Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Classic Game Review: Computer Facts In Five

Computer Facts In Five (CFIF) is the computer version of Facts in Five, Avalon Hill's popular game of knowledge and quick thinking. With rules very similar to its board/card game counter part, CFIF is faster moving, more demanding, and vastly more versatile. The basic concept and function of the game is quite simple.

CFIF is played in rounds, during which one to four players work against the clock to give five answers to each of five classes and possibly sub-categories of subject matter ranging from popular subjects to highly academic ones. The answers must, however, begin with the letters to be found following the five subjects. For example, if the subject class were CITIES, and the sub-category FOREIGN, with t he letter L as the first of five letters following, then a correct answer to this part would be LONDON, as London is a Foreign City beginning with an L.

Selection of the subject categories may be made by either the computer or the player(s). If done by the computer, the program will randomly select five classes and possibly sub-categories from the over 1000 choices available to it. Selection by player, on the other hand, offers many more options, and potential strategies to be used. The computer will display a group of classes or classes and categories from which one must be chosen. The players alternate in the selection of subject until all five subjects for the round have been chosen. The strategy, of course, comes in choosing a subject at which either you excel, or at which your opponents are poor. More than half the battle may be won or lost during this part of the pre-round setup.

The strength of CFIF lies in its extreme versatility. During the initialization process you may essentially tailor the game to your requirements. At this time the following options are given: setting the time limit per player per round (normally 5 min.); specifying the number of rounds per game (1-999); the number of games per match; the alphabet to be used (you may, for example, remove some difficult letters); set letter options (each subject with five unique letters or all five subjects using the same five unique letters); and the option of using an eighty column printer. Added to these options, there are three different game modes, each with five variations.

When the desire comes upon you for a change from arcade games, or from fighting against some historic army or mythological beast, CFIF should definitely be considered. Played solitaire or as a party game (where its abilities shine best), this game, with the vast number of options combinations available, will continue to be enjoyable for years to come.

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