About Babble…(From the Babble Site):
“Babble: The ultimate word game is online.”
The game is highly addictive and entertaining. You are presented with a 5 X 5 grid containing letter cubes, and must find a list of words using these letters. The game is quick to learn, but it takes time to master. The puzzles change daily, and the game is always fresh. Players can chat with each other and share hints and clues for hard-to find words. The words are not always garden-variety, so the game offers a chance to enrich your vocabulary while having fun in a friendly, non-competitive atmosphere. The Babble site is best viewed and used with the Firefox browser. The game is free to play, but if a player pays a nominal fee of $14.95USD, for a lifetime membership, the game is upgraded to Pro, and the player then has immediate access to a handy Stats Panel that shows complete recording of letter values,and a chart showing how many of each starting letter in the grid remain to be found. As the words using each starting letter are found and listed by entering them into the form below the grid, the counts in the chart are automatically updated. When the last word for a particular starting letter is found, that area of the chart will turn dark gray to indicate that starting letter is no longer needed. Paid members also have access to a profile page that can include a personal icon and a flag for the player’s home country.
Rules of the Game…(Also From the Babble Site):
To list as many words of the highest point value as you can find using the random assortment of letters in the cube grid.
Search the puzzle board for words of four letters or more. When you find a word, add it to your list by typing it into the form below the puzzle. Words are formed from adjoining letters. Letters must join in the proper sequence to spell a word. They may join horizontally, vertically or diagonally to the left, right, up or down. No letter cube, however, may be used more than once within a single word. That is, you may not “stand” on a letter to use it more than once in a word; in order to spell the word “bosses”, for example, there should be three s’es in the grid in the correct sequence. Keep in mind that, no matter which words you find first, words in the list for each grid will be in alphabetical order. This should help you determine which words you are missing as you progress through the grid.
TYPES OF WORDS ALLOWED:
The only words that are allowed are those that can be found in the Enable dictionary. You may look for any type of word – noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc. Plural nouns are acceptable, as are all verb tenses. Words within words are also allowed. (e.g. revolt and volt)
TYPES OF WORDS NOT ALLOWED:
Proper nouns, abbreviations, contractions, hyphenated words and foreign words that are not in the Enable Dictionary.
SCORING AND WINNING:
Every night at midnight CT (Central Time), the day’s puzzle closes. Babble players (aka “Babblers”) call this “the flip.” The high score list for the day will then appear showing everyone’s total score. Scores are maintained automatically; there is no need to submit anything.
As in Scrabble, each Babble tile has a point value. To determine the score for a word, the point-value for the length of the word is multiplied by the total letter values for the word:
5-letter word = 2 x Points
6-letter word = 3 x Points
7-letter word = 4 x Points
8-letter word = 5 x Points
9-letter word = 6 x Points
10-letter word = 7 x Points
11-letter word = 8 x Points…
The word BABBLE is BA6/36 because the word is 6 letters long and is worth a total of 36 points. Points: a six-letter word has a base value of 3 points, times (3+1+3+3+1+1), the sum of the letter values, for a total of 36 points. The winner is the player who has the highest point total when the puzzle closes.
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
The same word may be used only once,
even if it is found in two different areas of the puzzle.
The “QU” cube counts as two letters.
Points are awarded for both the singular and plural forms of words.
Hurshy’s Guide to Understanding Stats Boxes
For those who have stat boxes: The words in the babble grid are counted towards the FIRST box they could possibly come from, left to right, top to bottom. Sometimes one must think very carefully, when giving clues, about which box a word comes from if there are a lot of the same letter in a grid. (Or about what could come from a later box that CAN’T come from an earlier box when you are FINDING the words.)
Some words that “are” real words will not be included in the Enable Dictionary, and other (sometimes “adult” or very strange) words you’ve never heard of will be there. It’s all a part of the fun of Babble, so don’t get stressed by it. Relax and just go with the flow and have fun.
Some grids have more (sometimes many more) words than others. If you can’t finish a grid in one sitting, don’t worry. You can close the game and come back to it later. All of your work will be saved for you.
On the left hand side of the word list, there are small question marks. If you are curious about what a word means, click the question mark; it will open to dictionary.com, where the definition of the word will often (but not always) be displayed.
Babbler’s Anonymous: Handy Tools and Resources
On the lower portion of the screen when the Babble grid is displayed, there is a list of hyperlinks under the title, Friends of Babble. The link for Babbler’s Anonymous (also called BabAnon or simply BA) located in the Babble Resources tab will take you to the BA message board. Under the first, General link, there is a link for the Stats page for each day’s puzzle. There is also a link for How-To’s, and if you click the How-To’s link, you will find a list of several helpful resources to aid you in game play. I have included these resources as links in the Resources tab as well. The Babble community is one of the things that makes the game so much fun. The BA site is the handiwork of SWMBO, and Anj, another Babbler, has posted several online resources there that I have collected in this page’s sidebar. BA is hosted on EasyBoard, and I hope you will take the time to explore the many Babble-related resources there. I’ve placed a lot of links from BabAnon on the resource tab for easy access.
Use of the Stats Pages
BrandyJack is a Babble player who has created a program to generate lists of letters, letter combinations, and their order of appearance for each day’s grid. The Stats Page is located on Babbler’s Anonymous, under the General link, and it will always have the current date on it if a new one has been posted. This section is a guide to the use of the Stats page.
The first section of the Game Stats for each day’s puzzle is for the total word count, word sizes and maximum point totals for each day’s grid. Next comes a section for letter counts: First-letter Count; overall letter count; and second-letter count, including the first two letters of each word for the day’s puzzle and the number of words using those two letters, then the number of letters in each and how many of each there are in the puzzle grid.
The next section is a list of the first two letters (with the number of letters in each word/total point value of the words) in order as they appear in the grid. This chart is handy for determining which starting letters are still needed.
The Chat Log
One of the reasons Babble is so much fun is the players who share clues for difficult or elusive words via the chat log located at the right side of the screen. Players also chat about topics of interest while playing the game, and the players are very friendly and most helpful.
Keep in mind: While players freely provide clues to words, typing words from the grid into the chat log is strongly discouraged.
You can view the chat logs for previous days in two ways: for the previous day, click on Yesterday’s Puzzle, or for choosing any other day’s chat to view, click on the Archives link from the main page, and choose a link for any day listed.
Adding to the fun and part of the culture of the site, there is an icon theme for each day; if you want to participate, the link for themes is to the left. You can easiily find icons each day by searching online for them (Google Image search, for which a link is provided in the sidebar is one resource), or by using icons from your computer. To change your icon, go to your Profile by clicking the My Profile link; at the top of the screen there is an area where your icon is visible, with a link that says, “edit.” Click the edit link, then load your new icon from the internet or from your own computer (making sure to use a format supported by Babble) by entering the web address and clicking the Fetch Icon button or use the browse button to enter the path for the new icon from your computer. When you have your new icon, click upload, then refresh. You may need to refresh a couple of times. Your new icon will then be displayed.