Product Type: Mattel board games
Newest Review: ... to ensure no arguments or cheating!). But we also play this wonderful, simple game with our children, the youngest being only 6 (age reco... more
It's a classic for a reason
Mattel Scrabble Original
Member Name: IJC2k12
Mattel Scrabble Original
Advantages: Suitable for all ages, improves your word power faster than a Countdown marathon
Disadvantages: Try not to play the deluxe version if you don't want to know how a few upgrades can go a long way.
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.
Summary: A game to play with your family that they will want to pass on to their youngsters.