To play Parcheesi, run the PLT Games program. (Under Unix, it’s called plt-games).
Parcheesi is a race game for four players. The goal is for each player to move their pieces from the starting position (the circles in the corners) to the home square (in the center of the board), passing a nearly complete loop around the board in the counter-clockwise direction and then heads up towards the main row. For example, the green player enters from the bottom right, travels around the board on the light blue squares, passing each of the corners, until it reaches the middle of the bottom of the board, where it turns off the light blue squares and heads into the central region.
On each turn, the player rolls two dice and advances the pawn, based on the die rolls. Typically the players may move a pawn for each die. The pawn moves by the number of pips showing on the die and all of the dice must be used to complete a turn.
There are some exceptions, however:
You must roll a 5 (either directly or via summing) to enter from the start area to the main ring.
If two pieces of the same color occupy a square, no pieces may pass that square.
If an opponent’s piece lands on your piece, you piece is returned to the starting area and the opponent receives a bonus of 20 (which is treated just as if they had rolled a 20 on the dice).
If your piece makes it home (and it must do so by exact count) you get a bonus of 10, to be used as an additional die roll.
These rules induce a number of unexpected corner cases, but the GUI only lets you make legal moves. Watch the space along the bottom of the board for reasons why a move is illegal or why you have not used all of your die rolls.
The automated players are:
Reckless Renee, who tries to maximize the chances that someone else bops her.
Polite Polly, who tries to minimize the distance her pawns move. (“No, after you. I insist.”)
Amazing Grace, who tries to minimize the chance she gets bopped while moving as far as possible.