by Amanda Nettgen
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Scrabble Journey is an individual adventure that has you playing dozens of different Scrabble boards around the world. The boards are more challenging than in the regular Scrabble game, but the scoring potential is multiplied.
What’s it about?
I was disappointed to see that in Scrabble Journey, there’s no built-in exercise for two or more players (you can, however, do a DIY co-op and work on the boards together in Quest Mode).
After installing the game, you have no choice but to go on the journey.
You start in London, with the idea being to head east and spell your way around the world in 80 days or less.
With each completed Scrabble board, you get to choose one of up to two routes you wish to circumnavigate the globe with. The separate routes take a unique number of days to travel, with some destinations harder to complete than others.
The boards are all landscaped, complete with their own shape layout and cheesy music for each city you wander to. The odd shapes of the Scrabble boards are what make the PC game difficult; often you may have enough tiles to spell a really awesome word, but not enough space to lay it down.
If you work fast, you can raise your constant multiplier to x5, making even small words worth big points if you place them right.
Want Journey today?
There’s really no need to worry about completing your journey in 80 “days” or less; the game will always give you the option to reset your current board if you get stuck, with no penalty. Even if you have to play a few rounds over as I have had to, you’ll still finish the game in about half the time limit (I think they were just trying to capitalize on the cliché “Around the World in 80 Days” bit).
Along the way, you’ll encounter somewhat of a storyline, but it definitely doesn’t make the game. There are also opportunities to unlock Trophies with each board.
The Trophies include several sets of golden letter tiles and souvenir trinkets from each country (not very exciting). Some Trophies are indicated by a treasure chest on a spot you must pass over with a word; others are hidden. You can see all of your Trophies by clicking on the appropriate tab on the main menu.
Once you have safely made it around the Earth and finished your Scrabble Journey, you can now play any level again in Quick Play. High scores are kept for each locale.
Pros and cons
Scrabble Journey is definitely one you could play a few times over and still be engaged. It has all of the normal board game’s word-making goodness, but with a few twists.
It’s really a shame that it (technically) can’t be played with more than one person. I don’t understand why the manufacturers felt that wasn’t a necessary feature. The graphics are pretty lackluster compared to what else is on the market today, and my copy has script errors, making a few levels unplayable.
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Scrabble PC Journey is a fair choice so long as you’re fine with playing word games on your own. Potential purchasers also need to be forgiving of the game’s shabby graphics.