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Scrabble

For: Mobile

Gets the last word in

Product: Scrabble Mobile | Developer: Mr Goodliving | Publisher: RealNetworks | Format: Mobile | Genre: Card/ board game | Players: 1 | Networking: on one device | Format: J2ME | File size: 783KB | Reviewed on: N81 8GB other handsets | Version: Europe
 
Scrabble Mobile Mobile, thumbnail 1
Games like Scrabble generally don’t need any real marketing, as anyone who’s remotely interested in the real game is going to buy the mobile version on the strength of that.

But if a mobile conversion fails to provide a faithful and recognisable rendition of the boardgame (which, to be fair, is no small feat considering the limitations in size and scale) it's going to incur a destructive review.

Fortunately Mr Goodliving has a reputation for faithful boardgame conversions, and a proven ability to add subtle touches to its games that, when combined with a well-hewn port, really make a franchise shine.

Scrabble is no different, mainly due to its plethora of game modes all centred around a robust mobile edition of the boardgame.

The whole Scrabble board has been squeezed into the frame, but with enough clarity that you can always see what’s going on without squinting.

Accessing your letters is managed with quick thumb controls, while placing them is as simple as following the cursor or flicking it left and right, up and down. No clever second guessing and no ambiguity - precisely as a good boardgame conversion demands.

Although you’ve got the option of a full four players - either using a pass-to-play system with humans, by allocating CPU players (of selectable intelligence) or a combination of the two - it’s the alternative game modes that make this a quality conversion.

Solitaire allows you to simply play alone - honing your skills or relaxing by turning Scrabble into an entertaining crossword alternative. Quick mode is another great variation, which does away with the board and requires you instead to simply make as many points as possible by putting together a set number of words.

Also allowing up to four human or CPU opponents, this is a great way to turn Scrabble into an ultra simple, highly addictive and challenging word game.

There’s something of a new trend emerging when it comes to digital versions of boardgames, and that’s their ability to entertain when playing alone. It sounds like something and nothing, but it takes a refined system to allow you to enjoy what’s an inherently multiplayer game all on your own.

Scrabble is one of those games that pulls this transparent feature off flawlessly, and even a quick game on the train feels like a full Scrabble session thanks to the intelligence of the system and immediacy of its accessibility - much to the credit of the developer.

Combine these great little features with the impressive number of statistics Scrabble generates automatically during play, and this is about as comprehensive and accessible a Scrabble game as fans of the original could hope to own. It’s careful not to tamper with the source material, but still makes an effort to maximise the platform it’s hosted on.

Ultimately it’s still just Scrabble, of course, and we’ve seen conversions of this quality before, but Mr Goodliving has made a sincere effort to keep the franchise alive and happy.

If you've already got a previous version on your phone, it's a bit hard to justify adding another, but anyone without a mobile Scrabble conversion is well advised to test out Mr Goodliving's faithful translation.
 
Scrabble
Reviewer photo
Spanner Spencer | 7 January 2009
Scrabble is careful to craft a picture-perfect rendition of the boardgame at its core, then uses the mobile platform to provide a few excellent variations on the classic boardgame theme. If you like your word games (and not just Scrabble) then this all-new conversion is for you
 
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