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How to Play Kwijibo

Description
You and your opponents take turns placing lettered tiles on the board, forming a single word. Each round begins with a single letter, and a yet unknown word, and ends when a player cannot continue forming a legal English word.

Object of the Game
The object in a standard game of Kwijibo is to fulfill one of the two following conditions:
  • Successfully play your last letter tile, thereby depleting your stack.
  • Be the first to reach 60 points.

    Setup
    Kwijibo is for five players. If you don't have anyone else to play with, Kwijibo on BYOND supplies a number of "Kwijibot" opponents to play against. The 100 letter tiles are distributed evenly among the players, the player's seats are randomly shuffled, and the first player picks a letter to begin the first round.

    Your Tile Stack
    At any given time during the game, you will see no more than seven tiles from your stack. Those tiles are shown on the wooden rack in the lower right of your screen. The total tile count of your stack is shown in the small square to the left of your name, as are the counts of your opponents.

    When it is your turn to play, you will select one of the seven tiles from your rack to play. That tile is removed from your rack, and placed on the board. A random tile is then selected from your remaining stack, and placed on your rack.

    Placing a Tile
    Use the number keypad as your tile-placing tool, making sure that the Num Lock key is turned off. When it is your turn, select a letter from your rack by using the 4 and 6 keys to move left or right. The currently selected tile will be highlighted. After highlighting the letter you wish to place, use the 8 key to place it at the end of the current word on the board, or the 2 key to change your mind. Note that moving the tile onto the board will allow your opponents to see it, even if you change your mind later.

    When your selected tile is on the board, use the 4 and 6 keys to reposition it within the current word. You can position it at the beginning, end, or between any existing letters on the board, but you cannot rearrange the order of the letters already in the word.

    When you are satisfied with the position of your tile, press the 5 key to fix the word in place, and end your turn. A new tile will be randomly selected from your stack, and placed on your rack with your six remaining rack tiles.

    Building a Word
    You should keep a specific word in mind that you are trying to build. The word must contain every letter currently on the board in the order in which they appear. For example, the board may contain the letters "BLNC" which appear in the word BALANCE. Those same letters will not form the word CLUBBING, as the order is incorrect. Note that you do not have to have the letters to complete the word. You only have to keep the word possible to complete by another player.

    The word you have in mind will likely change by the time it is your turn again. New letters will have appeared, and your old word may no longer be valid. If you cannot think of a valid word using the current letters on the board, or do not have the letters on your rack to do so, you may challenge the last player, bluff with a new letter, or concede the round.

    The Wild-Card Tile
    There are two wild-card tiles in each game, signified by an asterisk. This tile can represent any letter at any time, and the player who places it does not declare what he wants it to represent. These are good to get you out of a crunch.

    Challenging
    When it is your turn to play, you may challenge the previous player instead of playing a tile. The challenged player is then obligated to reveal the word he was thinking of. If the word can be formed legally with the tiles on the board the challenged player wins the challenge, otherwise the challenger wins. All words are checked against the server's local dictionary file, or online from one or more dictionary web sites.

    The winner of the challenge gets a number of points equal to the number of tiles currently on the board. The loser takes all of the tiles on the board, and adds them to his stack. If the challenger wins, he may then start a new word by placing a tile. If he loses, turn passes to the next player. Running point totals are shown in a star to the right of the player's name.

    Bluffing
    If you know the tiles on the board can form a legal word, but can't think of a way to build a legal word using one of your rack tiles, you may still place a tile on the board. This is a good strategy if you think the next person will either think of a word, or will bluff as well, as you would otherwise be guaranteed to take tiles.

    Conceding the Round
    Conceding is best when you suspect a bluff will not work. When you concede a round, the tiles on the board are added to your stack, the previous player scores one point for each tile you took, and you then get to begin a new word by placing a tile. This is better than losing on a bad bluff or challenge, since you get to play a tile if you concede first.

    Auto-Challenge
    When a player places the 15th tile in a single word, or when a player places the last tile from their stack, an auto-challenge situation occurs.

    During an auto-challenge, the next player is forced to challenge, even if the word on the board is a legal English word. The challenge then plays out as usual, except that no points are awarded to the winner. However, tiles are still taken by the loser.

    If a player places their last tile and wins the auto-challenge, they win the game.

    The Timer
    The standard timer allows each player 60 seconds to place a tile, and 20 seconds to answer a challenge. Running out of time when placing a tile will automatically cause the player to concede the round. Running out of time answering a challenge will lose the challenge.

    The 30-point shuffle
    Each time a player reaches the 30-point mark, the seats are randomly shuffled again, changing the play order. This will help a player who finds himself sandwiched between to expert players in the early rounds.

    Strategy
    The Squeeze Play - Sometimes there will be only one obvious word that can be built from the tiles on the board. When only two or three letters are missing from that word, you can often make life difficult for the next player by pulling a squeeze play. In this example, the players have the following tiles on the board: EAMPLS. If your rack contains both an X and an E, you can continue to build the word EXAMPLES with either letter. However, since Es are common, and there is only one X in the game, playing the E would force the next player to come up with another word that used the letters EAMPLES, unless they had a wild card.

    Letter Versatility - Try to get rid of difficult letters (such as J, Q, Z) as well as letters you have two or three of whenever you can. It's always best to keep a wide selection of easy-to-use letters on your rack. The most versatile tiles to keep in your hand are *, S, I, N, T, G, O, E. Using almost anything else first is usually a good idea. Save the wild-card tiles for emergencies only. Make sure it is your only legal play, unless you are going for a game-winning squeeze-play.

    Word Extension - When you have a word in mind for the current build, think of longer words which are extensions of that word, since players will continue to build as long as they can. Remembering the suffixes "ing," "tion," "ful" and "ous" will save you many challenges.

    Point Control - If you must lose a round, you can control to whom the points go by choosing whether to concede or bluff. Conceding will give the points to the player before you, while bluffing will give them to the player after you (assuming he challenges). If the points would push one of those two players into the winner's circle, you can prolong the game by giving them to the other.

    Playing the Kwijibots - Each Kwijibot has their own personality, play style, and strength. Some of the Kwijibots have trouble seeing long words, while others bluff a little too often. Play to their weaknesses. You can see a bot's strengths and weaknesses by clicking on their faces. Stronger bots can be found more often in the higher level rooms. (Bot AI still under development)