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.

Farkle is available for $14.95 from SmartboxDesign.

Palm Addict Christmas / New Year Contest

Welcome to the Palm Addict Christmas / New Year Contest running between now and the 5th January. Here are a list of the prizes as donated by the relevant hardware and software companies for which we thank them.

Here are the prizes which you can choose from:
• 5 winners can choose any Smart Box Design titles including WordPop, Farkle from SmartBox Design.- 1 unlocked Palm Treo 680 grey colour.
• 1 Extended 2400 mah battery for Treo 680 from SeidioOnline
• 1 Enfora WiFi Sled
• 1 bottle of “Comte Audoin de Dampierre Champagne”
• Brando from Shop Brando has come forward to offer 5 Palm Addict Readers $100 Gift Vouchers as part of the Palm Addict Christmas / New Year Contest
• $50 Voucher for Borders
• 3 copies of Trip Boss and 3 copies of Date Wheel from Creative Algorithms
• Benoit HERVIER has donated copies of kLauncher
• 3 copies of the game My Little Tank for the runners up again from Astraware
• 1 case, 1 screen protector, & 1 cable of the winners choice from Boxwave
• Accessories, Charger, Cases donated by Proporta
• TreoTastic Bundles from Hobbyist Software
• Copies of mRSS and mRing from Motion Apps
• 1 copy of Agendus for Palm OS Professional Edition from Iambic
• 1 copy of Agendus Mail for Palm OS SSL Edition from Iambic
• 1 copy of Agendus for Windows Outlook or Palm Desktop Edition from Iambic
• 1 copy of YourCall for Palm OS from Iambic
• 1 copy of TravelTalk for Windows Mobile (PPC or Smarthpone depending on the winner’s device) from Iambic
• 1 copy of EzQuote for Windows Mobile (PPC or Smarthpone dependingon the winner’s device) from Iambic
• 1 copy of Propel for Palm OS Standard Edition from Iambic
• 5 copies of any title from iliumsoft.com

How to enter: Everyone can enter [including Associate Writers who can just post directly], let me know how you have been using your Palm / Treo device. Give me a line give me a paragraph it’s up to you how long your user thought is. Simple that’s all there is to it.

Choose your preferred prize and a secondary prize, IMPORTANT put XMAS in the subject and give your entry a title [please do not use how I use my Palm device].

Failure to enter the correct subject line and give your thought a title will mean we cannot enter you as your entry will fall into our spam folder. Send to Palm Addict – sammymcloughlin@gmail.com.

Winner will be chosen at random and the contest ends at midnight US ET Monday 5th January.

Thanks to all the sponsors, enjoy the contest and warm wishes to you and those close to you this holiday season.

PDA 24/7 is having their annual holiday season sale and Smart Box Design will be featured on the first day, December 1st. If you are looking for some deals stop by PDA 24/7 daily for the next 20 days. See you there.