Farkle v1.0 for Palm OS

Reviewed by: Lianne Reitter, September 2004, send e-mail
Published by: Smart Box Design, go to the web site
Requires: alm OS 3.5 or higher, color or grayscale display; optimized for Palm OS5.x
MSRP: $14.95

Oh, Farkle! Smart Box Design, the company who brought us the fabulously addictive WordPop, is at it again folks, this time with a great dice game called Farkle. It’s a simple roll the dice and count your score type of game and the reason I'm in love with it is that unlike so many games being released for Palm OS these days, I can win at this one!

The game play is simple. There are six dice: ones and fives score 100 and 50 points respectively but triple rolls of any number, score that number times 100; any three pair score 500; a straight scores 1,000. You start out by rolling all six dice then removing each usable die to record your score. During your turn you can keep your current score or if there any unusable dice remaining opt to roll again in hope of increasing the score. But if you don't roll a scoring die, you Farkle, ending your turn with a zero score. Farkle three times in a row and you lose 1,000 points. Trust me, Triple Farkle hurts—it hurts your score and your pride (well, mine anyway).

You can play Farkle against a friend, as many as three, but since PDA game play is so often played solo, Smart Box Design has created six virtual opponents for you, all with a distinct play personalities. Seriously, it’s like playing online with real people. Nervous Nell is completely terrified of Farkling and she will avoid it like the plague. Steady Stan will score every point available to him on every roll and Smart Alec is a strategic son-of-a-gun and very crafty. Additional virtual players also include Average Ann, Jammin’ Jen and Bonzai Bob. You can play short games (first to reach 5,000 points) or longer games (first to reach 10,000). The first player, real or virtual, to reach a score at or over the game limit ceases game play. The remaining players then each get one more turn to beat the winning score. It doesn't matter which player rolls first to start the game—point leads and game advantages will pass from one player to another throughout game until a winner is declared.

The only thing missing from Farkle is the ability to beam a game between Palm OS devices and while it is not that much of a detraction from the game as a whole, it is the missing link. We tested Farkle on our Palm Zire 71 and the newer Sony Clie TH55 and while the game worked flawlessly on both, it would have been even better if we could have beamed our game play between the two devices. Maybe later incarnations of Farkle will include such capabilities and Kickstartnews will keep you posted.

”Oh, Farkle!” Don't be surprised if it becomes a popular new expletive. This is a great game that will test your patience as well as your gambling skills. You might have three dice left to roll, but do you take that chance? You may Farkle and that could put you so much farther behind the pack that making up the point difference could be near impossible. But, roll those dice and score three ones, well that’s 1000 points baby and you could be on easy street. What to do, what to do? Oh, Farkle! Highly recommended.

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