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
S.C.R.A.B.B.L.E - Scrabble
Mattel Scrabble Original
Member Name: lyndsey1989
Mattel Scrabble Original
Advantages: Anyone can play, traditional
Disadvantages: No fancy gimmicks that some may prefer
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.
Summary: Family time!