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Doublecross (Classic Game)

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      02.10.2001 00:26
      Very helpful



      A little strange to see this as a game standing alone for review when its actually part of a much larger game site called Flipside.com. It is however one of the more complicated on the site and therefore maybe worthy of a separate review. Its also quite fun so here goes... Doublecross is a game rather similar to scrabble but with arcade game elements to it. Its a multiplayer game, so you need at least two people to play with a maximum of 4 players possible in total. To get a feel for the game think Scrabble, think Wordox...and then think cheating like hell and dropping bombs on your opponents tiles. Confused? So was the first couple of hours I played it. Its not the easiest game to get the hang of, made even less so because all the regulars seem to have their own very unwritten rules about how the game 'ought' to be played - you'll find out halfway through when you do something they consider 'wrong' although the game accepts it as part of normal play. You WILL get moaned at when playing this game if you play against strangers. Still, its always a good place to go for an argument and to be honest most people are quite friendly here...The rules go a little something like this: You begin the game presented with a game board which is rather similar to a Scrabble board. Dotted about this board are bombs, question marks and +5 symbols. Landing on these will cause a variety of things to happen...explained later. You will also be given a selection of 8 letters and have 60 seconds to put these letters on the board before the time runs out. An initial word is already in place for you to work off, and you must make new words off of existing words only - same as in Scrabble, so no throwing words down willy-nilly. These words must also be at least 3 letters long for you to score points for them...scoring is a little complicated and best learnt as you go along, its not based upon letter values. When you either run out of letters, or
      out of places to put words then control passes to the next player and your set of tiles is refreshed with new ones. There is a fixed amount of tiles and the game end when these run out and the players opt to end the game. Sounds very much like Scrabble so far but there are a number of differences. Like I said, you can 'cheat'. That is, you can lay your tiles where you like as long as they are attached to another letter and they make a 'partial word' - ie. a word which could for the beginning, middle or end of a word in the dictionary. Hence ABR would be accepted because it could be added to to make ABRASION, but QXZ wouldn't because there are no words where this letter arrangement appears. Personally I call this all part of the game but you find you'll get moaned at by a lot of players on the site who seem to think they are playing Scrabble. Cheating can also slide into 'stealing' something else you'll be moaned at for doing by some players...but its all part of the game. I mentioned these special tiles you can land on(bombs etc.) well you can pick these up by making a partial word or two just to grab them. Sneaky, but part of the game and if you don't want it to happen then you use a bit of strategy to make sure you are the one who gets close enough to be able to do it, not your opponent. Then be prepared to be moaned at unless you are with like minded players. Of course, you can play the other way, but then half the fun of these games is putting down a word which looks as thought it 'might' be in the dictionary...here if it isn't it'll probably still take it and you risk the wrath of a moaner... Anyway, I mentioned these special tiles. When you lay partial words they become 'unfixed' tiles until they are made into full words. You get no points for these until you or someone else incorporates them into a full word. However, you can lose points by putting them down...if someone drops a
      bomb on the table. You can land on bombs by building a word over the square which contains one, it will then join your letter tiles. Then you simply drop it over your opponents unfixed tiles and watch them blown away...they lose 4 points for each tile obliterated(but so do you if yours get in the way). There are also colour bombs found in the corners which can remove all tiles on the table of a particular colour - very nasty. The +5's add 5 to your score and then turn all the other +5s into +10s, +15s etc when one is collected, therefore a certain amount of strategy has to be employed here as well. '?' symbols...can be anything. They can add points, take away points, blow up your tiles, others tiles or replenish your tile rack during your turn thus giving you more chance to make points. Usually there are a helpful thing to get though. Scoring points is a complicated matter so I'm not even going to go into it here - there are a few different ways, but its best just to play by trial and error to find them...or, horror of horrors, read the instructions...no, I wouldn't either. Overall then, its a fun game which is definitely recommended to anyone who likes Scrabble or Wordox and is looking for something a little different to try. If you are going to play with people on the site then its best to find out exactly what their 'rules' are before sitting down with them because games can be a little long and its easy to get stuck with an idiot. Personally, I only play with friends now, it justgot too complicated asking 20 questions before a game started and then still doing something 'wrong' which the rules say is 'right'. I prefer Wordox myself, but this is a fun diversion at times. Game to be found at: www.flipside.com


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