What do you need help on? Cancel X
FAQ/Strategy Guide by DDJ
Version: 1.0.0 | Updated: 07/05/2009
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- /\ . _ / | / / .-. ( / | . .-. ).--..-._..-. /-. .-._. /-. `-'.-. `/.__|_.'( / ( ) / ) / /( ) / ) / ( | .:' / | `---'/ `-' /`-'_.' / `-'.'`--'`-_.(__. `-'-' (__.' `-' / \ /\_____________________________/\ / \ / / \ \ / | |-----------------| | Table of Contents | |-------------------| | / \ \_____________________________/ / \ / \/ \/ \ Section Search Code ------- ----------- The Particulars . . . . . . . . [TPA] - Game Release Data. . . . . . [GRD] - FAQ Version History. . . . . [VHI] - Game History . . . . . . . . [HIS] Playing the Game. . . . . . . . [PLA] - Basic Rules. . . . . . . . . [RUL] - Game Variations. . . . . . . [VAR] - Playing on IRC . . . . . . . [IRC] - Playing the Berkeley Release [BER] - Playing Modern Versions. . . [MOD] - Strategies . . . . . . . . . [STR] The Three C's . . . . . . . . . [CCC] - Copyright. . . . . . . . . . [COP] - Credits. . . . . . . . . . . [CRE] - Contact Information. . . . . [CON] \ /\_____________________________/\ [TPA] \ / / \ \ / | |-----------------| | The Particulars | |-------------------| | / \ \_____________________________/ / \ / |\/ \/| \ \ |/\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\| [GRD] \ / / \ \ / | | | | Game Release Data | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ Genre : Puzzle/Wordplay Developer : Berkeley Systems Publisher : Berkeley Systems System : PC, Mac Official Title : Acrophobia Release Date : November 17, 1997 ESRB Rating : N/A The Berkeley Systems release of Acrophobia represented a mass-market release of what had become a popular IRC-based game. Its official release date was November 17, 1997 after a short public beta period. It was initially available on www.bezerk.com, a free online entertainment network, which also featured the more-popular You Don't Know Jack game. \ /\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\ [VHI] \ / / \ \ / | | | | FAQ Version History | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ This FAQ serves a dual purpose. First of all, as expected, it is a guide for the Berkley Systems release of the game. However, given that the Berkeley Systems release of the game is not widely available (if it is even available) anywhere, it is also a guide to how to find more recent implementations of the game for those -- like me -- that played the classic release and would enjoy playing a similar game again. Version 1.0.0 : This guide now exists. It didn't used to. All great guides : start this way. : File Size: 31KB, 29957 characters, 3493 words, 10 pages \ /\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\ [HIS] \ / / \ \ / | | | | Game History | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ The Acrophobia game concept was initially conceived of by Anthony Shubert. Most early versions of Acrophobia ran in a text-based format in IRC chat channels, moderated by AcroBot. AcroBot would generate the acronyms that players would utilize, collect the responses, present the responses for voting, collect the votes, present the winner and award points. The game release this FAQ is primarily geared to is the 1997 release of a game by the same name and concept by Berkeley Systems. Available on www.bezerk.com, this release of Acrophobia required the user to download a game installer, and then faciliated the connection with other users for gameplay. Berkeley Systems' version of the game presented a rich graphic interface that augmented gameplay and helped users better assess game developments. This release was labeled a "netshow", an early term for an online multiplayer game. It drew heavily from the common notion of game shows, and presented many play elements in a very TV show-like fashion. Berkeley Systems' release of the game opened Acrophobia to a much wider audience. It drew players from Berkeley Systems' already-popular You Don't Know Jack netshow, but more importantly it brought Acrophobia away from the largely niche-oriented IRC channels and onto the common user's computer. The graphical interface and easier set-up process made it possible for a much larger audience to player the game, largely enhancing Acrophobia's popularity. Shortly after its release, however, Berkeley Systems was acquired by Sierra On-Line, and focus was largely shifted away from the beZerk network. While the site and game were left online for a period of time, they eventually disappeared. The game continued to exist in its IRC format for years more until the game was eventually resurrected in 2006 in a new set-up: Acrowars, a browser-based implementation of the classic Acrophobia rules. Today, several new versions of the standard Acrophobia framework exist online, largely driven by the advent of the Web 2.0 era, towards which the game is particularly well-sculpted. Likely the most popular modern version of the game is Acrobabble, a Flash implementation that runs in-browser which resurrects many of the UI features that Berkeley Systems' Acrophobia introduced, enhanced using modern technology to present a more interactive and appealing gaming experience. This FAQ will give a short guide to the game's general rules and possible variations, information on how one would play under these three main implementations (IRC, Berkeley Systems', Acrobabble), and general strategy on how to succeed in the game. \ /\_____________________________/\ [PLA] \ / / \ \ / | |-----------------| | Playing the Game | |-------------------| | / \ \_____________________________/ / \ / |\/ \/| \ \ |/\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\| [RUL] \ / / \ \ / | | | | Basic Rules | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ For starters, Acrophobia is a game for three or more players. Most implementations limit the number of players to 11 for reasons that will become apparent, but fundamentally it could be played by an unlimited number of players. The game is played in rounds, with scores added up from multiple rounds to determine a winner. A round proceeds as follows: 1. The moderator, typically a bot, proposes an acronym of 3 or more letters. The letters are typically randomly generated. 2. The players each submit an "acro" (that is, something for each letter in the acronym to stand for) they've created using those letters. By definition, each word of the player's submission must start with the successive letters of the acronym. There must be as many words as there are letters. For example, the acronym "SDEFN" could have the response "Strange Dogs Eating Fig Newtons". 3. Once all Acros are submitted or time runs out, the Acros are shown anonymously. Players vote for which Acro they like the best. Players are not permitted to vote for their own acro. 4. The writer of the acronym with the most votes wins the round and receives points. Then the next round begins. There are many, many variations on these simple rules -- the ones above just form the basics for a game implementation. It's also useful to note that most implementations of Acrophobia come with an incorporated chat function, and that because of the unique nature of the game, it has generated its own shorthand. Most of the phrases are common ("TY" for Thank You, "WTG" for Way to Go", "GG" for Good Game), but one that is pretty unique is GMV: Got My Vote, usually preceded by an Acro or a username. \ /\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\ [VAR] \ / / \ \ / | | | | Game Variations | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ There are numerous variations on the above rule set. In some implementations of the game, different groups can choose different rules. Other set-ups always use a particular set of rules. Some of the rule variations rules are geared toward making the game more interesting or challenging, while others are aimed at forcing players to play by the spirit of the rules rather than abusing them. Some popular rule variations include: - Categories: rather than allowing any acro, players are encouraged to try to make their Acro fit into a certain category for the round. This typically makes playing several rounds less monotonous. However, there is no way to truly enforce players' adherence to the category except that players are encouraged not to vote for an Acro that didn't fit the category at all. Oftentimes, this type of popular enforcement is effective. - Player Select: rather than randomly generating an acronym (and category, if the category rule is being used), the winner of one round is permitted to select the category, acronym or both for the following round. - First-Submit Bonus: to encourage players to submit an answer quickly, bonus points are awarded to the first person to submit their answer. - Quality First-Submit Bonus: to encourage players to submit an answer quickly but to discourage them from just entering gibberish to receive this bonus, bonus points are awarded to the first submission to actually receive a vote in the voting round. Presumably, nonsense Acros won't receive any votes. - Correct Vote Bonus: to discourage players from not voting for answers that might compete with their own, a bonus point is awarded to those that vote for the answer that ends up winning. - Forced Voting: to discourage players from sitting out the voting round to avoid giving a vote to a competitor, players are only eligible to receive points for winning the round if they themselves voted for someone else's. - Special Acronyms: oftentimes, letter combinations that would be mostly impossible are intentionally included for variety sake. These are combinations that feature lots of repetition or alliteration (such as "PPPPP" or "ABABAB") or intentionally difficult sets of letters (such as "QZQ" or "KKZKZ"). - Punctuation: some variations of the game permit players to include punctuation in their responses, which encourages sentences or statements. Others forbid anything but letters and even force capitalization of each word, which encourages labels and group names. - Points Awarded for Votes: while the standard game simply awards a set number of points to the winner, some variations give the winner more points if their Acro receives more votes. - All-Player Points: while the standard game only awards points to the player whose Acro was most popular, some variations give everyone points based on the number of votes they received. The winner receives the most points simply by virtue of receiving the most votes. - Length-Based Bonuses: in cases where the above variation is implemented and all players receive points for their votes, it is often the case that the player with the most popular Acro will receive a bonus based on how long the acronym was. - Round Time Limits: while some games keep a round going until all players have submitted their acros, some implementations enforce a time limit. In some instances, this time limit is based on the length of the acronym, while in others it is the same for all rounds. - End-Condition: some games propose a time limit; other games propose a round limit (that is, X number of rounds will be played); and other games end when a particular player reaches a certain number of points. - Tiebreakers: in the event of a tie at the end of the game, alternate methods have been used to determine a winner. Some revolve around using some characteristic from the game (such as the player with the longest winning acronym, or the player with the most points from votes and not from bonuses), but others utilize a face-off, in which the tied players are given three or four acronyms to write Acros for, which are then voted on by the other players. The player with the most votes over these Acros wins. Needless to say, countless other rules variations are possible. Unfortunately, given that the game is typically computer-driven, creating new rules for a particular implementation is usually not very easy. \ /\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\ [IRC] \ / / \ \ / | | | | Playing on IRC | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ The first implementation of Acrophobia arrived on IRC in 1994. In the IRC implementation, players can play a strictly textual version of the game by residing in the same channel where an AcroBot is operating. While in the past some channels and servers had an AcroBot running all the time, it is unknown whether these are still around. If you know of an IRC channel that is still consistently running an AcroBot, let me know and I'll list it here. The most popular channel for Acrophobia has traditionally been #acro on DALnet, EFnet, Undernet and Starnet, but I'm unaware of whether these groups are still around. There is one open project regarding a modern implementation of the AcroBot IRC, located at the following URL: http://www.acrobot.org/ . Please note that I have not personally played the IRC version in years, and this section is written largely from memory. If you see anything that has changed or is now inaccurate, please let me know. Once in a channel with a suitable number of people and an active AcroBot, you can begin playing. The game proceeds as described under Basic Rules, but clearly the Basic Rules do not provide enough information to really understand how AcroBot operates. Below are the specific rules that are in play when playing Acrophobia with the IRC AcroBot: - New players may join at any time, including mid-round. They will obviously be at a disadvantage, but they do not have to wait until a new round starts to start playing. - AcroBot will echo all commands it receives, including Acro submissions and votes. - Acronyms are between 3 and 7 letters long, and are always randomly generated. - The time given to submit your Acro is varies based on the length of the acronym. Acronyms with up to 5 characters are given a minute and a half; longer acronyms are given two full minutes. The round will continue until the time limit has run out, even if everyone is finished sooner. If you submit a second acro, it will replace your first one. - Punctuation is permitted in the acro, but not at the beginning of words. This seems normal, but note that this means that syntax like this example are invalid. Example: "The elephant -- nature's plunger" In this instance, the AcroBot would recognize the "--" as a word. - After the submission portion is over, the Acros will be displayed in a randomized order. Acros are numbered, and you may vote for your favorite Acro by number. Voting will end when all participants have voted or after 30 seconds, whichever comes first. - After voting has concluded, AcroBot will display the winner. - Scoring for the winning answer is based on the number of votes it received: one point per vote. Every person receives points for the votes they receive, whether they have the most votes or not. - Two bonuses are awarded. The fastest response to receive any votes receives the Speed Bonus of two points. The player with the most votes will also receive the Winner's Bonus, a number of bonus points equal to the length of the acronym. For the Winner's Bonus, if there is a tie, the bonus points go to the player who entered their acronym first. - One penalty will be assessed: if the winning player does not vote for any other acro, they will not receive the Winner's Bonus. - After a round is over, the AcroBot creates a new acronym and a new round begins. - The game is over when one player ends a round with 30 points or more. At this time, the player with the most points is the winner. Because the AcroBot runs in a strictly textual IRC client, it's important to know how to communicate. Below are the instructions for how to perform certain actions in-game. To perform the action, type the command on the right. Action Command ------ ------- View the current acronym during submission period. /msg AcroBot show acro Submit an Acro during submission period -- replace /msg AcroBot (acro) (acro) with the Acro you'd like to submit. View the answers during voting period. /msg AcroBot show answers Submit a vote during the voting round -- replace (#) /msg AcroBot (#) with the number of the Acro you'd like to vote for. View the leaderboard /msg AcroBot show scores Get help and view other commands. /msg AcroBot help \ /\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\ [BER] \ / / \ \ / | | | | Playing the Berekeley Release | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ The Berkeley Systems' version of Acrophobia -- also the source of GameFAQs' page on the Acrophobia game -- was initially released in 1997 as a downloadable game. Once downloaded and installed, the player could connect with other users in different game rooms in a graphically-enjoyable and heavily augmented gameplay environment. Unfortunately, the Berkeley Systems release of Acrophobia is no longer widely available, if it's even around at all. However, for the sake of history, as well as staying true to the actual implementation that is represented by this GameFAQs page, this is a description for how to play the Berkeley Systems release. Please note I'm writing this description heavily from memory, so if you notice anything wrong (or remember it differently), let me know. Upon installing and opening the game, you'll be prompted to enter a nickname. This will be your identifier for the duration of your session. Information and records will not be persisted from play to play, so in many ways it is simply a graphically-augmented version of the IRC game. After opening the game and choosing your player nickname, you'll be presented with the option to choose what room to play in. All rooms play by identical rules -- the only differences are where each room currently is in a game, and how many people are playing in each room. You can join a room mid-game, but you will obviously be at a disadvantage. Usually the best option is to either choose a room that has recently started a new game, but if there is no such room, choose the room that is closest to concluding its current game. You'll get a couple rounds to warm up, and you'll be there when the next game starts. Once you've chosen a room, the game will largely proceed as normal. Because the game is graphically-augmented, it's important to pay attention to the layout of the screen. Below is an ASCII diagram of the main gameplay screen and its parts. Please note this diagram is only for the acro-submission round; other screens are described below this one. _____________________________________________________________________________ | | | Acronym Length for this round Time Bar ----------------- ## | | | | ____________ | | | | | | | # of Acros | Category Name | | | submitted | | | | so far | | | |____________| | | | | Type your answer and press Enter | | _______________________________________________ | | | | | | | Current round's Acronym is displayed here | | | |_______________________________________________| | | | | | | _______________________________________________________ | | | Type your submission for this round into this box | | | |_______________________________________________________| | | | | | | _______________ _______________________________________________________ | | | | | | | | Leaderboard | Chat Box | | | | Box | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |_______________|_______________________________________________________| | |_____________________________________________________________________________| When a round begins, the acronym will be displayed in the middle box. You'll be given the time allotment to enter your Acro into the submission box. As submissions come in, the graphic in the top left will display the number of Acros that have already been entered. The time bar in the top right will display the numerical amount of time remaining, as well as a graphical depiction of it. You'll receive a little alert when time is almost out and you have no acronym entered. Once the Acro submission time has concluded, the game will present the submitted Acros for voting. Answers are randomized and numbered. To vote, enter the number of the Acro you wish to vote for. Your own will be marked in green, so you can't vote for your own. After the voting round has concluded, the computer will present the winner and award points. For the Berkeley Systems version of the game, note the following rule variations: - Acronym lengths are presented in order. The early rounds have shorter acronyms, while the latter rounds have longer ones. The pattern is the same in every game. - Voice alerts accompany most parts of the game, allowing you to play with the game in the background and by auditorily alerted when your interaction is needed. - Acronyms are always purely randomly generated. - Regardless of acronym length, you have 60 seconds to submit your Acro. - A categories system is utilized. The category is always displayed in the top right corner of the screen. Categories are only enforced by the will of the voters; the game does not enforce them, but typically voters will not vote for acronyms that deviate from the category. - Punctuation is permitted in the acro, but not at the beginning of words. This seems normal, but note that this means that syntax like this example are invalid. Example: "The elephant -- nature's plunger" In this instance, the game would recognize the "--" as a word. - After the submission portion is over, the Acros will be displayed in a randomized order. Acros are numbered, and you may vote for your favorite Acro by number. Voting will end when all participants have voted or after 45 seconds, whichever comes first. - After the votes have been submitted, the winner will be announced. - Scoring for the winning answer is based on the number of votes it received: one point per vote. Every person receives points for the votes they receive, whether they have the most votes or not. - Two bonuses are awarded. The fastest response to receive any votes receives the Speed Bonus of two points. The player with the most votes will also receive the Winner's Bonus, a number of bonus points equal to the length of the acronym. For the Winner's Bonus, if there is a tie, the bonus points go to the player who entered their acronym first. - After the round, the game generates a new acronym of equal or greater length than the previous one. - The game utilizes a face-off to break ties and determine a winner. In a face-off, the two leading players will each be given three short (3-5 letters) acronyms in succession. They will have 30 seconds to write their Acro in each instance. The player with the most total votes over all the face-off Acros will win. - You'll notice as you play that full-screen ads will pop up frequently between rounds. These advertisements were the initial purpose of the beZerk network, and are one of the earliest examples of web-based advertising. Not really relevant to the game, but interesting nonetheless. \ /\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\ [IRC] \ / / \ \ / | | | | Playing Modern Versions | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ Today, there are two prominent implementations of the classic Acrophobia game structure: Acrowars and Acrobabble. It had been my intention to include a guide for both of these implementations in this FAQ; however, I haven't been able to get Acrowars to load in weeks. So, this section will focus on likely the most popular modern version of the game, Acrobabble. The Acrobabble implementation is currently up and running all the time, and is available at www.acrobabble.com. In order to play on Acrobabble.com, you need an account with another networking site, like Yahoo! Mail, GMail, Facebook or several others. After logging in through these third-party sites, you'll create an account nickname for your profile. From here on, you can log-in to this new account using the same method you used to create it (Yahoo! Mail, GMail, etc.). After creating your account, click the Play button at the top to navigate to the game. The game is implemented in Flash and runs in your browser, so no downloadable installation is necessary. Upon entering the application, you'll be presented with three boxes. The bottom box is a lobby chat for conversing with other players, and the right box is a list of other players currently residing in the lobby. But the more important feature is in the top left. Here is a list of the different rooms available. To play, click the Join button on the right side of the room's row. This box of possible rooms contains several bits of information. In the Options column, it lists the different options that are in play for that game. Unlike the IRC and Berkeley Systems games which always operated under the same rules, different rooms in Acrobabble have their own rule sets. The three possible variations are: - Clean vs. Unrated: in the Clean game version, curse words and other graphic terminology are not permitted in Acros, and will be either prevented or automatically censored. Other players in these rooms will frown on bypassing the censors and typically will not vote for such answers. - 6-letters vs. 7-letters: this option describes the maximum length of the acronyms in that room. While all rooms will have acronyms as short as 3 letters, only the 7-letter room will have 7-letter acronyms. Effectively, though, these rooms are interchangeable, as people typically join whichever is more full (or is not yet full). - Regular vs. Face-Off: in a Face-Off game, two players go head-to-head. These modes tend to be less popular as they require voters who do not also submit Acros. Game rooms not marked as Face-Off rooms are regular rooms, which operate under the regular conditions. The Players column displays the number of players in that room, and mousing over the player icon will bring up the current leaderboard for that room. The status column shows how many points the current leader has and how many points the leader must have for the game to end. In Acrobabble, the game is over when a player reaches a certain number of points, so use this to gauge how close the game is to ending. Your next step is to choose a room. Typically, the most popular rooms are the regular Clean rooms. Oftentimes, one is full, so choose the open one if that's the case. Otherwise, choose the closest to ending so you can be there for the next game. After arriving in the game room, you'll be presented with the main screen. Below is a diagram of the main points of the main screen when the game is accepting Acro submissions. _____________________________________________________________________________ | ## |____________________________| Time Bar Room Name | | Rating: Clean/Unrated | | # of Entries Submitted Face-Off: Yes/No | | Round # Acro Generation: Random/Word | | Current Category Volume |______^_____| |___O___| | | Exit Game | | | | ___________________________________________________________________ | | | | | | | Acronym for current round is displayed here | | | | | | | |___________________________________________________________________| | | | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------- | | (other time bar) | | _________________________________________________ | | | Enter your Acro here. | | | |_________________________________________________| | | | | | |______________________________________________________ ______________________| | | | | Chat Box | Current Leaderboard | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |______________________________________________________|______________________| The game proceeds fairly standardly. Acros are entered into the 'Enter your Acro here' box, and there are two time bars: one at the top left, and one right above your entry box. Several game options are displayed in the top right, while the current Category is shown in the top left, as well as the entries submitted thusfar. Once the Acro submission period is over, the game shifts into the voting mode. In voting mode, you're presented with all the Acros and a button to the left. Click the button next to the Acro you'd like to vote for. After all votes are collected, the game displays the winner and awards bonus points based on various criteria. There are several specifics to the Acrobabble implementation of the rules in addition to the variations from room to room outlined above. Note the following variations: - New players may join at any time, including mid-round. They will obviously be at a disadvantage, but they do not have to wait until a new round starts to start playing. - Up to 12 players can play in a room at a time. Once a room is full, new players cannot join the room until some players leave. - Acronym lengths are not presented in any specific order, and can be between 3 and 7 characters long. - Voice alerts accompany most parts of the game, allowing you to play with the game in the background and by auditorily alerted when your interaction is needed. - Acronyms can be randomly generated, or can be generated intentionally to be similar to a word. This option is specified by the winner of the previous round. More information on this can be found at the base of this section. - The time you have to submit your Acro differs partly based on the length of the acronym; however, the winner of a round also has the option of increasing or decreasing the amount of time available for the next round. More information on this can be found at the base of this section. - A categories system is utilized. The category is always displayed in the top left corner of the screen. Categories are only enforced by the will of the voters; the game does not enforce them, but typically voters will not vote for acronyms that deviate from the category. - The category for a given round is chosen by the winner of the previous round. More information on this can be found at the end of this section. - Punctuation is permitted in the acro, but not at the beginning of words. This seems normal, but note that this means that syntax like this example are invalid. Example: "The elephant -- nature's plunger" In this instance, the game would recognize the "--" as a word. - After the submission portion is over, the Acros will be displayed in a randomized order. Acros are numbered, and you may vote for your favorite Acro by number. Voting will end when all participants have voted or after 30 seconds, whichever comes first. - After the votes have been submitted, the winner will be announced. - Scoring for the winning answer is based on the number of votes it received: one point per vote. Every person receives points for the votes they receive, whether they have the most votes or not. - Two bonuses are awarded. The fastest response to receive any votes receives the Speed Bonus of two points. The player with the most votes will also receive the Winner's Bonus, a number of bonus points equal to the length of the acronym. For the Winner's Bonus, if there is a tie, the bonus points go to the player who entered their acronym first. - One penalty is assessed. Any players who did not vote will not receive any of their points or bonuses from the round. The exception is if only one person actually submitted an answer, in which case the person cannot vote but receives their points anyway. - After the round, the round winner is presented with several options to choose for the subsequent round. More details on this can be found at the base of this section. - The game is over when one player ends a round with the designated number of points or more. At this time, the player with the most points is the winner, unless the game mode is face-off. Under a face-off, the top two players will the enter a face-off round to determine the winner. An interesting feature introduced by Acrobabble is a winner's benefit from round to round. The winner of a given round gets to choose three things for the next round: - The category for the round. These are presented as a huge list of categories in a scrolling box. The winner can also enter their own category, not from the included list. - The acronym generation mode. By default, acronyms are generated randomly, but if Word mode is selected, the acronym will actually be a word. - The time for the round. The winner can choose to add or subtract 10 seconds from the subsequent round, or keep it as is. If the winner fails to click 'Submit' before time is up, however, the Category will be General and the other options left at the default. Because Acrobabble is an active, modern-era community, there are a few features included in its framework that have not been present before. First of all, unlike past implementations, data and records are persisted: your profile view on the main site displays how many games you've played and won, and how many votes you've received. The site also features a "Hall of Humor" that displays some of the most popular Acros of all time on the site, as well as a Leaderboard, which displays the rankings among all recent players for most points gathered. \ /\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\ [STR] \ / / \ \ / | | | | Strategies | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ Despite the game's availability in several different implementations, the strategy involved in the game remains relatively similar across different versions. The presence of different rules may alter the way the game is played, but many general strategies persist. Certain rule sets also grant benefits to new strategies as well. Generally speaking, it's difficult to identify real strategies given the simplicity of the game. However, after years of playing on-and-off, I've started to note certain tactics that meet with more success than others. This section is largely my own brainstorming, and if you have other strategies you have found useful in the past, please feel free to submit them for inclusion in this section. First of all, the best suggestion that can be given is to pay attention to the winners from other rounds. Different groups have tendencies to favor different types of Acros, and it's important to try to submit Acros that appeal to the group you're playing with. In certain groups, extremely random answers are appreciated, but in others -- especially among those that have been playing for a while -- randomness is generally not voted for. To account for this, pay attention to the types of answers that usually get the most votes, and try to emulate those. The strategy involved can differ pretty strongly based on whether you're in a big room or a small one. In a small room, you've got a smaller chance of running into really strong competition, so it's beneficial to just make sure you answer early and stay on-topic. If you're in a larger room, though, usually only quite good answers will win, so take your time in trying to think of a good one. It's also a great idea, if initially pretty non-intuitive, to attempt to vary the structure of your Acros a good bit. Early players will find that the natural inclination is to focus on Acros that are complete thoughts and usually are labels for a group. These are the terms that our brains tend to think in initially, but they usually aren't the best answers. For longer acronyms, it's beneficial to go with full sentences, when the category allows. Try to form a complete thought if the acronym is 6 or 7 characters, though don't be afraid to skip words where the meaning will be obvious anyway. If the acronym is shorter, try going for a short exclamation rather than the title for a group. In grammatical terms, I'd term this avoiding passive voice -- Acros like "Frogs Dancing Vigorously" just don't have a very smooth ring to it, compared with "Frog! Dance Vigorously!" The "You Understood" used in that example is a good note to make as well. The understood "You" at the beginning of sentences is a grammatical tool that lets you phrase commands without specifying that you're saying them directly to the listener. In Acrophobia, though, this is a great tool for allowing you to start with a verb rather than a noun. Generally speaking, most of the Acros you'll come up with are the types of things that are so unique that no one else would've ever come up with them under the same circumstances. However, one of the best ways to gain lots of votes is to go directly against this trend: come up with an Acro that others could've thought of. If they recognize it for its cleverness and not simply its randomness or humor, they'll be more likely to gain votes. Two good ways to accomplish this are to give statements that people can relate to, or to go with phrases that are common anyway. For example, the acronym "JJOTC" would lend itself mostly to nonsense considered the side-by-side J's -- but if you're clever enough to realize that it's also the acronym for the common phrase "Jack jumped over the candlestick", you're likely to win easily. This can be pretty hard to do, but gets easier if you actively try to find phrases rather than invent your own. Remember that in most implementations of Acrophobia, punctuation is permitted. Punctuation is a great way to add emphasis and better convey your meaning, as well as to add some inflection to your answers. Splitting an answer up and including exclamations or other suggestions of voice intonations both are extremely effective methods to improve long long acronyms. Lastly, people love Acros that make them laugh. Certain topics typically get a lot more attention then others. Some of these are predictable, like sex and toilet humor. But more so, people love Acros that appear to be personal -- short phrases that appear to be a real anecdote or description of the writer's actual life. Talk about your husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, dogs and cats. And if you see an X, remember that "X-rated" is always a humorous term to use in any context. All these strategies center around high-level thinking, but oftentimes the most difficult part of the game is thinking of words for individual letters. Often, you'll get an idea in your head but won't be able to find how to fit one particular letter into it, leading to a contrived end to your answer. There are several ways to at least partially alleviate this. First of all, rather than looking at each letter individually, take a look at a pair of letters to start. Try to find something for the two to stand for as a pair rather than taking them individually. From there, if the surrounding letters flow quickly, you should be set -- if you have difficulty with other letters, take them in pairs again. Another great strategy is to work from the middle rather than from the beginning. It's a natural inclination to work from the beginning of the acronym, but realistically you can often push a word onto the front of an acronym much more easily than inserting one in the middle. Words like "Really", "Often" and "Sometimes", as well as general exclamations like "Yippee!", "Zoinks!" and "Wowie!" can be added to the beginning or end of most without trouble. So with the beginning or end taken care of, work from the middle first. That will also give you multiple starting points to try to use. Other than that, another letter-level strategy that should be mentioned is to start with the most difficult letter. You might have a great Acro going and then notice "Hey, there's a J over there. Crap." when you're faced with a letter like J, K, Q, X, Y or Z, start with that letter and work from there. \ /\_____________________________/\ [CCC] \ / / \ \ / | |-----------------| | The Three C's | |-------------------| | / \ \_____________________________/ / \ / |\/ \/| \ \ |/\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\| [COP] \ / / \ \ / | | | | Copyright | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ Acrophobia is a registered trademark of Vivendi Universal. All rights reserved. This FAQ is the exclusive property of DetroitDJ. All rights reserved. This FAQ may be freely distributed on any site, in whole or part, as long as this last section remains intact (all three C's). The latest version of this FAQ will ALWAYS be located at: www.gamefaqs.com/computer/online/file/918364/56984 Other sites are permitted to show this FAQ; however, most do not automatically update, and I only update my FAQs on GameFAQs -- so, if you don't see something, check that URL to see if there's a newer version. \ /\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\ [CRE] \ / / \ \ / | | | | Credit | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ Andrew Shubert, for the initial game concept, and Kenrick Mock and Michelle Hoyle, for the game's first implementation. Berkeley Systems, for the implementation that propeled Acrophobia to national prominence. Acrobabble, for presenting an incredibly well-done modern implementation of the game. CJayC, SBAllen and GameFAQs, for this great site. God, for everything. \ /\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /\ [CON] \ / / \ \ /
| | | | Contact Information | | | | / \ \ / / \ / \/ \/ \ GameFAQs ID: DetroitDJ E-Mail: DDJGameFAQs@gmail.com (please preface all e-mail subjects with [ACR]) AIM/Yahoo!/MSN/GoogleTalk: DDJGameFAQs To e-mail me, PLEASE preface your e-mail subject line with [ACR] in brackets. I get a lot of spam, so that will help me sort through it and find your e-mail. If possible, IM me instead of e-mailing me if you have a question, but e-mail me if you have a contribution or correction. If you are submitting a tip or correction, please include how you would like to be credited. Otherwise I'll credit you by your e-mail address (minus the domain) or screenname. Please, only e-mail me with questions about this game or other games I've FAQed. I'm not looking to shoot the breeze.