AlefBetGo! User's Guide

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This User's Guide is intended for anyone who wishes to develop a complete understanding of the game.  It is an alternative for those who prefer to avoid "discovering" a game through playing it.  It also explains a little about the educational objectives of the game.

About the Game

AlefBetGo! is a game of skill and strategy.  It tests your knowledge of the order of letters in the alef-bet (the Hebrew alphabet), and at the same time challenges you to plan how to best use a limited resource -- the four rows for storing letters.  You earn points by placing letters correctly on the rows.

The game reinforces a key skill needed to effectively use a dictionary--the ability to quickly decide whether the word you are looking up comes before or after the guide words on a dictionary page.  For this reason, the alef-bet used in the game consists only of the 22 basic letters, without any sofit (final) forms.  The basic (untimed) game gives the less advanced or novice player the opportunity to explore the game's operation, and to practice alef-bet skills.  The added game elements of different timers, limited resources, alternate letter styles and scoring enhance the game's challenge and interest for older and/or more advanced players.

For players who have a competitive spirit, a high scores list displays the best game scores for the current month and all time.  The requirements for earning a place on the list are described below.

     
 Before you Play

Before playing AlefBetGo!, adjust the viewing area on your computer screen so that the entire framed box surrounding the game is visible.  Make sure you see all four colored rows of the playing area, as well as the controls.  (You may need to close some of the browser tool bars to make room for the box.  You will need to have the screen resolution set to at least 800 X 600.)

Next, (1) read the rules for playing and scoring, (2) choose a letter style, and (3) set the timer.

Rules of Play

Points

Letter styles

Click on the pencil icon to switch between print and cursive scripts.

Timer

Click on the hour glass icon to set the timer for 30, 60 or 90 seconds or untimed play.

Play the Game

Click on the Go! icon to start the game.  The letter style and timer selections will be replaced by a randomly generated letter.  As you use each letter, another letter appears.  The untimed game can be stopped by clicking on the stop sign icon; timed games end when the timer runs out.  Also, all versions of the game end if no more moves are possible (which happens when none of the remaining letters can be placed on any of the rows).

Earning a High Score

There are individual high scores lists for the 30, 60, and 90 second timed games, and for the untimed game.  Your score for a timed game is the number of points you earn, as described above under "Points."  For an untimed game, you must place all 22 letters to be considered for the high scores list; your score for an untimed game is the time (in tenths of a second) you used to place all the letters. 

Each list has two main sections: Top Scores This Month and All-Time High Scores.  To earn a place on the Top Scores This Month list, your score must be greater than or equal to the lowest (or slowest) of the top ten scores for the month in your category.  If you have been on the Top Scores This Month list, but your score no longer ranks among the ten highest, it will appear under the heading of "Past Leaders" for the remainder of the month.  At the beginning of each month (using Greenwich Mean Time, GMT), the Top Scores This Month will be reset.  To earn a place on the All-Time High Scores list, your score must be at least as good as the lowest (or slowest) of the top ten scores on the All-Time High Scores list for your category; scores ranking below the ten highest will fall off the list.

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