Scrabble was always one of my favorite board games when I growing up. Like every board game – it was some friendly competition between friends or family that was at the heart of the fun. Now, thanks to a recent update by Electronic Arts, true multiplayer Scrabble is available on the iPhone & iPod Touch.
With over 150 million sets of Scrabble sold all around the world – everyone knows how to play. The rules are simple and are exactly the same in the iPhone incarnation as in the original board game. 2 players face off on a 15 x 15 grid, armed with a randomized allocation of 7 letters with which to form words on the board. Letters are worth a certain number of points and your score for each round in the total of each of the letters in your word, plus any applicable bonuses (double word, triple letter etc). Words are formed in crossword fashion, cannot include proper nouns, abbreviations or acronyms and must appear in a standard dictionary (which it just so happens is included in the app).
You can play Scrabble alone, versus a computer opponent and now against a friend over WiFi, or even online through Facebook.
As in the original, at the start of the game you get 7 letter tiles to play with. Simply tap and drag the tiles across onto the board to make your words. The whole board is normally visible, but holding a tile over a portion of the board will zoom in on that location.
There are several Scrabble game types available including classic, a game to 75, a game to 150 or an 8-round game (8 turns before the game is over) or a 12-round game – and 3 difficulty levels for each.
When playing Scrabble, you have the option of exchanging your tiles during the game either by shaking your device or manually tapping the exchange button. You can also “shuffle” your tiles, which will rearrange your letters for you automatically. If you can’t think of a word – you can get a little bit of sneaky help from the computer with “best word”. Best word takes into account your letters and creates and places the most valuable word on the board. Placing an incorrect word on the board will generate a pop-up message and you can hit the recall button to try again. And if you can’t think of anything, or can’t make a word, you can always pass.
Scrabble has decent music, but also includes the feature to listen to your own iTunes library as you play. All your games are also easily saved so you can come back to them at a later time. For a port of a board game, Scrabble really is hard to fault. Clear, colorful visuals and high production values top off a great mobile gaming experience. The only thing missing is the table-side banter.
Scrabble requires the 2.0 iPhone software update and is compatible with both the iPhone & iPod Touch.