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EA Special: Scrabble

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:
This is the first of two reviews leading up to something really cool from myself in association with Electronic Arts Mobile. Stay Tuned in the next few hours to find out what it is.

iTunes Link

Scrabble is a word game by Electronic Arts. $4.99

Everyone knows and the world famous board game Scrabble. Most people would have played the game and probably own it. Board games are slowly going out of fashion with Electronic Arts releasing many games such as Monopoly, Yahtzee and this onto the App Store. What really brought Scrabble into the attention of everyone with an iDevice is its revolutionary Facebook connect system. This system soar Scrabble skyrocket in sales, and rightly so. Facebook connect allows users to play games online against people all around the world who are playing on either their iDevice or the Scrabble Facebook Application. Competition against players from all around the world is a great way to play Scrabble, as playing the CPU on easy all the time does not give a good gaming experience. I throughly enjoyed playing people all around the world in a game that doesn't force you to play for three hours at a time. I have had games which have been going for over a month as the players just check the game once a day to make their turn and it slowly progresses along. As well as this online gaming sensation there is are different modes to play by yourself, against the CPU or with up to three other friends. Electronic Arts have pulled off this classic game very nicely.

I was surprised that Electronic Arts made the board so it was easy to see and the words on it without the need to zoom in. While Scrabble is not one of those games that much can be done to it graphically, so instead it has stayed true to the board game counterpart. Scrabble has a simple layout that easily shows what squares are Double Word's etc. with different colors for each one. The game has a bit of animation when you get a double letter etc. or if you get a bingo (Placing all seven of your tiles in one go), which makes the game that little bit more interesting. When the game is zoomed in to place tiles it doesn't lose any clarity and the board is even easier to read, but you obviously can't see all the spaces at once.

The controls for Scrabble are very easy to get used to. To place a piece on the screen when it is zoomed out you just drag it to the area you with to place it and the screen will automatically zoom in. Generally it won't land in the right place so it can then be moved around. The other way is to zoom in first by placing two pinched fingers on the screen and pushing outwards, like using Safari. To remove pieces from the board you can either press the recall button to bring back all placed pieces or drag and drop into your bar of tiles below the board. With blank pieces these must be first placed before choosing what letter it will be. This game can be picked up and played the first time you use it because of its simple controls.

There isn't really any sound in Scrabble, just some basic sound effects. Placing letters and revealing the other places word give you some sound effects, but nothing spectacular. This is a game that should be played while listening to your own tracks, or silently.

For those who have absolutely no idea what Scrabble is, I will run through a basic description. The aim of Scrabble is to get a higher score than your opponent(s). You do this by making words on the board that must include one or more letters that are already on the board, except the very first move. More common letters like vowels only add 1 point to the word if it is placed but less common letters like z and q are harder to place and therefore more valuable giving you 10 points if placed. To increase your points even more there are bonus spaces on the board giving you double points or triple points for either the letter on that square or for the whole word depending on the bonus. If all of your tiles are placed on the same turn then it is called Bingo and you get an extra 50 points. There are many different ways to play Scrabble as you will get to play on the iPhone version. There are many different variations on how to play Scrabble. To start off on Local Play there are three game modes, Solo Play, VS Computer and Pass 'n Play. For each of these there are five game modes. Classic mode is what most people usually play on the board game. You basically play until no one can make a move or until someone has gotten rid of all their tiles, and none are left in the bag. 75-point and 150-point are basically first to that number of points. These are great for quick plays that you don't want to finish later. 8-round and 12-round are similar to the last two game modes except you play the designated number of rounds and the highest scorer wins. In solo play and VS computer you get four lives and you can opt to use one of these lives whenever you please. These put the best words on the board for your turn so you earn maximum points. VS Computer mode gives you the choice of difficulty setting. You can also choose what type of dictionary to use, but I usually start on the pre-selected dictionary. In Facebook connect and Multiplayer over the same WiFi it is always Classic mode, but with Facebook connect you can choose out of three game styles. These are slow play, medium play and fast play. These depend on how many turns you expect to happen a day, so people know they don't have to commit to a long game session. In these modes you have a teacher that tells you what the best word would have been instead of the lives tactic in local play.

Scrabble is another great board game brought to the iPhone by Electronic Arts. The different ways to play against people from all over the world, or just in the same room make it an excellent experience. The addicting gameplay is smooth and the only time I found Scrabble to crash was during the loading of Facebook Connect. This rarely happens to me and waiting for it to load is worth it. I hope to see future games use these multiplayer modes, as it greatly enhances the playing experience. Smooth graphics and some sound is also included, keeping to the high standard of games by Electronic Arts. The one thing I would like to see is the option to have different game boards, as I believe the UK version has a different board instead of the classic version. I would recommend that you buy Scrabble if you are a fan of word games, board games or just trying out the great new Facebook Connect technology available!

Gameplay- 9/10
Graphics- 8/10
Sound- 5/10
Overall- 7.5/10

I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Monopoly: Here and Now World Edition

Tell me what you think about this review at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/iPhone_Reviews next up is part #2 of the EA Special- SimCity Thanks- iPhone_Reviews

20 Responses to "EA Special: Scrabble"

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December 5, 2009 at 4:33 AM

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July 29, 2011 at 12:03 AM

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