~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wordtris from Spectrum Holobyte ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Playing Wordtris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Wordtris Options Screen contains all the options you need to play Wordtris. Choose options from the Options Screen by moving the onscreen arrow with the Tab, arrow keys, or mouse. Shift-Tab moves the arrow backward through the buttons. When the arrow is positioned over the option you want, press Enter or click the mouse button to select that option. The area on the right side of the Options Screen shows you setup selections. Select a Game Mode ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Press Enter or click the mouse on the Game Mode option. We suggest that you start with a single player game to get a feel for Wordtris before you try the other game modes. Playing and scoring in a single player game is explained in the "Scoring" section later in this manual. The other game modes are explained in their own chapters. Select a Difficulty Mode ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wordtris has four difficulty modes. The modes and their differences are listed in the following table. Move the arrow over the difficulty area, press ENTER, and select novice for you first Wordtris Game. The extra time for positioning letter blocks in CHILDREN'S mode allows our younger players a chance to play Wordtris. CHILDREN'S mode is identical to NOVICE mode except for the slower letter drop rates. DIFFICULTY Child/Novice Advanced Expert ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Min. letters for 3 for levels A-E 4 a word 3 4 for levels F-J Min. letters for 5 6 7 a Magic Word Pause Doesn't Hide Well Hides Well Hides Well Scoring x1 x2 x3 Select a Level ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are ten levels, and at the higher levels, the blocks fall into the well at a faster rate and the game may require more letters before it will accept a word. Since this is your first game, choose level A if its is not already selected. Select a Time Limit ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Move the arrow over the TIME control and select a time limit for your first game. UNLIMITED lets you play until your well fills to the top with letter blocks or until you decide to end the game. Choosing anything other than UNLIMITED lets you play for that number of minutes. The time appears on the game screen directly beneath the well. When the timer reaches 00:00, the game ends regardless of that game's current status. Repeat Words ~~~~~~~~~~~~ This option, when turned on, removes duplicate words from the well. Of course, you only earn a score the first time you form the word. If it is turned off, then repeated words are not removed from the well, which is obviously much more difficult. Select a Control Method ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you select Competitive or Cooperative game, then the CONTROL 2 option will also be available for the second player. Choose KEYBOARD, MOUSE, or JOYSTICK depending on which device you are using the play Wordtris. Start the Game ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Wordtris starts on the level you selected, but the default level is A. There are 10 levels total, A through J, with each level becoming harder. The higher the level the faster the blocks fall. The scene on the right shows you the minimum number of letters required to create a word on that level and the last five words you have created in that game. The bottom of the right-hand screen shows the last repeated word and how many times the word has been repeated. The lower portion of the well is filled with water. Letter blocks fall randomly from the top of the well and float on the water. If a block lands on top of a floating block, the lower blocks is pushed beneath the water. When the blocks reach the bottom of the well, they begin stacking above the water line unless you manage to form words, at which time toe blocks forming the word(s) disappear from the well and you earn a score. Moving Blocks ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Control 1 Use arrow keys Drop letter with down arrow, 0, 2, or spacebar Control 1 for Competitive and Cooperative Use arrow keys Drop letter with down arrow, 0, or 2 Control 2 for Competitive and Cooperative left use j or s right use l or f drop letter M, C, or Spacebar Blank Blocks ~~~~~~~~~~~~ In Single Player, Tournament, and Head-to-Head games, some blocks that drop into the well are labelled with a question mark. These blocks are blank blocks to which you can assign whichever letter you need by typing it on the keyboard. You can even turn the blank block into an eraser if you press the Backspace key. The resulting letter (or eraser), however is worth zero points. Also, if you do not press a letter fast enough, the blank block will change to a random letter. Erase Blocks ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Another special block. This blocks looks like a gum eraser and wipes out the first letter that it drops on. Menu Bar ~~~~~~~~ This allows you change various options and perform other activities while the game is in progress. Press ESC to show the menu bar. Menu Bar Options ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ABOUT About Wordtris Credit screen Game Resume game Abort game Quit to DOS Ctrl-Q Control Player 1 Game control Player 2 Game control Options Advance to next level Ctrl-L Music Ctrl-M Show next letter Ctrl-N Pause Ctrl-P All sound Ctrl-S Hide words list Ctrl-W Change letter set Erase high scores Dictionary Add Words Delete Words Help Key Reference Letter Values Scoring ~~~~~~~ You score by creating words with combinations of the letters that fall into the well. Abbreviated words, hyphenated words, foreign words, and proper nouns are not accepted. Each letter block is worth a certain number of points depending upon the letter it represents. You can form words horizontally or vertically, and they can overlap each other-- in this respect, Wordtris operates like a crossword puzzle. Your total score is the sum of all the words found in the well. Word scores are calculated by adding the values of all the letters in the word, multiplying that sum by the number of letters in the word, and then multiplying that number by the game level. Letter Points Letter Points Letter Points A 1 J 8 S 1 B 4 K 4 T 1 C 3 l 1 U 1 D 2 M 4 V 5 E 1 N 1 W 4 F 4 O 1 X 8 G 2 P 3 Y 4 H 4 Q 10 Z 10 I 1 R 1 ? 0 Bonus Blocks ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bonus blocks are special-colored letter blocks that double the word score--if you can make the bonus black form a word as it lands. If the bonus block does not form a word immediately, it changes to a normal letter block. For instance, if the letter "R" in "HARP" was a bonus letter, then the base word score of 72 is doubled, increasing the word score to 144. ADDITIONAL SCORING VARIABLES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you are playing with the REPEAT WORDS option turned off, then the word score doubles again, increasing the value of "HARP" to a whopping 288. Next, if you are also playing w/o the SHOW NEXT LETTER feature then Wordtris adds 25% to the word score, bringing it to 360. Finally, playing at a difficulty mode higher than NOVICE or CHILDREN'S also affects your Wordtris score. If you are playing in ADVANCED mode, your word score will be multiplied by two. MAGIC WORDS ~~~~~~~~~~~ If you form the Magic Word (shown centered above the well) then two things happen: 1. Your score total is increased by the word score for the Magic Word, plus the word scores for any other words formed, plus the letter value for every block in the well. 2. The well is cleared of all blocks. Thus, continuing our example from above, if "HARP" also happened to be the Magic Word, then the value for all other words and letter blocks in the well would be added to the 360 points we have thus far tallied for the word "HARP." That number would then be added to your total score. But remember that longer words which contain the Magic Word do not count. For example, "HARP" may be the Magic Word and you have the letters HAR S set up in the well, if you drop a P between R and S, Wordtris will not recognize "HARPS" as the Magic Word of "Harp." In Novice mode, the Magic Word length is five letters. The Magic Word length in Advanced is six letters. Expert is seven letters. Advancing to the Next Level ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are ten levels. You go up a level based on the number of words you have formed: Level Words A 5 B 15 C 30 D 50 E 75 F 105 G 140 H 180 I 225 J NO LIMIT The word total is cumulative, not obtained per level. Ending Wordtris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The game ends when: 1) The well fills to the top with blocks 2) Your game time limit, if any, expires 3) You press esc for the menu bar and abort game. If you reach level J, the game continues at that level until on of these three conditions is met. Game Variations ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. Competitive Wordtris--you and another player play at the same time, competing against each other for the best score. 2. Cooperative Wordtris--you and another player play at the same time, working to get a high score. 3. Tournament Wordtris--you and up to three other players play identical single player games, all competing for the best score. 4. Head-to-Head Wordtris--you and another player on a different computer play at the same time, competing against each other for the best score. Competitive Wordtris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You and another player compete for the better score while fighting for words in the same well. Unlike single player game, two letter block fall simultaneously into the well. Player 1 controls the red letter blocks while Player 2 controls the blue letter blocks. Each player controls the left, right, and downward motion of their letter block. Each player selects their own control device as described in "Select a Control Method" in the "Playing Wordtris" section above. Separate scores and word counts are maintained for each player. The player whose block lands first and forms a word gets the credit for the word. If both players land their block at the same time and cause one or more words to form, the word score is split between the players, odd scores are round up to an even number. At the end, the player w/ the fewer blocks gets the values of the other player's remaining blocks added to his score. This rule prevents a player from ending the game early in order to maintain his lead and win the game. Cooperative Wordtris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you want to word with a friend to achieve the best score possible, then the Cooperative game is the one for you. This is the same as Single Player version, except that two letter blocks of different color drop. Both player share the same score and word count. Tournament Wordtris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can compete with up to three of your friends to see who can play the best game. Tournament players play the game on their own; when one player is finished, the next player steps up to bat. Each game follows the same sequence of falling blocks so that each player plays exactly the same game. A separate word count and score is kept for each player. Each player's word count and score is shown during their game. Head-to-Head Wordtris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All you need for head-to-head is tow registered copies of Wordtris and either a null-modem serial cable, two Hayes- compatible modems(each capable of at least 1200 baud transmission speed), or a Novell-compatible are network. The rules for Head-to-Head are virtually the same as the rules for the other Wordtris game variations, with one major exception: when one player forms a word of four or more characters, one or more rocks bubble up from the bottom of the opponent's well. Rocks are the same size as letter blocks, and any letter blocks on the bottom of the well are pushed upward by the rock(s). The number of rocks that appear in your opponent's well is determined by the number of letter blocks in the words you create. The following table show the number of letter blocks it take to generate rocks in your opponent's well depending on the difficulty mode: Advanced Advanced Rocks Novice A-E F-J Expert 1 4 4 5 5 2 5 5 6 6 3 6 6 7 7 4 7 7 8 8 5 8 8 9 9 6 9 9 10 10 7 10 10 11 11 8 11 11 12 12 9 12+ 12+ 13+ 13+ The table suggests that one can form words of 13 characters or longer, but that is not the case. Wordtris words are limited to nine characters, but in some cases you can form more than one word at the same time, which means that you can score more than nine letters at once. You may also score 13 or more letters if your well contains many blocks and you form the Magic Word. If you form the Magic Word, then you well is cleared as usual (including rocks) and your opponent receives the appropriate number of rocks as shown in the table above. The maximum number of rocks you can send or receive is one row (9 rocks). Head-to-Head Setup ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Head-to-Head Setup menu lets you determine how the two computers communicate with one another. You can select the various options from the Head-to-Head Setup menu using the mouse or the cursor keys, just as you select options from the Options Screen. The following sections describe each element of the Head-to- Head Setup menu. CONNECTION ~~~~~~~~~~ Select the DIRECT if your computer is connected directly to the serial port of your opponent's computer via a null-modem serial cable. If you and your opponent are playing by modem, then select MODEM. If you're playing across a Novell network, then choose NETWORK. If you are playing Wordtris head-to-head over a Novell network, you do not need to select any of the following options except MODE. PORT ~~~~ Chose COM 1 or COM 2 depending on which serial port you are using for your modem or cable connection. Please note that Wordtris does not support COM 3 or COM 4. BAUD RATE ~~~~~~~~~ Select the baud rate you want to use from the choices available in the Head-to-Head Setup menu. The baud rate is the speed at which information will be transmitted between the two computers during the game. If you are connected to the other computer directly, you can set the baud rate as high as 9600(a very fast rate and one we recommend for direct connections). However, if the two computers are communication via modems, the maximum baud rate will be determined by the maximum capabilities of the two modems. Please refer to your modem's user manual for more information about its capabilities. MODE ~~~~ This determines whose computer will be the calling computer and whose will be the answering Computer. Head-to-head competition must always have one caller and one answerer. The caller determines the difficulty, game level, time limit, and whether REPEAT WORDS is turned on or off. LINE TYPE ~~~~~~~~~ This setting is available only when playing over modems and you are the caller. It determines whether the caller will use Touch Tome or pulse dialing when calling the other computer. Select either TONE or PULSE. PHONE NUMBER ~~~~~~~~~~~~ This setting is available only when playing over modems and you are the caller. The calling player enters the phone number of the answering player in the PHONE field. Hyphens and parentheses are not necessary and will be ignored during dialing. OK ~~ Select this option to leave the Head-to-Head Setup menu and return to the Options Screen. Your settings are automatically saved until you change them again. Direct Connect and Modems ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Once both players have selected OK from the Head-to-Head Setup menu, each player must choose the START GAME option from the Options Screen to begin the game. In order to ensure that both players begin their game at the same time, the computer loads in all the data before allowing the game to start. The message "START HEAD-TO-HEAD!" will appear on both screens to let both players know when to start. Network ~~~~~~~ If you are the caller, the program will say "Looking for players-Please hold on." If there are any Wordtris players waiting on the network, a dialog box will appear saying "Select Opponent." Either select a player's name or select "Exit" to cancel. If your Wordtris challenge is accepted, the Head-to-Head game will begin. If you are the answerer, you will see "Waiting to connect" until you have been challenged. Once you see "You have been challenged to Wordtris!" press 'Y' to accept or 'N' to cancel. Playing Head-to-Head Wordtris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Once the game begins, you and your opponent can type messages to each other by pressing Ctrl-T. When you are finished "chatting," press ESC to return to the game. When the letter blocks reach the top of one player's well, both games end and the player with the higher score is the winner. The Head-to-Head score screen appears at the end of the Head-to-Head game. The score screen shows each player's score, the highest level reached, and the number of words formed. You can then either play another head-to-head game or quit. Dictionary Editor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can customize the Wordtris dictionary to suit your own taste by selecting ADD WORDS or DELETE WORDS from the DICTIONARY menu. When adding words it must be a minimum or three characters long or a maximum of nine characters long. You'll get an error message if you try adding a word that is already in either the main dictionary or the user dictionary. You can only delete words that is in your custom dictionary, in other words the words you added yourself. Wordtris Strategy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Believe it or not, there are certain methods to the Wordtris madness. Most importantly, know the difference between your consonants and your vowels. Try to land them in a logical sequence. For instance, there aren't too many words that have a "B" and a "C" right next to each other, but you might get a word if you leave a space between the two letters. Likewise be careful about placing certain consonants on the right side of the screen. You will have considerable difficulty getting rid of a "J" that you land in the right- most column since there are almost no words in the English language that end in "J." Also try to stay aware of common letter combinations suck as "ST," "LY," "QU," "CK," "CH," and so on. Grouping suck letters together can prove very useful in Wordtris. In addition, planning letter combinations often lets you form longer words, thus earning a higher score. Sometimes Wordtris even helps you out by dropping the two letters in sequence. Try to plan ahead. As you land the letters, try to remember what letters you'll need to form certain words. This is extremely helpful when you get the "?" block. If you have a letter in mind, then you can quickly type it and us the blank block to complete a word instead of having the blank time out and convert to a random letter. Don't forget to take advantage of the eraser. It will help you eliminate any troublesome letters from the well. And, if you desperately need an eraser, you can always turn a "?" block into an eraser by pressing the Backspace Key. Be careful about how you land your letters if you're trying to build the Magic Word. For instance, suppose the Magic Word is "PEACE." If you get a "P", an "E", and an "A" and you land them in that order, then Wordtris will recognize the word "PEA" and you'll have to start all over again. Likewise, the word "PEACE" also contains the word "ACE." So the best strategy fro a word like "PEACE" would be to land the blocks in the following order, 'P'E' 'C'E, and then wait for an 'A' to fall into the well. Last, but not least, as a tip for our younger players, try the CHILDREN'S mode. The slower speed gives you a fair change in making words from the falling letters.
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