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Review: Farkle Deluxe

July 28, 2009



Farkle, the classic dice game, has been brought into our world of gizmos and gadgets. With its simple user interface and advanced set of settings, Farkle Deluxe does the original dice game justice, but is it really better than just using a couple of real dice? I am always wary of the simplest of games being brought to digital platforms. But, I guess if you don't like tossing a couple of dice into your bag if you know you're going to have time to play a game with somebody, then it is a necessity. And, if it is necessary for you to have the simplest of dice games on the iPhone, then this application is for you.


img_0756 Farkle Deluxe's features are numerous, intriguing and pretty. But, the best feature of the application is that it doesn't stray from the heart of what makes Farkle a great game by sticking to the original set of rules. Some of the best features (besides the fact that it stays true to Farkle) involve the dice; the application utilizes wonderful dice rolling sound effects, as well as realistic and mesmerizing 3D dice animations. The playing area is well-organized and simple. The rolling area is a little small, as others have complained, but it is sufficient to play the game without hassle. Also, the smaller rolling area allows for a better organized playing experienced since you have all of the game data available to you instantaneously. More great features include the ability to choose 1-player mode for practice, the ability to shut off the rolling animation to speed up the game, the fact that you can name and select a face for your player, an online scoreboard, and also the option to play with up to 4 players (either human or computer).

The Good:

Well, 'the good' of the application is basically what has just been listed as its features: great dice animation and sound effects, well-organized gameplay area which makes up for a slightly tiny rolling area, a bunch of great features including player options, and, best of all, no extras or crazy game versions—just Farkle.

The Bad:

As with almost every app, there are some bad things going for Farkle Deluxe.


The first involves a pet peeve of mine. It's probably just me, but I hate seeing Helvetica within iPhone apps... I don't know what it is about Helvetica but it makes the application that it's in look just tacky and junky, I guess. But, although it is distracting for me during game set-up, you hardly see any of it during actual gameplay, so it isn't really a big deal if you're anti-Helvetica like I am. As mentioned previously, the dice-rolling area is a little bit too small for my liking. And, although it is a fair trade-off to give up some dice-rolling space for more game data, the developer could probably get away with enlarging it a little bit.


Another thing that could enhance the gameplay of Farkle Deluxe would be more interactivity with others. Whether this be through network play, 'random opponent on the internet' play, or even just uploading your high scores to a worldwide scoreboard, more interactivity would make the game much more addictive and enjoyable. In fact, it is pretty surprising nowadays when an application lacks networking settings and an online scoreboard—that has really become the standard when it comes to iPhone games. Although, the interactivity may be coming in one of the 'future updates' which the developer has promised (as might the larger rolling area).


Farkle Deluxe is an exciting game for the iPhone which stays true to the original dice game while also bringing it to the digital age with lots of player settings, realistic dice animation and sound effects, and an organized playing area. While some negatives include the hideous Helvetica, a smaller-than-it-could-be dice rolling area, and a total lack of networking options, the positives slightly outweigh these negatives. If you are looking for a fun way to pass the time, and are prepared to pass around your iPhone for multiplayer modes (due to a lack of internet options) then Farkle Deluxe is just perfect for you. Update: The developer has added an online scoreboard to Farkle Deluxe! Now there is more motivation to play, and, besides that fact, you don't have to feel taken aback when this staple feature is absent. If you were on the fence before about purchasing Farkle Deluxe, this should help you make up your mind.

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