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.

WordPop with Bonus Tiles

Wow, it’s been over three weeks since I last posted. I apologize for the dead air. Real life does have a tendency to get in the way from time to time (if you really care, you can read about it on my personal blog).

Anyway, progress has been steady during that time. The gameboard is looking more realistic now as I am choosing letters according to our previously defined algorithm. This guarantees a reasonable balance of consonants and vowels (have you ever figured out which letter is guaranteed to appear on every board?). Furthermore, I’m validating correct words against our updated dictionaries. So, the short days of scoring “ZLDRRX” are over.

Tiles fall into place when the round starts and after tiles pop and are removed. They will also fall when the board is rotated.

Bonus tiles are now falling according to your difficulty level when a round starts and after scoring a word that passes the bonus tile threshold. The word score and total score is now being updated. The word and word score text will only turn black when the word is valid. The word score will go bold when you’ve raised the score enough to earn a bonus tile.

WordPop will play multiple rounds, now, too. As you expect, at the end of a round a new set of tiles is dropped in for the next round.

Last, but not least, WordPop is persistent. That’s not to say that it bugs you forever or tickles your brain without mercy (which we already know it does), but it will save your game state when you quit. So, returning to the game later will restore your game state so you can continue on.

Whew! That’s quite a bit, but there’s still some ways to go. Next on my list will be allowing the player to actually use the bonus tiles (details, details) and recording best words and high scores. And, if you have best words and high scores, you should have a place to view them. So it makes sense that those dialogs will follow soon thereafter.

The picture above is just to show a game in action with bonus tiles and the scoring going on. What you can’t see is that this is the image right after re-launching WordPop to show that I’m correctly persisting the game state. I hope to be back soon with more to share. Let me know what you think!

Astraware’s Solitaire features 12 of the most well-known and best-loved single player card games. The games are Klondike, Pyramid, Spider, Clock, Yukon, Canfield, Four Seasons, Sultan’s Harem, Idiot’s Delight, Golf, Calculation, and Freecell, and to make the playing experience both familiar and fun, each game has custom gameplay options so everyone can enjoy the games using their favorite variation on the standard rules. 

  • Detailed tutorial and hints system

  • Customize each game to play your way

  • Wide choice of backgrounds, card graphics and color schemes

  • Unlockable rewards including the Golden Trophy Deck

  • Includes a ‘clear’ card face ideal for those with visual impairments

Click Here to Download or Read More

To the left is a screen shot of WordPop, our best selling word game. Two ways to win. (1) Try to find the longest word you can, and then submit it to our forum. Just like the rules when you play WordPop on your device, each letter in the word must be adjacent to the next, for example, RIPE. (2) Find at least 10 words and be one of the randomly selected winners.

  • The player who submits the longest word wins a copy of a Smart Box Design Game
  • (if a tie then the first one to submit wins)
  • Two random winners will be picked from additional submitted words
  • Contest ends August 31, 2007
  • Winners will be announced in the next newsletter and / or e-mail
  • (make sure to register at the forum so we have your e-mail on record)

We’re looking forward to seeing your words

Click Here to Submit Your Words at the Forum

Thank you for all the great responses to the Democrat versus Republican version of Triples. Three winners have been selected, one for the fastest post and two selected randomly.

Congratulations to all the winners.