Scrabble Mini Review

   04/01/2010 at 08:16       Phil May       2 COMMENTS.
 - EA Games, Scrabble, iPhone, iPod Touch, Word up!
After being thoroughly trounced at Scrabble on Christmas Day, I figured it was time to check out the official iPhone / iPod Touch version of the game currently being sold on iTunes. EA have grabbed a ton of board game licences including the timeless word-game classic, and now the price has dropped to sub-2 it's time to see how it stacks up against other portable versions.

The 2008 version was practically glued into my DS at one point, and though EA's offering doesn't quite give you the range of options that the DS version had, it does offer wi-fi play and various different levels of AI opponent to test your inner dictionary to breaking point.

The board is nicely clear and well laid out, with large representations of your available letter tiles nested underneath. Unless you've been brought up by wolves, or have spent most of your formative years living on the underside of a pebble on Chesil Beach, you'll know the score with Scrabble by now. Make meaningful words out of a random selection of allocated letter tiles, lay them on the board for maximum points, and strategically try to scupper your opponent at every opportunity.

The touch interface for Scrabble is OK but in places it could've done with a few tweaks here and there. Nods to the multi-touch and 'pinch' interface of the iPhone / iPod's screen mean that it's easy enough to zoom in and out of the board for accurate letter tile placement, but taking tiles back if the game's dictionary kicks out your choice can be a little on the fiddly side.

Blippy minimalist sound effects are used throughout but naturally you can just bung on whatever tuneage you've got on your iPhone / iPod anyway.

For 1.79 you get a pretty good no-frills version of the game that presents enough of a challenge, though does seem to repeat your initial tile allocations far too frequently (using the game's "best word" cheat / hint system on your first move will show just how often you get the same tile sets presented for your first go).

The iPhone / iPod Touch isn't exactly short of superb word games (Word-Fu is a superb and more playable alternative and costs 59p. You'd have to be insane not to pick it up) and though Scrabble does exactly what you'd expect it to, the custom game feature doesn't allow much of a chance to uniquely tweak your game.

Nevertheless, it's the only proper version available on the iPhone / iPod Touch so until EA come up with a version that allows you to customize and update your dictionary, it's number one in a field of one.
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