by Amanda Nettgen
+ Fantastic Scrabble conversion for the PC
+ Very challenging at higher levels against the computer AI opponents
+ Can play online with other people who have the game
– Mean old Hasbro shut down the download editions, which means you have to buy it from Amazon
Hasbro pulled all the Scrabble download editions, so you'll have to buy this from Amazon -- but it's just $4! (May 2010)
Scrabble for the PC is the time-honored, tiled crossword game on a 1024 x 768 screen. It's the classic word-making game in all its glory.
Whether you choose to play a traditional game or a blitz Scrabble, you can opt to do it alone, with a computer, or against a friend. If you’re vs. an AI, you get to pick if you’d like to get pwned or if you want to pwn them (gamerspeak for "own").
There is a generous range of eight different difficulty levels for computer counterparts. Your stats of how many times you won, lost, or tied a game are displayed every time you load a new game, as well as for the computer person.
Classic plays just how it sounds in that the object is to score the most points by laying down intersecting words. You can pass your turn, exchange a tile, get hints, and shuffle the tiles in your rack for more inspiration.
Click here to order from Amazon. And for Mac owners, The Mac OS version is here.
The number of tiles that are left in the game is recorded in the top left corner (there is an end in sight!). A running history of your word creations and their value is kept in a box to the left. You can click on any word in your history list to read the definition, which is pretty cool (great for when you put down letters to forms words you didn’t know existed).
The screen will flash if you land on a special space, like Double Word or Triple Letter. The specific letter that received the honor is distinguished on your history list. There is a Best Plays cheat that will give you multiple suggestions of words to form and their respective scores based on available board space.
Speed plays similar to Classic, just on a time crunch. You have just seconds to lay down words rather than unlimited thinking time, with a total time limit as well.
The defaults are 25 seconds to move and ten minutes total playing time, but these can be adjusted by increments of 5 before you play. You get time bonuses if you form words fast, temporarily making the game a little less "blitzy". The highest score when the time’s up wins the racing game!
The graphics are great in Scrabble PC and the added features are all really nice. The game features two solid ways to play, with the charm of the original board game not lost at all.
I’d say the only disadvantages are that some might not like the fact that with this version, you can see your opponent’s tiles (it does give you the chance to look away, though). Having all those hints available is tempting, too, so you might want to turn some of them off in Options so that the game’s not too easy. Remember also that you can only play with one other person.
Not much is lost with the translation of the board game Scrabble for the PC. Get it if you enjoy challenging yourself and like the idea of Scrabble with less set up.
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