Hello humans, and welcome!
Chalkboard Arcade is a fast-paced, exciting word game. Yes, that’s right, we’ve built a word game that feels like an arcade game, and is actually fun to play. They said it couldn’t be done, but we didn’t care! They said that we were crazy… and honestly, it hurt our feelings a little bit, but we got over it! The game is easy to play, but challenging to win. That’s okay, you’re up to the challenge – we believe in you!
Gameplay is deceptively simple – just collect the characters as they bounce around the screen, then form words of three or more letters from the characters that you’ve collected. We provide a way to slow down the action with stopwatches that stop time, and we make things a bit more exciting with bombs!
The trick to earning a high score is to take the time to learn the patterns for the level, then figure out the best way to split your time between collecting bouncers and building words. It’s not always easy, and you’ll need a little luck to get the highest scores, but that’s why they call it a “game”.
For now, let’s go over some of the highlights:
|This is a character bouncer, and it’s your job to tap on them as they bounce off of the bumpers that are drawn on the chalkboard. Sometimes it’ll be easy, sometimes it’ll be hard, but it’ll always be fun!|
|This is a stopwatch. It also bounces off of the bumpers, which is kind of a theme with this game. If you tap on this one before it bounces off of the screen, though, it stops time, giving you 10 seconds (or 15, if you purchase the upgrade) to frantically tap out words and score points!|
|This is a bomb. It doesn’t bounce at all. Don’t avoid these – tap on them as soon as you see them – it’s the only way to disarm them! If one hits a bumper, it will explode, which is not fun, since you may lose some of the characters that you’ve worked so hard to collect. You can’t score points with characters that you don’t have. Sad, but true. The good news is that (if you want to), you can purchase an upgrade that will cause the bombs to spawn less often.|
|This is the hint button. It shows up when a stopwatch is active, and, if you’re having a hard time finding a word in your set of characters, you can use it to find one. You get one free hint every time you play a level, but you can also buy a pool of hints to use whenever you want.|
While playing a level, just gather character bouncers as they bounce around the screen, then use them to form words of three to ten letters. Use the stopwatch to make that word-forming process a little less hectic, and tap the bombs before they hit a bumper. Pretty simple, right? Right?
At the end of a level, you have 10 seconds (or 20, if you buy the upgrade) to put together any last words from the characters that you’ve gathered. You can also choose to watch an ad at this point, to get another batch of character bouncers, and continue playing the level for a little longer.
Your score on the level equates to a grade, ranging from “F” (which is not great, just so you know) to “A+”. Chalkboard Arcade is a challenging game, and we consider a “B” to be a good score. A “C” is pretty much average, and you have to have a very good round – and also get lucky with the characters that get spawned – to get an “A”. If you get an “A+”, you also get a gold star. Awesome!
Words are scored based on the values of the characters, and on the length of the words. Sorry, that probably seems a bit obvious. We’ll go into a little more detail. Character values vary from 5 points for a common character like an ‘e’, all the way up to 10 points for a ‘z’. Since you want to use all of the characters that you gather, however, that’s not really important. What is important, then, you ask? Good question, we’re glad you asked! Longer words are worth more points for each character greater than three in the word. Here’s a good example – let’s say that you have the following characters gathered:
Great! You have at least two words there: “see”, and “saw” (yes, there are also a few others, but that’s not what we’re talking about right now. Pay attention!) If you submit both of those words, you’ll get 16 points for “see”, and 20 points for “saw”. That’s 36 points towards your score… not bad! However, if you decide to submit “seesaw” instead, it will be worth an additional 15 points, for a score of 51. Today’s lesson: words good; longer words better.
One other thing about scoring. On every level you’ll see a bonus word. If you manage to gather the characters to form that word, you’ll get the points for it, and then the same number of points again. For example, remember “seesaw” from the last paragraph? If that’s your bonus word, submitting it gets you 51 points, and then another 51 points! That’ll go a long way towards getting you that high score you’ve been working so hard to achieve. Bonus! Literally.
At the end of a level, you’ll see your score (which will be awesome, because you’re all cool like that). If you think that your score is worth bragging about, just tap the big button below the score card, and you can brag to your friends via Twitter, text message, e-mail, and others, and challenge them to beat your score. Obviously they can’t beat your score, because you’re awesome, but we bet you’d like to see them try!
Chalkboard Arcade is designed to be challenging, while still being fun to play. If you discover that it’s a little too challenging (no judgement), feel free to visit the in-app store. We have a few items that you can purchase that will help slow the action down a bit, or make it a little less explodey. Here’s what we have on tap:
- Three extra hints: This is a pool of three hints that you can use whenever you like. You get one free hint on every level, but you may find that it’s useful to have a few more tucked into your pocket to pull out when you need them. Hints are consumed when used, but you can always get some more.
- Stopwatch lasts 15 seconds: Normally, the stopwatch stops time for 10 seconds, which is very good. But wouldn’t it be better if it stopped time for 15 seconds instead? Buy this upgrade, and those extra 5 seconds of joyful word-finding are all yours.
- End-of-game timer last 20 seconds: At the end of a level, you have 10 seconds to find any last words in your character set. You can also decide whether to watch an ad so that you can continue playing the level. If 10 seconds seems a little too short, you can buy this upgrade, and luxuriate in an extra 10 seconds of word-finding goodness!
- Bombs spawn less often: Who doesn’t love a good explosion? People who like keeping the letters that they tapped tirelessly to gather and making high scores with them, that’s who! Buy this upgrade, and bombs will spawn half as often. That’s especially useful on levels that can spawn more than one bomb at a time (spoiler alert: some levels spawn more than one bomb at a time – remember, it’s challenging!)
- Bargain bundle: You can buy the stopwatch, end-of-game timer, and bomb spawn rate decrease upgrades as one bundle at a discounted price. Perfect for that bargain-hunting high-score seeker!
Remember, you don’t *have* to purchase anything in order to play or to win. That’s one of our founding tenets. We really just want you to enjoy our games and tell your friends about them so they can enjoy them as well. At the same time, if you want to make your gameplay a little easier or just want to support us in our game-developing endeavors, we’ll definitely raise a glass in your honor. Cheers to you, and enjoy the game!