ChopTalk is a happy new member of the Syntex family. It shares many of the family characteristics, but the program operates to create a surprisingly challenging puzzle, rather than providing you with a demonstration tool.
This is how it works: there are two screens – the input screen to prepare the puzzle, and the game screen to play it. When you call up the main application you are first offered the input screen. Type, or copy and paste, a text into the input box, replacing the default text. Your text should be no longer than 50 words; 80 words would be too much. Set a few of the parameters (for example set the number of characters on each tile by adjusting the number in the "Split every nth character box") and click on the Chop Text button.
The program will:
- Chop the text into equal-length chunks, each containing the number of characters you specified in the Input screen. Punctuation marks and spaces each count as a character.
- Put these chunks on separate tiles, each independently mobile
- Organise the tiles into alphabetical order (remember that initial spaces and punctuation marks that happen to come at the beginning of a tile will be sorted first, then numbers, and then letters)
- If there is room for them, place the set of jig-saw tiles on the Scratchpad for you to assemble
- If your text is a touch too long, the program will place the tiles directly on the play area, to give you the maximum wriggle space!
How to play Choptalk
Look at the chopped tiles. Some will have truncated words at the beginning or end of the tile. Search for the missing part of the word.
The alphabetical arrangement might help. If you find the missing half-word, drag the two tiles onto the main play area, hover your mouse over the join between the tiles (a blue circle will appear), click to join the tiles together.
Drag matching tiles from the Scratchpad onto the play area
Hover over the join. You'll see a blue circle appear. Click to glue the pieces together.
The glued pieces can now be dragged around as one unit – they behave like a single tile.
To colour a tile, simply press the Ctrl key on your keyboard.
There is no computer marking – like a Jigsaw, you work until the sense of the text is clear, and there are no pieces over (obviously!).
As a rule of thumb, the longer the tiles, the easier the puzzle – which equates to Jigsaws; big pieces make easy puzzles.
- A split every 5 characters will produce a very challenging puzzle indeed.
- 10 is average.
- 15 (the maximum split) is relatively straightforward.
Once you've started a game, there is no return to the Input Screen – no cheating! You've just got finish what you've started!
Teachit will supply a regular update of new puzzles that are ready-made and ready to play, so if you become an addict, you can get your fix here!
Copyright © Teachit (UK) Ltd 2006