Unlike with a lot of games it is not very likely that you will do well playing Scrabble if you don't have a good vocabulary and are not able to spell. From an early age we had the game in the house and it was a good way to learn how to spell while feeling as if we were playing games.
The travel version was ideal when we went on family holidays except playing in the back of the car often meant that the tiles disappeared when we hit a bump or went round a sharp bend.
The object of the game is obviously the same as it is with ordinary scrabble but the idea of the Mattel Scrabble Pocket Magnetic Game is to keep the letters on the board even when there is movement. For anyone who may not know, Scrabble is a game where you have 7 letters and have to make words that you place on a board. Points are accrued according to the place you put them and the letters used.
The game is still for 2 to 4 players although when travelling by car it is pretty difficult to get up to 4 playing and the age range is 10 up to whenever you can't be bothered playing anymore.
With the magnetic version it is the board that is magnetic so as the tiles adhere to it. There are 100 tiles with all the letters on them and it is these that are the problem. They can be stored safely in a cloth bag and the rules are included so there can be no disagreement.
We got this for my nephew as he was always playing computer games in the car and we thought this would be a bit better for his eyesand education. It is better than the original travel scrabble but the boast by the manufacturers that "the tiles are guaranteed to stay in place whether you're relaxing by the pool or hiking up a mountain" really can't be justified.
The game cost around £16 and I was a bit disappointed about the quality. It is not very sturdy and the letters don't appear to be secured to the tiles very well. They are also quite small so while they are OK for children it is a bit of a problem for the adults playing. A further problem is when choosing new letters as they are not that easy to separate and get out of the bag. Whenever a couple come out together it is always the most useful one kept and Q or X thrown back in.
It is light and it fits in most of my bags without weighing down on my shoulder but I still prefer the ordinary travel version. I can only give this 3 stars.
Have you ever wished that you could find that foolproof game for on the move ? There are many out there, though most are not interactive games that can be played by more than one player. Many are the console type games and one of the snags with these is that they don't let people interact. If anything, they cut off communication, and although some parents find them to be a good solution for restless children whilst travelling, my search made me look for something different, something that required thought and communication, and that people could enjoy together, whilst on the move.
What I found.
There were many items out there but most presented some kind of difficulty or snag. The alternative to this game for example was a clip on travel type game of scrabble, and believe me, the pieces don't stay in place, and it is awkward and bulky. What happens if you play this game in a car is that you inevitably end up with all the pieces scattered into places that even a hoover can't reach. Believe me, I am still picking up the pieces of a travel set that was used by my friends in my car, and I thought there had to be a better alternative.
A magnetised game seemed to be the only alternative that worked for me. It's small, and discreet and can be easily tucked into the pocket of the car. Not much bigger than a folded map, this really was made for travel. Not only is it handy for car travel, but I use ferries and planes regularly, and here it really is handy as you can pack it into your hand luggage easily and get to it whenever the urge takes you. Travel is notoriously boring, and I find that the game really does come into its own when a voyage is to be made.
The game is the traditional game of scrabble, a word game where players take a set of seven letters from a small sachet at random and have to try and make words that join together, and the skill of the game is to try and place those pieces using the higher scoring letters (marked on the bottom corner of each letter tile) onto squares on the board that count the most. There are the traditional double letter scores, triple letter scores, and double word scores, and it really does take skill to make words that use the random letters you have chosen.
The letters are a reasonable size and magnetic which means that they stick to the board, and that really is handy because instead of having the board in the middle of a table, you can pass it to your opponent to take their turn, thus making games on planes and in cramped travelling conditions ideal. There is a rule book with the game of course giving all the instructions, and players can challenge the words used, although most of the time with the travel one, we use common sense and decide between us if a word is right or not. I don't want to be burdoned with carrying a dictionary although it has never caused a problem that I don't. It's a two to four player game and passing the board around is simple. I prefer playing with two people because you get more letters to play with and the gameplay to me is better because you don't have to wait ages for your turn.
The game is quite well packaged, and the magnets are strong and keep the pieces in place. I have used mine for about four years now, and the magnetism is the same as on day one. Although I would not suggest you do it too often, one of the things I tried for the sake of giving you a clear picture of the product is to turn the board upside down, and the pieces still stayed in place.
You will get this game cheaper as I did, but availability online gives them on Amazon at 7.99 GBP. I actually found mine for a fiver, but what Amazon do offer is that if you buy two travelling games at the same time you can get both this game and Travel Connect 4 for 12.00 GBP and that to me is a real bargain and would solve some stocking filler present ideas.
The game is suitable for anyone from 10 upwards. I think that the makers have been sensible with their suggestion, since the tiles are small and I don't think suitable for young kids. Wiping the game and keeping it clean is a doddle, and mine really still looks like new, even if the box is a bit crumpled from over-use. Of course, younger players can play the game, as anyone who can write a word can play, although I would suggest close supervision.
I also like the packing case which folds into a board, because when you go to store the game, it keeps all the pieces neatly housed. The moulded shape makes it ideal for storage and what I particularly like is that the game doesn't go away from the traditional idea of scrabble. It's educational. It's fun, and certainly a game that helps educate youngsters and get them to use letters to form the highest scoring words that they can.
A feature thats important.
One feature that is really important to me is that travelling takes differing amounts of time. It could be a short journey, or a long one, and what is superb about this game as opposed to others is that even when folded away, the pieces stay in place, so no one has an excuse to not finish a game !
I love it, and play it regularly both in French and English. The small sack contains 100 assorted letters, and may the best man win !