are well drawn in high resolution. Each variation has a different background which evokes the mood of the location on which the variation is based. I found these backgrounds, while not overly complicated, really helped establish the mood of each of the variations, and significantly added to my enjoyment of the game. Again, however, this feature clearly lends itself to unlimited variations, backgrounds, and themes. I would love to see a variety of different themed expansion packs. For example, pictures of different cars, sports, or even mobile devices could be integrated to makeup the background images.

Help: While Word Monaco is an extremely exciting game, it is also a unique concept which combines traditional solitaire and…well, like I said…spelling. New games like this can be tricky to learn, and that is why Help is never more than a click away in Word Monaco. Turn on the in-game tips and text boxes will pop up on the screen to help guide you through the next moves and explain what you are seeing on the board. Once you have mastered the basics, you can still seek help by simply tapping the Help Menu and search the extensive help library, seek strategy tips, or review the goals of each variation of the game. These options certainly went a long way toward helping me familiarize myself with the basic gameplay and strategy.

Conclusion: If you enjoy solitaire, card games, word puzzles, or any combination of these three, then Word Monaco has found a new home on your device. Although gameplay sounds easy, it quickly becomes apparent that creating words out of the available letters can be much more difficult than it looks (just wait until you get a deck with all vowels and a “v”.) The variations and backgrounds make the game extremely enjoyable. Couple that with the three difficulty settings, and this game is ideal for players of any skill level. Those learning to spell will enjoy the freedom this game adds to the educational process, while advanced spellers can try to increase their vocabulary by creating words using as many letters as possible. This is an original and fantastic variation on an old classic card game, which will definitely be joining me for my next vacation.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Word Monaco
Version: 1.01
Platform: WM 2003 SE
Also Available: WM5,
Developer: Smart Box Design (distributed by Astraware)
Available From:
Astraware
Smart Box
JAMM Store
Price: $14.95

Technorati Tags:

Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.