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
MY TURN TO HAVE SEX ON THE BOARD THIS TIME
Mattel Scrabble Original
Member Name: sue.51
Mattel Scrabble Original
Date: 22/11/02, updated on 22/11/02 (1017 review reads)
Advantages: Great game can keep me amused for hours
Disadvantages: Tiles are very easy to lose, Cheating
I have always been competitive - my early days in school before I discovered boys I always wanted to be top of the class, when I played cricket (yes cricket) I always wanted to win, when I discovered boys I was gutted if they wanted someone else even if I didn't fancy them - but before boys I discovered Scrabble.
My sister, 6 years older, found herself a wonderful, intellectually superior boyfriend who spent a considerable amount of time in the bosom of our family and together we liked to do family things - this was how our family love of Scrabble started.
At first, as there were 5 of us I used to pair up with my Dad, but then as I started to realise how crap he was, I started teaming up with my sister and/or her boyfriend. Then big sis left home but our love of a family game of scrabble continued so much so that we owned the original, travel, pocket and deluxe versions.
THE HISTORY (courtesy of the official Scrabble website)
Scrabble apparently started its life in 1931 as Lexicon, originated by Alfred Mosher Butts but the US government refused to give him a patent on the game. He made several amendments to both the format and the name but was met with the same solid refusal to patent; then came the war and any inspiration to continue with the development met an abrupt end until 1948 when James Brunot, owner of the first Criss-Crossword games decided that the product should be marketed and on 16th December 1948, the game of Scrabble as we now know it was born. However early sales and profits were poor and the product was nearly abandoned until discovered by Jack Strauss, owner of Macys, the biggest department store in the world who enjoyed playing it so much he demanded to know why it wasn?t stocked in his games department and their support of t
roduct saw sales rocket to such a level that supplies had to be rationed for the next 3 years.
In 1994, the rights to produce the game were acquired by J W Spears and Son and they still produce the game today.
SO WHAT IS IT?
For those who don't know - Scrabble is the worlds biggest selling board game, with over 100 million sales in 29 languages and 121 different counties - so if you enjoy a game then it looks like you are in good company.
The game, whichever model bought, contains a board with 15 columns and 15 rows & 100 letters with the aim being to form words on the board that score the highest number of points. It can be played by between 2 and 4 players, with the minimum recommended age being 10 ? for the youngsters amongst you there is Junior Scrabble.
Each player should select a letter to determine the order of play - the one who selects the lowest letter of the alphabet starts the game and play should be in a clockwise direction. Once this has been established, each player should take 7 letter squares in the order of play - tile racks are supplied to help you keep track of your letters and more importantly, HIDE them from your opponents.
The person starting the game is expected to make a word of 2 or more letters that run either vertically or horizontally through the centre square and will receive a double word score for their troubles. The number of letter squares should be returned to 7 once each player has finished their go.
Subsequent players are then expected to make words, again of 2 or more letters tagged onto an existing word on the board, letters can only be placed in one direction in any one go, i.e. across or down. Plurals are allowed but names, place names and abbreviations are not.
Some people have mixed views on allowing a dictionary to be used during play, we do not allow one to be used before the player has made their move, but always keep one handy
to ensure authenticity of 'dodgy' words - this not only helps to make the game more interesting but can also double up in assisting the expansion of people's vocabulary and understanding ? particularly useful if children are playing.
The 100 letters consist of 42 vowels, 56 consonants and 2 blanks.
Each letter tile has been allocated a score and it is the total of these scores that are allocated to the player who has made the word - they will get
· 1 point for each vowel used,
· 1 point for letters such as L, N, R, S & T
· 2 points for the letters D and G
· 3 points for B, C, M & P
· 4 points for F, H, V, W & Y
· 5 points for K
· 8 points for J & X
· 10 points for Q & Z
and as you would probably expect, the less common the letter in general use the higher the score.
In addition to the letter scores, players can pick up extra points dependant on if they lay a tile on one of the 'special' squares that allow points to be obtained.
· For a light blue square you get a double letter score
· For a dark blue square you get a triple letter score
· For a pink square you get a double word score and
· Last but most certainly not least - for a red square you a triple word score
I am a mercenary old soul and always aim for the last two unless I know I can strategically place a high scoring tile on a double or triple letter score.
If a player cannot make a word when it is their go, then they are entitled to change all their letters, but obviously miss their turn for that round.
If a player legally uses all 7 letters to make a word, they acquire 50 points in addition to their score.
At the end of the game, this is when a player has finished all their letters, and the remainder of players have had their last go, i.e the person who started last - the value of any letter tiles left should be removed from each players score and added t
o the score of the person who used all their letters first.
THE STRATEGY OF THE GAME
The aim is, in very simplistic terms, is to score more points than your opponents. My ultimate aim is never to be beaten and in this ilk I had a very good teacher, an A ?Level English student on his way to University to study the same, and MY MOTHER. My mother left school at 15 with no qualifications, working in a shop for a number of years until she went away to study for a nursing career, to which she climbed very near to the top of her profession before sadly Sarcoidosis and severe arthritis forced her into early retirement, but boy, she is unstoppable, in quizzes, trivial pursuit and most importantly (to me anyway) Scrabble. It took me nearly 13 years of intermittent playing to finally beat her but when I did I finally knew I had cracked it.
I will not if I can help it, allow myself to set anyone up for a triple word score - they are mine, unfortunately my daughter hasn't quite mastered the knack of recognising that whilst half the strategy is making yourself as many points as possible, the other half is about trying to ensure that the person whose turn it is after yours can?t make lots of points and trouble is, because of the way we sit, Martin always seems to be in between us, although he has only beat me once so far.
THE SCRABBLE CLUB
When I returned home after splitting up with my daughters father, I was in the predicament that most of my old friends had moved away - so here I was working in an office where nearly everyone was over the age of 50, and most looked down their nose at me because I was a single mum of a 6 week old baby and also working, and built in and extremely willing night-time babysitters, but no money (most of it went on childcare), no friends and nowhere to go, so we started playing Scrabble again which is when I finally beat my mum, it was at this point that she suggested I sign up for the local Scrabble club ? I wa
s good and she thought it would help me make friends.
So I did and for a small fee I could play Scrabble and drink coffee. I did enjoy it but I finally realised that without a lot of practice there was NO WAY I was going to be able to compete in this arena. My normal scores can range from anywhere between 200 - 400 depending on the number of players and the lie of the board; these guys NEVER seemed to score less than 500, often elevating their scores to well over 800, the usual overall total for a family of 4 playing, well I stuck this for about 9 months, until I felt really able to start circulating again, had lost some weight and made some friends then Scrabble was laid to rest until Tasha again resurrected it a couple of weeks ago, we had been struggling on with the minute travel scrabble which has magnetic letters and magnetic holders - then Martin was sent out to buy a new board yesterday but came home without it (how complicated can men get?)
Thankfully I am the proud owner of a new Scrabble original; gone are the old fashioned cardboard board, replaced by a board with a plastic top cover that as slightly indented edges around each square to try and keep the letters in place - £14.99 from WH Smiths, although this is one game that can be bought from any good toy seller, including Argos and Woolworths. If you really feel like splashing out, you can obtain the Deluxe version from Argos for the reduced price of £24.99 (usual price £29.99) - this game supplies a scoring rack and pegs for each member to keep a track of their own score (which is why I avoided buying it at this time).
Having said this, the board has gone by the wayside a little since I accidentally discovered an on-line scrabble site - www.isc.ro - where you can play in English, American English, Romanian and French - it is brilliant for improving your skills and vocabulary.
This is game I can play regularly and never get fed up with it - it bring
s the family together whilst expanding the kids? vocabulary at the same time, AND I DO NOT LIKE BEING BEATEN ? NOW THERES A CHALLENGE.
If you want to find out more - hop along to your local retailer - or check out the official site at: http://www.mattelscrabble.com/en/adults/index.html and it very kindly gives you a list of 120 both well and lesser know 2 letter words that could come in very handy if you are as mercenary as me :)