Grabl: A Fun App for Scrabble Lovers

Price: $2.99    Score: 8/10    By Michelle Schustermangrabl

Big fan of Scrabble? This app will keep you entertained for hours.

Grabl, created by Rocketmaker Productions, is a timed word building game that challenges the player to create as many words as possible on a grid using the tiles provided. The game starts immediately when you open the app, with fourteen random tiles provided and the clock counting down from two minutes.

The grid is huge, and you can pinch-zoom in to view parts of it, or out to see the whole thing. Simply drag the tiles up to any spot. When you’ve successfully spelled a word, the tiles are highlighted in yellow.

While you can drag the tiles anywhere, the words don’t count unless they’re all connected in some way. However, you can build grids separately and then connect them if that’s the way your mind works – just be sure to connect them before the clock runs out!

You can replenish the tiles at the bottom at any time by tapping “more please”. Another feature I like is the “shuffle” button, which mixes up the tiles you have. Sometimes seeing them in a different order is all I need to get a few more word ideas.

For the competitive souls, syncing your scores online is simple. There are five categories based on length; one, two, three, and five minute timers, and frenzy! Frenzy starts with 30 seconds on the clock, but you earn time for every word you make, so the play time can be quite long.

You can also rearrange or remove tiles once they’re on the board. Be careful with replenishing the tiles near the end – when time runs out, all unused tiles (including tiles on the board that don’t spell anything) cause points to be deducted from your score.

The settings are simple; just choose a game mode (the timer), the type of dictionary used to judge words (SOWPODS and TWL are both available), turn the sound effects on or off, and you can even customize the background of the grid with a picture from your photo collection.

After an embarrassingly low scoring first game, I quickly got the hang of it. Addictive? For someone who loves playing with words, yes. Grabl might be a little bit pricey as far as app games go, but it has a clean design and is easy to play right from the start.

Grabl requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later and is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch.

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