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Montana Minus
A clone of traditional solitaire game

montana.palmcust.com
palmcrust@yahoo.com
Version 1.0.2  July, 2003






Indroduction Operating the Application Registration and Support.

Indroduction

Implementation and Requirements

The application implements a traditional solitaire game known as Montana or Montana Aces  with the following differences from standard rules:
Number of cards is reduced to 36  (ranks 6 to A)
You can select select number of deals in a game from 3 (standard rules)  to 6.
Minimum Requirements:
Screen size: 96 x 64
Midlet suit size: 50KB
Screen height 128 and colour is a substantial advantage.  The application works fine with a large screen (like Nokia 3650/7650, Motorola A830, Sony Ericsson P800). For Nokia devices it is recommended using a special release which operates full screen mode.

The application keeps table of best results: wins obtained with minimum  number of moves. It allows to undo and redo unlimited number of moves within current deal.

Developed by Michael Glickman for Palmcrust (Australia). Released in July 2003.

Rules

The cards are shuffled and dealt in 4 rows 9 cards in each, after that all Aces are removed leaving four gaps. The objective is to rearrange the cards using gaps, and get a position where each row contains cards of same suit in increasing rank order from left to right: 6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K. The Aces do not participate in the rearrangement,  they are just placed instead of gaps to complete the family as soon as all other cards are arranged.

Each time when you move a card to a gap, the gap is filled, but a new gap is created at the former position of the moved card.
The deal stops as soon as all gaps are dead. This implementation also allows to cancel a deal prematurely. After a deal is over, the cards are removed from each row starting from first non-arranged card. The Aces are added to removed cards, which are shuffled and redealt to unoccupied places. This continues until either all cards are arranged, or maximum number of deals allowed for a game is reached.

Operating the Application

Starting the application

After the application starts, you get to the main screen, You can start the game straight away by pressing FIRE key.The location of FIRE key is device specific. Here are some indications:
Nokia Series 30 and 40, or Motorola models  -  usually a key with a green handset picture on it (also named SEND or OFF-HOOK)
Nokia Series 60 and Ericsson P800  - joystick press, or the middle of arrow pad
Siemens - the left of two command keys (command keys are located below the screen).
Alternatively you can bring up the menu by pressing   Menu command key (named Select or Options on some models). The following menu options are available:
Play - same as pressing FIRE
Settings - customize application (see Settings )
Best results - show top score table
Game rules - brief explanation of game rules
About - links to company site and email
Exit - terminate the application
(Exit is often implemented with a separate key)
On some models you can also exit application by pressing Clear key (a key used marked as C or Clear).

Settings

To operate settings:  use UP and DOWN arrows to highlight the item you wish to modify, then press FIRE to change the value. You can also use Next and Previous menu items to increase/reduce Deals/game value.  Press Done command key to complete the changes and get back to main screen.

Explanation of settings:
Animate: On/Off
Whether or not to animate each deal and card collection.

Auto-move: On /Off
If On, the computer moves for you in case a single move is available.

Show srce:   On/Off
If Off (default) , the sources (cards that can be placed at current gap) are highlighted only if there are several sources available, if On - the sources are always highlighted.

Deals/game:  3/4/5/6
Maximum number of deals allowed for a game (default 3).

Game Control

Use UP and DOWN key to highlight the gap (target) you wish to place the moved card. If the target does not start a row, only one card can be placed after it - just press FIRE to move. For a target starting a row,  you also need to select a source (6 card)  using LEFT and RIGHT keys, before you press FIRE.

To undo a move press ASTERISK (*)  key, to redo the move press HASH (#)  key. With any new move all undone moves become unavailable.  Once there are no moves, the applications waits for a while, before the cards are collected, so that you can press * to undo last move and avoid  loosing the deal.

To stop animation, or auto-moves press Stop key.

Menu options:
Quit game - abandon the game and get to main screen
Status - show status window (only for a small screen height)
Game rules - brief explanation of game rules
How to play - brief instruction on using keys
Redeal - terminate current deal prematurely
(Redeal is often implemented as a separate key)

Status Bar and Status Window 

Where screen height allows,  the application locates status bar above the board. The status bar  contains the following information:
Deal_No / Deals_max  Message / Undone   Move_deal / Moves_game
where
Deal No -current deal in the game (1, 2, 3, etc)
Deals_max - maximum number of deals allowed for a game
Message / Undone  - a message (e.g. Dealing,   No moves) During the game this field may contain the number of taken back moves (i.e. the moves that can be redone)
Moves_deal - number of moves in current deal (the number is decremented with Undo)
Moves_game - total number of moves in the game (including current deal)
If screen height is too small for placing the status bar, you can use Status menu option to bring up status window. Status window shows same information as status bar, but in a separate window:
Deal  Deal No of   Deals_max
Moves:
    this deal -   Moves_deal
    this game -   Moves_game
Moves undone:  Undone

Registration and Support.

The application can be downloaded and purchased for the following sites:
http://www.handango.com  (standard and Nokia releases)
http://softwaremarket.nokia.com (Nokia release only)
Don't forget to specify user name. User name affects registration code and appears on the main page.

Latest release can also be downloaded from the application site:
http://montana.palmcrust.com
Even if you are a non-registered user, don't hesitate to send your comment (of any kind) to palmcrust@yahoo.com . Please don't use this address for any irrelevant material - your message will be simply ignored.

More games from Palmcrust:
http://www.palmcrust.com