My husband and I both grew up with the likes of scrabble, good old fashioned board games, that we never grew bored of!
In this day of technology and everything containing at least 4 aa batteries, we wanted to ensure our children were engaged in family time, that didnt involve the tv, or expensive theme parks. So last year we purchased a variety of classic board games, and scrabble was among them.
I am sure evryone knows the concept of the game, you make words with your little tiles, by joining them in a wordsearch type fashion, and earn points for each letter used, the more complex the word, the higher the score. There are also spaces on the board, which wwhen covered, allow that player to double or even triple letter or whole word scores.
You need only two players, and we play often just us two adults (with a dictionary between us to ensure no arguments or cheating!). But we also play this wonderful, simple game with our children, the youngest being only 6 (age recommendation 8+) Yes, her words are mainly 3 or 4 letters, but she hits the occasional 5 or 6, and with a lot of luck and triple word scores, actually managed to beat us all one time! It helps with her spelling (and her older sisters) and has also ensured she maintains a very healthy interest in her spelling, and the English language. We do however, allow her a handicap of being able to discard and exchange up to 3 tiles throughout the game. She quickly got wise to this and uses it to her advantage, and her favourites to discard are Q and K!
A game with four of us often lasts 40-60 minutes, and I am very proud to say that both my children are happy to sit and focus on the task at hand for that length of time. When we play just as adults, a game can often last in excess of 90 minutes!
Basically, you take turns to spell out a word from the seven tiles you have on your "pod" (a green stand type, which displays your tiles upright, and out of view from opponents. The idea is to create the highest scoring word from the letters you have available. Each word must be connected to one already on the board, therefore giving you the option of many other letters to help you complete your word. Another favourite "tip" that both the girls soon caught onto is adding "ing" or "ed" to appropriate words already on the board, for example "fly" becomes "flying", greatly increasing your score by using limited letters. It is important to also try and aim to have your word pass over a "special" tile, these are spaces which allow you to double or triple, letter, or whole word scores.
You then pick new tiles from the bag (blindly) to replace those used, this continues until all tiles are gone, and all players have used all they possibly can from their existing selection.
You then tally up the scores (a pad and pencils are provided for the purpose of keeping score for each player) and highest score wins!
We love scrabble, we play it almost every Sunday evening as a family, and probably once or twice a month as a pair. It has kept us all off our laptops / dvds / video games, for many many hours, and I believe it has helped ensure both our children are performing well above their targets for English! How many other "toys" can do that?
In short, for half the price of a typical video game, this classic board game will provide more fun, and educational value for the whole family, and will almost certainly last a life time, not a few days!
If there is any family left that doesn't yet own Scrabble - stop reading about it, and buy it!
I've always been an avid Scrabble player, and have took part in a couple of tournaments in school and college. I've found that the game is an excellent combination of word-knowledge, strategy, insight, and luck (it's exciting to see how each game presents its own challenges)!
Play is fairly simple in practice. You have two or more players taking turns forming words crossword-style on a 15 x 15 board, using a rack of seven letter tiles. Each letter is worth a fixed number of points, to some extent related to ease of use of the letter - for example, common letters like 'E' or 'T' are worth one point while rarer ones like 'J' or 'X' are 8, and 'Q' and 'Z' are worth 10 (personally I think the four-point 'V' is far more troublesome to deal with, however). In addition to these letter tiles there are two blanks which can be replaced by any letter of the player's choice - useful for making seven-letter words or plopping down one of those high-value letters in just the right place.
You are allowed to play only one 'new' word per turn, but can build off existing tiles on the boards to make multiple words - "parallel plays". Each word that you make is scored - so you can make 2 or more (up to eight, in fact) words in one turn, and get credit for all of them. For example, if the word EAT is on the board, I can stick a P in front of it and play another word perpendicular to it - the P will count twice. Perhaps more sneakily, I could play a word like PLANK directly above it, forming several two-letter words: PE (a Hebrew letter), LA and AT.
To mix things up further, the board has 'premium squares' which double or triple the value of a letter or word that is placed on that square. This can lead to small words scoring large numbers of points and adds significantly to the strategic complexity of the game - with regard to opening and closing possible lines of usage for these special squares. In particular, a well-played ZO or QI in 2 directions with the high-value tile on a triple-letter score will immediately score 62 points.
A 50-point bonus is awarded for using all seven of the tiles on one's rack in a single turn. At first, this may appear daunting; however, the job can be made significantly easier once one considers the leftover tiles and tries to keep letters that are conducive to making seven- or eight-letter words (the letters in RETAINS, plus possibly D, G or O come to mind). It often pays to sacrifice short-term point gains to keep a balanced rack!
There are many editions of the game out there (iOS, PC, Facebook, etc.) but when it comes to playing with friends (which is when I play most of my Scrabble anyway) I find that the physical board and tiles are best.
It's a fun game for me, and would easily be adaptable to gaming with friends or in the family (I usually play with a handicap of 50 or 100-points). I'd highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys word games, or even perhaps just puzzle games in general.
As i'm sure you're already aware of how the board game works (thanks to the description) I'm going to review the game play and practicality of the game Scrabble. Myself and my friend are absolutely addicted to this game and play it almost every day.
-You only need 2 players (great for if like me, you only have one friend haha - i kid i actually have two ;) )
-Learn words you never knew existed ('Ubiquitous' is a new favorite of mine)
-Only enough tile holders, tiles and space on the board for up to 4 players (not so practical if playing with large groups of friends).
-Adding up the points! This can get a bit boring and may cause arguments if the person doing the scores adds any up incorrectly
-Losing letters! The letters seem to get lost quite easily (Usually not the annoying ones such as V as i always end up with those ones).
-The game is quite bulky to store, I know a lot of other reviews have said it is quite practical to store but a smaller box/less packaging wouldn't go amiss.
-"Is that even a word?" - again this can cause arguments between friends but can also cause great laughs. One of my most memorable games of Scrabble was the time when me and a best friend were discussing whether the plural of roof was roofs or rooves (it's roofs by the way and i was correct).
Price-wise it is usually around the average price of a board game but if you look around some of the supermarkets/chain stores do occasional have offers on. I would recommend this game for people aged around 11+ , there is also a junior scrabble that is perhaps more suited to younger players.
Scrabble is a wordgame with its focus on forming the largest or most unusual words you can think of. It is for 2-4 players and is quite possibly one of the most timeless of board games except for perhaps a certain propery management game...
The game focuses on laying words on a board to gain points, the longer the word, the more points you attain. You also get more points for more unusual letters like Q, X and Z etc...
Whilst a word like 'Quartz' would score very highly indeed, there's no reason why a... not so great word couldn't score highly as occasionally (depending on the tile you place your word) you will find 'modifiers' to the score which can;
Double the word score
Double the letter score
These benefits really start to make the game interesting and even get some players attempting to employ some strategy into the game so they can attain the mosty beneficial tiles (sneaky sneaky people)
Although the game is a delight to play, we often find ourselves reverting to a quicker game as the games do tend to stretch out for quite a while, especially when you have 4 people trawling through dictionaries and computers arguing the rights of certain words.
As stated, play can extend further than you had planned. Typical play can last between 1-2 hours but can go on even longer depending on the type of players you have. If they are new to the game or children you will have to allow more time to let them familiarise themselves with the rules aswell just 'learning' the game and how to really gain the most points.
If you are still looking for a word game to play but perhaps don't have enough time to invest in scrabble, some popular alternatives are Boggle, Upwords, Countdown and scattagories.
Aside from the time investment, the game does have its advantages and is an excellent learning to tool, especially for children who just seem to attain and retain information easily.
As a game, I'd personally recommend it for older couples, parents with children and anyone who has an interest in wordgames in general.
Scrabble - a good old-fashioned word game that still appeals across the generations. In our family we like to make some of our own rules up. We don't like the Official Scrabble Word Dictionary. How is 'Ba', for example, acceptable and what does it mean? We have a copy but it hardly ever sees the light of day. We allow the use of the English dictionary if the word looked up is shared with the other playes and the meaning read out so that we all learn from it.
Rules in 2010 have declared proper nouns are allowed - absolutely not allowed in our family. It's unbelievable that I can place down my tiles and make the name, 'John'. No, we are not going to go that far into modern play. It's sacrilege!
From the educational perspective this is great for counting and spelling. Each player places seven tiles on their rack and in turn lay down tiles to make words that produce the highest possible score. Someone must keep score which involves adding and if players have tiles left over at the end of their game their tile numbers must be subtracted from their total and given over to the person who managed to use up their final letters. In our family we take it in turns to score so no person, none of us are keen on maths, is left having to keep score every time we play a new game and we play a lot of games! Despite a lifetime of practice none of us qualify, as yet, for the world champions.
Despite all the adrenalin pumping computer games, Scrabble is as ever popular throughout the world and looks like it will continue to have a strong future. Scrabble can be exciting and challenging and adrenaline pumping. My grandmother experienced hot flushes every time she played because she got so competitive!
If you don't want to delight in the vocabulary of the English language then how about in Welsh, French, or with Chinese symbols - the list goes on and on. But unless you happen to be a doctor, do not play against them, or lawyers for that matter. I made that mistake by playing two doctors. Now I know they did seven years of a medical degree and some but it is a very unfair advantage. I normally win every single game so it was like being thrashed alive to play against doctors with an internal dictionary of medical terminology which I had never heard of before. I found myself moaning that it was not fair and my poor grandmother, who took Scrabble extremely seriously, felt the need to find a reason to leave the game altogether and go and deadhead the roses (rather violently, I thought). I will never ever play Scrabble with doctors again and nor should you unless you are one. It's a humiliating experience.
So be warned this can be an emotional game. When I play against my mum I often manage to put down a seven letter word which is not an easy thing to do and I'm sure a great deal of luck over the letters that emerge on the rack are involved. Mum will slap her thigh, or the table, and declare, 'I don't believe it. How do you do that?' Her face gets quite red an she huffs and she puffs and she does everything she can to block the triple words, double words and double letter scores, on the board, from me. Speaking of Mum's I think it's a very healthy way for them to exercise their brains!
Why would you not buy the wonderful game of Scrabble?
I have always been a huge fan of board games, I remember when I was younger I would stay round my Grandparents house and they would play scrabble with me. Its a game that I have played all my life and never have got tired of playing it. Scrabble gets your brain going and is basically a word game. You pick up letters on tiles and then have to spell words on the board. You then recieve points for certain parts of the word. Each letter has a different amount of points that it will give you, letter such as vowels will give you less points because they are easier to use, letters such as "z" are hader to use so you get more points. There are also different parts of the board which can give you double word scores, double letter scores and also triples. Scrabble is not hard to get the hang of and after a while you can become a pro! You don't only have to think of words to use, but also have to think about where to place it to get the most points. I have found that scrabble helps me to think of longer words and gets me concentrated.
My old scrabble board was getting a bit tatty,so recently I bought myself a brand new one. I purchased the original scrabble from Argos and paid only £15. I think this is a good price considering how expesnive other board games are these days. I prchased the cheaper version, you can buy a luxury scrabble version and this comes with a roatating base and is wooden. This however was way out of my price range and the orginal cheap version is perdect for me. YOu can get this cheaper if you look around in toy shop sales. I have seen it as low as £9. Also have a look online as online stores may have it cheaper. I believe the £15 I paid was well worth it and I would pay that again.
This game is great for any age. Kids will have a lot of fun trying to make words and score high points. My grandparents love playing this game and they say it keeps there brains working. Its a family game and perfect for family get togethers such as christmas period and birthdays. Up to 4 people can play so it is the perfect game for a family of 4. The younger kids sometimes prefer to help then play by themselves so you can get lots of people joining in. A word game may not sound fun on paper, but believe me this is one of the most entertaining games you can play. Its great for education and fun alike. I would recommend that you invest in the game and get the whole family playing scrabble!
Scrabble will be recieving a huge 5 star rating from me. I can think of no better board game (monolpoly comes close) its such a classic and never gets me board. I could play this for hours. Its not the most competetive game in the world which means we can avoid arguments between siblings and parents! Wel worth the money. Thanks for reading my review, I hope it helped you out.
Josh - jlaker1992
Good old scrabble! Toys come and toys go, various new fads appear then disappear every Christmas but one thing is for sure. When the family settle down later on during Christmas day, the chances are that two things will remain, year after year. Number one is lego and number two is of course that old family favourite, Scrabble.
It's almost a tradition in our household (and no doubt many others) that I try to beat my mother in law (who is an ex teacher) at scrabble every year and up and down the country, similar challenges will be taking place. No matter your age or ability, scrabble truly is a fun game for all the family and my eight year old daughter is now old enough to hold her own as well.
This humble little word game takes on a life of its own as you frantically find yourself trying to fit in the word "quiz" in a triple word score as you know that this will effectively win you the game. The palpable sense of disappoint you feel when someone "blocks" a high scoring word that, "I was going to put there!" is plain for all to see, as is the sense of satisfaction in that game changing 70 pointer that has taken you ages to set up!
All in all, scrabble has stood the test of time admirably and will no doubt remain as popular as ever so if by some miracle you don't have scrabble in your board game collection, get it now!
I love playing scrabble and it is definitely up there in my top 5 board games. The reason why I enjoy playing it so much is because it is really competitive and although there is some degree of luck involved, (you could fall lucky and get a brilliant set of seven letters or you could end with a whole row of vowels!) the game mainly revolves around skill. I find that those people that read a lot or write are much better than those that just watch television or play video games. My brother in law and my dad are useless at scrabble and end up hampering the flow of the game by only using two, three letter words or doing the really annoying thing and just sticking an S on the end of a word that I created! Scrabble is a great game for kids to play as it is fun and although being a walking dictionary does help, if you fall lucky and get a word as simple as 'ZOO' on a triple word score you are walking away with a very nice 36 points for one word!
My scrabble set is around 20 years old and came with a dictionary with a number of words in. Unfortunately as the English Language has progressed many new words are now allowed into the play of scrabble so I often use an online scrabble dictionary in conjunction with this paper copy. An example of this is 'Qi.' This word has changed the dynamics of scrabble as no longer do you need a U to play your awkward 10 pointer Q. A Q used to send a wave of dread over the receiver as you could guarantee that it would be sat on the tile holder for the rest of the game; now I welcome the Q as putting it together with an I which are ten a penny and again hitting a lovely triple word score with reward you with a victorious amount of 33 points.
==Scrabble letter values==
There are 102 tiles in the game that go in a green velvet bag and on first starting the game you get to select 7 tiles, after you make a word and lose some of the seven you can then blindly go in the bag and pick more tiles to make your rack back up to 7.
The values and amount of the tiles:
There are 2 blank tiles scoring 0 points but you can use these to represent any letter at all, this gives a great advantage in creating some great words.
These are very common letters and are worth 1 point, as you can see there are more vowels than anything else and 4 lovely Ss which can really make some high point scores:
Worth 1 point we have: E ×12, A ×9, I×9, O ×8, N×6, R ×6, T×6, L ×4, S×4, U ×4
2 points: D ×4, G ×3
3 points: B ×2, C ×2, M×2, P ×2
4 points: F ×2, H ×2, V×2, W ×2, Y×2
5 points: K ×1 (This is an odd one for me and I would have given K the value of 8 as it is really hard to get in a word.
8 points: J ×1, X ×1
finally, 10 points: Q ×1, Z ×1
The board game is a series of squares for you to lay your tiles on. In the middle is a star and the first person needs to lay their word on this square to start the game. Located around the board and various bonus squares such as 'triple word, triple letter, double word, double letter. If you use one of these squares you can claim the bonus points. The winner is the person with the most points when they have exhausted all the letters. You can play with 2 - 4 players.
==Price and availability==
This is a really fun game and involves a lot of thinking but it is really rewarding. You can buy this copy of the game for around £15.00 from most good toy shops. The set is good quality with a firm cardboard lacquered board and lovely white plastic tiles. The set also comes with four racks to hold the letters on.
I think everyone has probably played Scrabble at some point in their life. When we were away last week there was not a lot to do one evening so we decided to have a game of Scrabble as there was a game in the cottage we were staying in.
==A brief history==
Scrabble was introduced in 1938 in America, its original name was Criss-Crosswords. It was invented by a man called Alfred Mosher Butts who made Scrabble after making variations to a game he had already produced called Lexiko. In 1948, the rights to the game were bought by James Brunot who made slight changes to the game and renamed it Scrabble which translates to 'scratch frantically'.
==What's in the box?==
In the box is a board to play on, marked with squares to place the tiles and also some additional marking information eg.double word score. There are lettered tiles in the box and also four tile stands which are to be used to hold the tiles during gameplay.
==How do you play?==
Firstly it must be decided who is going to go first, in our family I always try the youngest first idea because I am the youngest! However, an alternative way is to each pick one letter at random and then play in alphabetical order.
Players need seven tiles on their stands at all times. They then must use these tiles to make a word on the board. Going first is easy as you simply form a word across the middle of the board, however after this first turn is over players must form their words so that they are attatched to the words already on the board. For example, if the first player put down the word door, the second player could use one of the O's to go down and form the word book. Players cannot start a new word elsewhere on the board without attaching it to already formed words on the board. If a player cannot make a word then they have the opportunity to pass. You can also add onto words that are already on the board for example adding onto door to make doorway. If this is done then you score the points for the entire word, not just the bit you added. Each letter has a score which is added to the players running total throughout the game. There are also two blank tiles provided which can be used as any letter though they will not score the player the same points as the actual letter would, however the rest of the word still scores points.
There seems to be a lot of disagreement concerning how the game finishes. Some people say as soon as someone has finished all their tiles and there are no more to take from the bag then the game is over, others allow all players to finish as much as they can and then total up scores.
==What words can be used?==
I imagine that Scrabble has played a part in many family bust ups over the years. There is a lot of varied opinions about what is allowed and what isn't but in order to avoid any conflict during gameplay it is useful to keep a dictionary handy. My Nan even had a specialised Scrabble dictionary which she always used to catch me out with when I was a child!
==What formats is the game available in?==
Of course, the game is available as the good old fashioned board game, this retails for £13.89 at the moment on Amazon which I think is a really good price for a classic board game. Board games are notoriously expensive and this seems reasonable.
In addition to this there are various other variations of the game including Junior Scrabble, Travel Scrabble, Pink Scrabble, Deluxe Scrabble and Scrabble Trickster. You can also find themed sets including Disney's Cars 2, Wildlife and Toy Story in the Junior range.
You can get Scrabble for the computer but this is quite expensive and difficult to get hold of. My Nan wanted this a couple of years ago and I remember my Auntie spending hours trying to find a copy and in the end having to pay around £40 for it.
You can now play the game online which is good fun as you can play against others. Some sites are free but others do charge.
==Who can play?==
Just about anyone can play Scrabble. You can alter it to your families preferences for example if you wish you could give the game a theme eg. animals, names.
The game is designed for two to four players but you could form teams if there is a larger number of you.
==Is it worth playing?==
Scrabble is a classic board game and before playing it again last week I did genuinely think it was pretty boring. Granted, it is not the most thrilling of board games and it can be quite tedious and slow going however I did enjoy it the few times we played last week. I think that it can really bring the family together as if there are four of you playing you can easily spend an hour together and even if the TV is on in the background you tend to be so focussed on the game that you forget about that and just interact with the other players - something that we have found happens less and less within our family.
Scrabble has a simple format and is a good game if there are a variety of players as it is easily understood by most. Even if someone hasn't played it before then it is very easy to explain.
The game has a long longevity - it can never go out of date unless the English alphabet changes. The game itself is made from good materials - the tiles are of a solid plastic and the board is strong and longlasting. My Nan's version must be in excess of fifty years old but it is still going strong!
Overall, Scrabble is an enjoyable game once in a while. It is a good family game as it allows everyone to join in and it also gives your brain a chance to do some exercise too which is always a bonus. It is a traditional game which does not have any fancy gimmicks however it has stood the test of time. It is not my favourite board game and I doubt it ever will be however it is good fun to play now and again as it allows some great family time. The board game is very reasonably priced so it is certainly one to keep in the cupboard.
Forget the cut-throat world of financial management and property acquisition, and discard all thoughts of general knowledge marathons for six pieces of cheese - this is the game you should be breaking out on those rainy days and lazy afternoons.
As a product, the basic game is about as sturdy as they come. The tiles have a pleasing quality to them that avoids the tacky plastic feel they could have had, and those letters do a fantastic job of not wearing out despite being rattled to death in that drawstring bag. The tile holders do their job very well too, though peeking family members can't be helped. For a fold out board with a single sticker overlay, it's held up very well to the ravages of time - no peeling whatsoever, and the dreaded splitting of the board down the seam hasn't even threatened to materialise.
To describe the game itself would be to wear out a well-worn theme, but just know it's incredibly balanced and rewards all players equally. Also, for those who feel their vocabularies won't hold up to the challenge, a few goes make you realise it's not about what words you play, but where you play them. For a game usually held up as a bastion of word play, it's very much a cut throat strategy game underneath it all.
Also, for young ones it's a great learning tool. There are junior versions available, but trust your child to get the (very basic) rules and there's no reason not to start on the adult version straight away. There are even solitaire games to play, so if you don't feel like crushing your eight-year-old's dreams with a well placed CONQUEST then you can team up to take on the game.
The only niggles are classic ones that every board game suffers from. One player may have to become a skilled upside down reader, and while the tiles do a good job of not sliding, a careless bump could ruin a good game in progress. These are both problems the deluxe version solves massively with it's gridded overlay and rotating board holder, and it's a must-have if you feel flush.
I just have the basic, classic and best version of Scrabble. The game is an old family favourite and I'm certain everyone has heard of it already, just in case they haven't allow me to tell you about the game and why I love it so much.
==How to set up==
You get a board in the box which has grid squares all over it, each grid square is essentially one space on the board. Each player gets a tile holder and 7 tiles to start the game off. A mixture of vowels and consonants are on each tile and the aim of the game is to make a word with the letters you have. Each letter is worth a different number of points, common letters like A and E for example are worth 1, something like a J is worth 10, an X worth 8 and so on. Each time you play a word, you calculate your score based on what the tiles say and note the score down for each turn.
There is a twist of course. On the board, you will notice some grids have certain letters on them:
TL = Triple letter
DL = Double letter
TW = Triple Word
DW = Double word score.
They do exactly what they say on the tin and this is where the game can get interesting. When I was a kid, I will never forget, my 9 year old opponent wiped the floor with me and got the word JURASSIC on a triple word score. Damn Steven Spielberg for making the youth of today educated about dinosaurs! I gave up there and then, she blitzed me by getting 65 with that word alone. These high numbers are of course quite rare but it is best to use the special squares if at all possible.
There seems to be a history of cheating in Scrabble for some folk, this all comes down to what you define as being a word. Another Scrabble incident, my opponent used "Doh" against me. I challenged it saying that it was a slang word used by Homer Simpson, we got the trusty dictionary out (this is where you can take the game seriously or just let them cheat...cheats never prosper in my book) and turns out Doh is in the dictionary and is not cited to Mr Homer J Simpson. Classic cheating in my book.......the dictionary can be a devil or a friend!
It takes a bit of skill to think of some words and this can results in delays. We sometimes put a time limit in place per 'turn' so that the game keeps momentum and doesn't get boring. This is quite a useful thing to do in my opinion. For my hard of hearing relatives, they can be included as it is generally a quiet game and not too raucous (depending on levels of cheating). If you get a loads of U's or X's, you are basically stuffed, based on that it comes down to how intelligent you are (Xi is a word in the dictionary for example) and this also limits who can play in terms of younger children.
This is a nice game for the family but introduce some rules to keep the interest going.
Scrabble has been around for as long as I can remember and I played it as a child at christmas and with friends and family, now I have a scrabble board in the cupboard to play with when ever we have a family get together or friends come round to stay as it's a great game that can get very competative.
You can buy a scrabble game from Argo's or toy shops for around £25 upwards depending on where you buy it from. You get a box with the board and tiles with letters on and an instruction rule booklet.
The board opens up and there is a star in the middle where the first player puts their first word, then you take it in turns to add to the board to try and make other words with your lettered tiles.
Each letter is worth points which are shown on the lettered ties, the person with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Some places on the board are worth triple and double points and you soon get the hang of trying to get your words on these places to ge the best score, it can get very competative if playing scrabble with a few people especially if your having a drink too.
You also get a tile holder and others can't see your letters, to begin with you get seven letters to try and make word with, if you can't take a turn at making a word then you have to pick up an extra letters from the pile to make up your tiles to seven on your holder again.
Scabble is quite fun and it's surprising how many words you come up with when you need to, as well as the fun you have when someone is trying to convince you that their word is genuine and not made up.
It is for ages from 12 years upwards but you can buy the junior version for younger players.
Whilst having a bit of a spring clean I came across some of my old board games, one of which was the old classic Scrabble. I used to love playing scrabble when I was younger and always played it around my Nan's so one year when I got it from Father Christmas I was very excited.
**What is Scrabble?**
Scrabble is a board game that revolves around the basis of the players creating words. Different letters are worth a set amount of points with the harder to use letters being worth more.
**What do you get in the box?**
In the box you will find the board that you use to set out the words on. The middle of the board has a star on and is where the first player has to set out their word. After the first word has been set the next players have to place their words around the words already on the table and connect them either horizontally or vertically.
I have had my game of scrabble for about 12 years and the board is still going strong so it is very durable.
You also get the letter tiles of which there are 100. The letter tiles show the main letter in the middle with the point's value in the bottom right corner. You also get a bag to put the letters in, this allows you to shake the letters up so that players can pick their tiles randomly.
Players will receive a tile holder in which they can place the tiles that they have picked. This is also useful so that your components cannot see what letters you have.
In order to keep track of scores you receive a score note pad. This is pretty basic and just has space for names and points totals. On the back of every sheet is a blank scrabble board which i'm guessing you can fill in as the game goes on but I don't really see the point to this. When your notepad runs out of pages it is just as easy to total the scores on a normal bit of paper but this is a nice touch.
You also get a copy of the instructions and rules of how to play the game. These are easy to understand and written clearly.
**Basic game play rules**
Each player has 7 tiles at a time to complete their word. For example, if they place 4 tiles down to complete their word they will then have to pick out another 4 tiles to make their number back up to 7.
When placing their word down players are not allowed to go horizontally across the board. Words can only be placed vertically or horizontally and join from an already existing word on the board.
If like me sometimes you just can't get a word anywhere due to having ridiculous letters a player can chose to change a letter and pick another one from random, this however takes up their turn.
This is one of the easiest games to set up that I think I have played. It is literally just the case of unfolding the board and shaking up the letter bag and it's done.
I also like the fact that scrabble is a very easy game to understand, making it suitable for people of all ages. I think that it is a great game to play with children as it helps with the reading skills from finding words and also their mathematical skills from adding up the points.
Being an adult I still learn from this game as I am always finding out new words that I didn't know existed and the game also helps to keep your brain active.
Since playing scrabble from when I was a child my game play however has changed slightly. Rather than trying to find the biggest words like I used to I now go for a more forward thinking approach trying to find where I can get to the 'special' tile spaces. For those of you who don't know the special tile spaces offer the player to get double points on a letter, triple points, double word score or triple word score.
Throughout this review I feel that I have just described scrabble as being an educational and thinking game but I also find that it is a fun game to play that can pass a couple of hours easily. It's an easy game to get involved in and since the tiles are random you never know what is going to happen. By luck every one could get just the right tiles and you can have a fairly quick game but when you have the wrong tiles the game can go on for ages!
I love scrabble I think it is one of the board game greats and is an absolute classic. I recommend it for any body of any age, the full 5 stars form me.
--also on ciao--
I don't think I know anyone that hasn't played Scrabble at least once! It seems to be one of those games which has stood the test of time, and although new, supposedly improved, versions of the game come out every now and again, me and my family believe that the Original Scrabble is the best and it's certainly the one that we usually opt for out of the 5 or so versions of Scrabble we have in the house. The Mattel Scrabble Original can be bought very easily because it's available in toyshops, supermarkets, online - and even in my local newsagent. It usually costs between £10 - £15 depending on where you get it - but I note it can be bought on Amazon £11.99, which includes postage and packaging. For the amount of times I've played this game with my family, it really is very worth that kind of money because it lasts and it just doesn't get boring (we are geeks though!!!).
Scrabble can be played by up to about six players - and indeed the Mattel version does give you six racks. Theoretically more could play, but I think it would get boring because there would be too long a gap between turns. Ideally I think this game is best if you have 4 players because that seems to make it flow the best and makes it challenging but not too long and drawn out. The original version has one of the smallest boards in terms of the number of squares it has, being 15 squares by 15 squares - and so a total of 225 squares. The board comes folded over so it fits within the box and so it's family compact - although there are travel versions if you want something smaller. In the packet you also get a green material bag which has 100 plastic letter tiles within it. The only thing you need to provide is some paper to write the score on.
The idea of the game is to score points by creating words which interact with each other on the Scrabble board. Each tile has a letter written on it, and a corresponding number of points. The aim is to make a word using your Scrabble tiles and to put it on the board in a way that nets you the most points. All letters are not equal, and so letters that are easier to use, such as a, e, i, o, u are only worth 1 point, whereas J is worth 8 points and Q is worth 10 points. You start off with 7 tiles (which you pick from the bag without looking) and then every time you get rid of tiles by making a word then you top out your tiles to 7 again. On the board there are certain bonus squares which, if you use, will net you more points. So, for example, there are double letter, triple letter, double word, triple word etc. scores which can boost your points considerably. And if you manage to get rid of all of your 7 letters in one go then you get a bonus of 50!
Playing Scrabble is not only fun, but also educational, because it improves spelling and also helps you to learn the meaning for new words. If a person puts down a word that you don't recognise or that you don't think is spelled correctly then you can challenge it - and this is a good way of learning. The word that I recently challenged that I didn't think was a word was "Qi". Incidently, you can buy a Scrabble dictionary, but a normal dictionary does just as well - and more often than not we just use dictionary.com.
Overall, I think Scrabble is a great game, which is why it's stayed around so long. And, in my opinion, the Mattel Original version is the simplest and also the best.
Every one every where must have heard about, played, or, like me, owned a certain word game called Scrabble, considering that the game of scrabble has been around since the early 1930's, although way back then it wasn't played on a board.
Firstly, a bit of history about the game, which I found about on line...
Scrabble was first thought of back in the early 1930's by a Mr Butts, (apparently), who played with himself for nearly 20 years,(stop it....!!!) before deciding to manufacture the game for the general population to enjoy. To this date Scrabble is one of, if not the most popular word game ever, with competitions and even world tournaments being held to find out who is the champion of Scrabble.
Anyway that's the history lesson over with, now for the game itself, and a brief description of it for those people who have never heard of the game of scrabble, let alone how to play the game.
The game itself, these days, consists of 100 tiles, plastic, although some older sets are wooden tiles, four tile holders, or racks, a green cloth bag, a score sheet pad and a playing board.
The tiles themselves aren't the size of your average bathroom tiles, they're only around a centimetre squared.
Each of the tiles has a different letter of the alphabet on it, with each letter having a number value. Such as the five vowels and the more popular letter, such as S, T, N, R and other are worth 1 point whilst the least popular letters, such as Q and Z are worth a massive 10 points, with point values in between, J and X being 8 points, K being 5 points, F, H, and other being 4 points and so on, (the points are printed on the tiles).
There are also two blank tiles which can be used for any letters although these tiles have no value at all, but they do come in handy to finish off, or even to join onto, a word.
Then there's the board itself, which is 15 squares by 15 squares, and has different point values on it, such as double word score, being a pink colour, triple word score being a red colour, double letter score being a light blue colour and triple letter score being a darker blue. These scoring squares are symmetrically positioned on the board, with the starting square being a light pink colour with a black star in the centre.
So how do you play the game then?
Firstly, all the tiles are dropped into a green bag and the bag is given a good shake, then each player is given a green tile holder, these tile holders all eight tiles.
The player who's chosen to go first then proceeds to take 7 tiles out of the green bag, then each player in turn then takes 7 tiles each out of the bag until they all have 7 tiles.
Then the first player tries to make the best word they can out of the 7 tiles, placing the tiles onto the board, crossing the black star in the centre. The numbers on the tiles are added up and recorded on the player score sheet. This player then takes tiles from the bag so that they have 7 tiles at all times, for example, if they placed five tiles down they then would take five tiles out of the bag.
Then next player to have a go places their tiles onto the board but their word has to cross over the previous players tiles, anywhere, so long as it makes a word of course.
Again this player takes tiles out of the bag so as to have 7 tiles on their tile holder. Then the next player does the same, and so on, and so on, with each player making words on the board and the scores adding up.
This word making, tile taking continues until either there are no tiles left in the bag or there are no places left on the board that a player can make a word.
How do you gain score?
Scores are accrued by not just making words with the higher value tiles, for example Quiz for 22, but it's down to where you actually place the tiles too. For example, if you can place the word Quiz onto a triple word score square then the value is then tripled to 66 points, (quiz is a simple example you understand). The same rule applies for positioning tiles onto triple letter scores, and the double letter/word scores.
If a player managed to use all their tiles then that player gets an extra 50 points bonus on top of the score that they have just accrued.
The winner of the game is the one that has accrued the most points after either all the tiles have gone from the bag or there is nowhere on the board to make a word.
That's it really, that's how to play the game, make a word and pray that it fits onto the board, joining onto someone else's word, making the best word you can with the highest score possible.
What about rules..?
Well there are rules, with some of these rules being upheld stronger than a court of law, depending on whether you're in a world championship or not.
Some of the rules are that you can't use certain words, such as names of places, countries or counties, nor can you have words not used in your native tongue.
All words must join onto another word and no words can be made up nor abbreviated.
There are other rules too but if you're that interested then you can read the rule book.
This is a brilliant game for all the family that not only helps bring you all together but also teaches you how to spell and also maybe learning a few new words as well.
It doesn't take a genius to play it as even the easy words earn points and points all add up towards the end scores.
When we play as a family we try and stick to the rules, by that I mean that we can't make up words just because one of us has a row of rather dodgy letter on their rack, including a 'Q', 'Z', a 'P' and all the vowels apart from a 'U'.
My youngest, who's 9, really likes playing this and tried to make the best words she can, even without cheating, although we have to watch her as she does tend to make up some rather strange words.
Each game can take quite some time, depending on how slow a player is during the game, which in my case can be quite some time trying to get a word to fit on the board, especially towards the end of the game when the board is almost full and all I'm left with is one vowel and a load of bad consonants. But it's not one of them games that you need to rush, as long as no one cheats by looking at other peoples tiles on their rack, or maybe even snatching a letter from the board and replacing it with a 'Q', (or is that just something I do).
There are several different versions of this game, some where the colours of the squares may vary, a junior version, a deluxe version and even a chocolate version, but they are all based on the same playing format.
Apart from a latest version one, called Scrabble Trickster, which breaks all the rules and allows words which were previously forbidden and even allows words being placed anywhere on the board, even backwards too, although this game sounds like it's on the verge of ruining the fun of the game that is scrabble.
The build of the game is pretty good, with this version having plastic tiles whilst other older versions had wooden tiles, but these plastic tiles are well built and look like the will last forever. The only thing that may fall apart first is possibly the board itself, if previous board games are anything to go by, with the bend of the board looking like it is the first thing that could go, but the one I've been playing for a while now is still bending quite well without any trouble so far.
As for the price, well, this fun family game is on sale for just under the £20.00 mark, with some places selling it for a lot less, but even for the higher price of £20.00 it's still cracking value for money and will make any rainy day fun filled and family based.
Scrabble is the classic word game, make the best word you can using any of your 7 letter tiles drawn at random. Your word must use a letter tile already in play on the board. Scores are given for letter values and are boosted by premium squares on the grid.