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EA Special: Winner Announced!

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:

After we had a great turnout with 17 entries, it was up to me to read through all the entries and decide who deserves the iTunes Gift Card.

Before I do announce the winner I would like to thank Electronic Arts for giving me the oppurtunity to hold this contest. It has been very successful as we have had our largest numbers ever come to the site to read the eight EA Special posts.

I am glad to announce that the winner is. . .

Tim Harding


Congratulations Tim! Your review of Scrabble has come out on top. There were also a few notable efforts that were in the final few entries before I could decide on a winner. They are from Qasim, Troy and Ammaar.

Thanks all for entering, keep checking in as another competition may be coming out before you know it *hint*

Tim, you will be emailed probably on Monday or Tuesday from a representative from Electronic Arts with your Gift Card.

And now onto the winning review:

Scrabble - EA Mobile

Let me start by saying that I’m a big Scrabble fan. I own four
versions of the Scrabble board game including the useful Scrabble
Folio Edition for trips to Starbucks with my wife. I guess I should
say ‘formerly useful’ because the iPhone version renders it useless.

We’re all familiar with classic Scrabble rules and gameplay, but how
often would you want to play an hour-long Scrabble game on your phone?
Fortunately, EA Mobile recognized that a mobile phone version of the
game needed other options, quicker ones due to the nature of the
platform. There are plenty of ways to play, no matter the situation.
Want single player? Sure thing, you can play against the Computer with
3 modes of difficulty or play alone and set up those Triple Word
Scores without a pesky opponent to steal them away. Have friends? No
problem, the game supports 2-4 players with its smart “Pass ‘n Play”
mode that does a great job of keeping your tiles a secret from
opponents. EA even updated the game with a couple online options,
both local and with Facebook Connect so you'll never be without an
opponent!

But how about those quicker modes I mentioned? Of course the classic
mode still stands, but it’s the inclusion of 75-Point, 150-Point,
8-Round, and 12-Round matches that really make this game shine. While
reviewing the game, I happened to be at Starbucks with my wife and a
couple friends and we thoroughly enjoyed a 75-Point match that took
under 10 minutes to play. We even had a rematch while walking through
the mall. The only gripe I have with these gameplay modes is the lack
of additional customization. I don’t see why they couldn’t have
allowed the player to choose the point limit or number of rounds
themselves. Another tiny omission is not being able to pick a tile to
see who goes first. In the real world of Scrabble, all players pick a
tile and whoever has the tile with the highest point value goes first.
This omission makes short games like the 75-Point game seem a bit
unfair as the first player gets an automatic Double Word Score.

My biggest fear was that it would be difficult to see the entire board
on the iPhone screen. Fortunately, the graphics are very sharp and
vibrant on the iPhone’s generous screen. There are also some little
animations when you hit special squares, nothing elaborate, but enough
to make you feel good about your word choice. The game also has a nice
graphical intro, but unfortunately you have to watch the whole thing
every time you enter the application since it’s really a loading
screen for the game. It’s not terribly long, but it would be nice to
jump right into a game instead of waiting 10-15 seconds. The sound and
music work well too, nothing annoying or overbearing, but you’d
probably rather listen to your own music.

As far as controls go, the game works just as it should. The normal
view will show the entire board, but zooming can be performed in a
number of ways. Multi-touch zooming is supported and works fine, but
the simpler way to zoom is to simply double-tap the screen where you’d
like to zoom in and double-tap again to zoom out. Panning while zoomed
in also works quite well. In addition, placing a tile (by dragging it
from your rack onto the board) will cause the screen to zoom right
into that area. You can also rearrange your tiles manually (dragging)
or randomly with the ‘Shuffle’ button or by actually shaking the
iPhone.

One controversial addition is the ‘Best Word’ button. Pressing this
will show you the best possible move you can make on your turn. I
don’t mind this option so much except that there’s nothing optional
about it. There’s no way to turn off ‘Best Word’ which means nothing
prevents someone from using it (aside from a verbal agreement). You
are limited to a maximum of four Best Words in a game which are
indicated by hearts above your score, but I fear that the temptation
might be too great for someone that’s struggling to make up ground.

In the end, I think we’ve got ourselves a real winner. Is it worth $5?
If you’re a Scrabble fan, absolutely! Even if you’re just looking for
a fun multiplayer game to enjoy that doesn’t require an internet
connection or a second iPhone, you'll find plenty here to keep you
happy. It’s an all-around fun game with plenty of options, a slick
presentation, and unending replayability.

Thanks, iPhone_Reviews

3 Responses to "EA Special: Winner Announced!"

AppStore Reviewer Says :
December 5, 2009 at 4:19 AM

Congrats Tim, a late congrats. :p

Looks like you give away some superb apps on your site Damon! Cool beans!

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