Help - Getting Started  

[Help Contents]

Welcome! Here's a subset of the Frequently Asked Questions list which helps provide some Getting Started information (to see the full FAQ list, click here):

"Getting Started" Questions

 Q.What games do you have?
 Q.Where do I find things?
 Q.Where do I find help on a specific page?
 Q.What if I don't know anyone on Pocket-Monkey?
 Q.How do I start a game?
 Q.How do I play?
 Q.Where can I find the rules and game instructions?

"Getting Started" Answers

Q. What games do you have?

The list is always growing, check out the Game Rules and Instructions page for the current list, and links to the descriptions and rules for each game.

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Q. Where do I find things?

The site has seven sections, shown as tabs across the top of the page: Games, Players, Messages, Store, Forum, Settings, and Help. Here's a brief description of each tab:

  • Games - Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is where you play your games! The main page of the site is on this tab, the Current Games page that's shown when you log in. It lists the games you have going and the ones that you've completed in the past week. The Games tab also offers options for starting games: You can send a private game invite to a specific player, view the list of open invites, enroll in tournaments, etc.
  • Players - This section has various lists of players: A list of the players who are active on the site right now, a full Player Directory (well, almost full, players can opt out of it), a list of the top-ranked players on the site, and your personal buddy list -- people you've played with before, listed conveniently in various places to make it easy to play with them again.
  • Messages - Here, you can read and reply to private messages and game invitations sent to you by other players, and send messages and game invites.
  • Store - The Pocket-Monkey store has physical board games for playing with friends and family in the real world, books on various games, T-shirts, coffee mugs, and such. Check it out!
  • Forum - You can post public messages in the various sections of the Pocket-Monkey forum. It's a great place to discuss game strategy in the Backgammon or Chess sections, or just to pass the time of day in the Catchall Cafe.
  • Settings - This section has pages where you can control the look and feel of Pocket-Monkey, choosing the colors and options that work best for you. You can update your Player Profile and your account settings, choose a color theme and edit your Ignore List.
  • Help - Last but certainly not least, the help -- where you are right now! In addition to this FAQ, you can find pages describing each game, how to use various features of the site, etc.

There's also a map of the pages of the site which you can get to at any time by clicking the icon on the tab bar (or clicking here).

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Q. Where do I find help on a specific page?

Most pages on the site have their own context-sensitive help. To the right of the main tabs, if there's a small [?] icon shown (like this: ) , it has context-sensitive help -- just click the [?] to see it.

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Q. What if I don't know anyone on Pocket-Monkey?

No problem! You can start playing right away; half the fun is meeting people! See the next question -- "How do I start a game?".

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Q. How do I start a game?

There are lots of different ways you can get started playing games here on Pocket-Monkey:

  • Accept an open invitation on the Open Invites page: On the Games tab, click Open Invites. The Open Invites page lists open invitations players have posted, inviting anyone -- maybe you! -- to play the game. Just choose the kind of game you want to play from the drop-down list to see the invites for that game, find a game you want to play, and click the [Accept] link.
  • Put your own open invitation in the Waiting Room and let people come to you! From the Open Invites page (see above), click the "[Post your own Open Invite for <game name>]" link.
  • Find someone and send them an invite! A great place to look for people is the "Active Players" list on the Players tab. Or you can browse the Player Directory (also on the Players tab), or maybe take a look at the Top Players for a bit of a challenge! Either way, when you see someone you might want to play, click their username to see their Player Profile, which tells you a bit more about them. If you want to play, use the drop-down list of games that's on their profile and click Invite. Type them a brief message and send the invite. When they accept your invitation, the game will appear on your Current Games page on the Games tab.
  • Accept an invitation that's sent to you: If someone invites you to a game, it'll show up in your messages (and the note on the Current Games page will say you have a new unread message). Click on the message, and then click the Accept radio button and hit Reply to accept the invitation.

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Q. How do I play?

You can find instuctions and rules for each of the games on the Game Rules and Instructions page. All games share a common interface (though some games may have additional controls), which looks like this:

Image of game applet

  • Game Board
    This is where the game board is displayed and where you will play your turn.

  • Message Area
    You may include a short message along with your turn; enter the message here.

  • Player Names
    The names of the players in the game, and the color of their pieces.

  • Send Button
    Once you have played your turn on the game board, press this button to send it to the other player.

  • Offer Draw Button
    In games where draws are valid (Chess, Mill, Checkers, etc.), you may use this button to offer a draw to the other player.

  • Resign Button
    To resign the game, click the Resign button. Play will end, and the other player will be listed as the winner. (In Backgammon Match games when it's your turn you can use this button to resign just a game without resigning the entire match.)

  • Undo Button
    Before sending your turn, you can change your mind and take back a move using this button, and play a different move. Once you send your turn, though, you can't take it back.

Once you have sent your turn, you can leave the page (or even log off the site) and you will be emailed when a new turn arrives (if you like). If you stay on the the page you will be alerted when your opponent makes a move in the game. (The notification may take a few seconds.)

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Q. Where can I find the rules and game instructions?

Click here for the Game Rules and Instructions page.

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