iPhone App review: Scrabble *Updated*

by Mike
Posted March 24th, 2009 at 9:37 am


*Updated on 3/24/09 for latest 1.1.88 Scrabble update…updated section is at the bottom following original review*

I know the iPhone version of Scrabble has been out for a quite a while now but I have spent a great deal of time playing it and felt I should write a review of my own.  If you like words, play the board game of Scrabble and own an iPhone, you must get the iPhone version.  Besides the fact that you don’t have to lug out a board and keep track of a billion little tiles, being able to play against a partner and lay down on the couch will even being in different rooms adds a whole new level of fun to the game.  It is definitely worth the $7.99!  Read on for the full review!

Lets start with the homescreen.  It’s fairly basic with only a few things such as Single Player (Quick Play) and Multiplayer (this one is obvious).  This is where the app will start up everytime unless you already have a game in session that is paused.

Clicking on Multiplayer brings up the search screen.  You can only play Multiplay over WiFi against another opponent on another iPhone or iPod Touch.  Multiplayer action over WiFi is just as fluid as against the computer.  Also, if your connection is dropped or your phone locks don’t worry as it will pause and save your game and allow both players to resume once reconnected.

The custom selection brings up a window allowing you to specify a few aspects of the game.  I am not the best Scrabble player as I can never seem to find the big point words or find the best placement on the board.  While the computer is whipping me with 10 letter 80 point words, I’m over here like a stuttering fool trying to muscle out “dog”.  Okay, it’s not quite that bad, but you get the point.  Even on normal, the computer usually beats me.

Options are next.  As you can see its pretty limited.  Music on/off, some volume adjustments and the option to turn game tips on/off.  Not really much to see here.

One fun feature that was included is the statistics page.  It provides a quick look at Best Game, Best Word, Best Turn, Wins/Losses/Draws.  Don’t let the counter fool you.  I’ve restored my phone several times and lost previous statistics.  At one point the count was Me: 4…Computer: 243.  Brutal I know.  What can I say.

Game tips don’t really give you very much in the terms of any usefull information.  I turn them off.  One feature I use quite a bit is the “Best Word” feature.  As you can see in the picture above, the little heart at the bottom will call the game to make the best possible word that it can between the words on the board and the private letters that you have.  One thing I have noticed is that there are some pretty weird combinations that I can’t imagine are real words.  Also, some actual words that are common place aren’t recognized, such as “Zen”.  Hopefully EA doesn’t ignore this game and releases an update with more words.

All in all I really enjoy this game and while it’s basic, it is my most played game.  It has given me many hours of enjoyment and I’m sure it will do the same for you.  Head on over to the iTunes App Store and grab your copy of Scrabble today!

*Update…3/24/09* A new version (1.1.88) of EA’s popular Scrabble app has been released.  In the following pictures, I will show you the greatest improvement in the latest update: Facebook Connect.  FC allows you to play against other people online as well as invite your iPhone contacts and Facebook friends to play scrabble against you.  As you can see below the “play” screen now has three options instead of two with the “Connect with Facebook” option being the newcomer.

Clicking on the “Connect with Facebook” brings you to a page asking for your Facebook credentials.  After entering your credentials, you are presented with the option to Invite friends (local and Facebook).  Shown in the photo below is my local contact list.

If you instead click on play game inside the Facebook menu you are presented with active games and at the bottom given the option to join a game or create a game.  As you can see, the joining process and the way Facebook is integrated is very top notch.

Clicking on “create a game” brings up the following screen where you can set your filters or options for your game.  Further through create-a-game mode you get even more options such as: Dictionary, Game Type, Game Speed, and Description.

These latest updates definitely add a fun twist to Scrabble and Facebook.  If you don’t use Facebook then obviously this newest update won’t really do much for you at all.  However, for those that do, a new time waster has just been let loose.  Are you excited?

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