S ingle player game help

It's a showdown between you and the computer. The sun is just coming up, and each of you casts a long shadow on the dusty road in the nowhere town where the townsfolk watch furtively from behind pickle barrels, carpet cleaners, and stamp machines. Only one of you will survive. Fortunately you can do things like tie the computer's shoelaces together, or replace its Smith & Wesson with a water pistol.

Here's what all those options mean:

Grid size

How large the board is. Each size has a different feel. In a 4 x 4 you can often find most of the words. The 5 x 5 game is a good test of your word mining ability. The 6 x 6 game is often a wordfest, good if you've been getting some tough grids and want to make sure some words get found.

Minimum word length

How long a word has to be to score points.

Scoring method

Longer words are worth more points, but how many more points? There are two scoring methods. The first one, Fibonacci, awards significantly larger points for really long words. That way you can collect your full 233 points should you unearth a 15-letter word. Sequential scoring just bumps up the score one point per additional letter beyond 4, sort of like paying postage.

Game duration

How long you have to type in the words you find. The timer that comes with the board game runs about 3 minutes. In practice we've found that to be insufficient for finding the really interesting words, so we've made longer games possible. In fact, you can forget the timer if you want. If you use it and take too long, you lose some of your words.

Computer's skill level

At level 1 you can already start thumbing your nose at it. At level 10 it picks up the board and beats you about the head with it. If you beat it at level 10, send me a note and I'll start a Hall of Fame.