5of99 takes the basic "5 in a row" game and adds some new twists which makes the game more exciting and challenging for everyone from beginner to expert. The 5of99 game board is a 10 by 10 grid (Figure 1), but instead of just playing anywhere you want, you are dealt cards which limit where you can play for each turn. Each game card is numbered for a spot on the game board from 0 to 99. You then try and get 5 of the 0 through 99 spots on the board in a row to win, which is the name of the game "5of99".
Game Board - Twisted Layout (Figure 1)
Objective: Get 5 marks of your color in a row either horizontally, vertically or diagonally.
Setup: To setup a new game (Figure 2), select what color you want to be, the difficulty level of your first opponent (Basic, Intermediate or Advanced) and the difficulty of your second opponent (or "NONE" to have only 1 opponent). Then select the "Board Type" to determine where the numbers on the board are placed. The options for "Board Type" are "Twisted", "Sprial-Out", "Spiral-In" or "Random". The "Random" option will shuffle the positions on the board for a new randomly numbered game board every time you play. Many find this random board the most interesting and challenging option. Beginners should consider starting with the more simple board types first. The "More.." button will let you set other aspects of the game interface like the background color, card backs, animation speed and if a card should play immediately after being selected without confirmation.
Game Setup Options (Figure 2)
Start: The game is started by selecting a cut position from a shuffled deck of cards that are spread out for selection (Figure 3). Select a position in the spread out deck and a card will be drawn from that location to your card holder (the box matching the color you selected for yourself in the game setup). Your opponent(s) will then select a card from the same deck and draw a card to their card holder. The player with the highest card is the dealer and play will move clockwise from the dealer after the deal of the cards is completed. Select the "Deal" button if you are dealer, otherwise select "Ready" to have your opponent deal. Dealing of cards will move clockwise from the dealer until all players have 4 cards.
Spread Deck (Figure 3)
Play: On each players turn they may either play a card from their hand by selecting it and then selecting the "Play" button to confirm (Figure 4), OR draw a new card by selecting the "Draw a Card" button if they hold less than 4 cards (you can hold no more than 4 cards at any time). You can not draw a card AND play in the same turn as drawing a card is your turn. If you do not have any cards, you must draw a card. If you hold a card that has no position possible on the board (say the "99" and a marker is already in the "99" position), then that card is considered "dead" and can not be played. Any player holding only dead cards is removed from the game and can not draw, play or win the game.
Play a Card (Figure 4)
Select: If you played a card, you can now select a position on the board that has that same number or higher (Figure 5). To select a position you can select it on the board directly, use the slider at the bottom of the screen, or enter the numeric value directly in the entry field with a keyboard. The possible positions for you to select from are enabled while all others are disabled. The card number played will also be highlighted on the board. Once you have your position selected, use the "Select" button to confirm it and your marker will be placed and play continue to the next player.
Select Position (Figure 5)
Ending: The first player to obtain 5 markers in a row wins the game. If any player holds only "dead" cards (cards that can not be played anywhere on the game board), then that player is removed from play. If only one player remains after removing a player with a "dead hand", then they will be declared the winner. If you are playing against more than one computer opponent and you have a "dead hand", the game will be declared a draw (the computer opponents will not play out the game against each other). Finally, if somehow play continues until all board positions are used with no winner (extremely unlikely as the players will usually have a dead hand before that happens) then the game will be declared a draw.