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I absolutely love Scrabble and it is a game that proves the saying 'the old ones are the best'. It is a game that I love to play in all formats, but I find this travel version to be the best for a number of reasons.
Just in case there is anyone who has never heard of or played Scrabble (and if you are that person would you mind messaging me to let me know how it is you haven't heard of it - thanks!!!), it is a word game for two to four players that is suitable for an age. There are children's versions, but you can adapt the normal version for anyone really. Each player gets seven letter tiles to start the game and then must place a word onto the board so that it joins at least one of the other words on already there - rather like a crossword. You pick more letter tiles to replace the ones you have played so that you start each round with seven letters. Play finishes when there are no more letters left and one player has placed the last of theirs down. You score points for using different letters (as indicated on the individual tiles - harder to use letters like Q and Z score more points) and you score extra points if you place them on a bonus square on the board, for example 'double word score' and 'triple letter score'. It really is a very simple game that is challenging and fun in equal measures.
-The Travel Version-
The board for the travel version is exactly the same as the normal one except that it is smaller. This is the first good thing about it. Some travel games I have found reduce the game length because they cut bits out, but not so with Travel Scrabble. The games last exactly as long as in the normal version because everything is the same; the same number of squares on the board and more importantly the same number of bonus squares in the same places. Unlike some games it hasn't been adapted for the travel version so if you know how to play it, you can get started straight away.
The board is magnetic as are the tiles, which is another thing that I think is better than the normal version - there is no messing up the entire game when someone gets up to get a drink and knocks the board. The tiles are stuck to the board so there is no movement at all. In fact, in the interest of reviewing, I have even tested the strength of the magnets and found that you can shake, roll and turn the board and nothing moves! The tile stand that each player gets at the beginning of the game is also magnetic so no problems there either. The tile stands also have little wedges on them so they can stand by themselves.
The whole thing tidies away very easily too. You simply slot the tile holders into the side of the board and fold the board in half, with the letters still in place at the end of the game. This then slots into the little velcroed bag that you get with it and hey presto, it's away. The game when folded away is about the size of a small book (a bit smaller than a Kindle for those who have made the switch!), so easy to pack in your hand bag or travel bag.
Scoring is much easier in this game than the other versions as well. Gone are the days where you need a pen and piece of paper and you have to nominate someone to keep score. On this version there are four lots of sliding gauges around the edges to keep score. Each side has a single unit gauge, a tens gauge and a hundreds gauge - you simply slide the little yellow triangle along the gauge to add your points up - much easier!
This version is available on Amazon for around £12, which is about the same price you would pay for it at airports and train stations and the like. Compared with the original version, which I have seen for around £14 in the supermarkets, it is a bit pricey. Having said that the travel version is much more versatile and convenient so I would absolutely say it is worth the money. Plus it is stocking sized if you are still looking for Christmas gift ideas!!
I would probably never have bought a travel scrabble set for myself. Don't get me wrong, I love scrabble but to be honest I can't think of a journey long and dull enough with a good enough table to make a game of scrabble ever feasibly possible. I imagine this will find most of its travel use on trains but I think even then getting the tiles out would be asking for trouble.
For those who have been living in a cave and are unfamiliar with scrabble, it is a challenging word game in which all players draw seven letters and take turns placing words onto the board. New words must be fitted onto the board via letters already placed on the board and the board is marked with a sequence of bonus squares that add to your score if you can place a word upon them. It's a great game to play with friends and can be surprisingly good for your vocabulary.
As you've probably guessed, I received this as a gift. Sort of a moving out present when I left home, my own scrabble set. Now I don't think I would trade it for the world. While I would still never travel with it, the basic travel enhancements are pretty handy for any set. Firstly the set is more compact than normal and for my girlfriend and I it's nicer to have the little board than a great big fold out thing that doesn't fit on our little coffee table. The compact board also doubles as a case for the set, making it easier to pack up and leave out without fiddling with the box. The whole thing takes up very little space on my all to precious shelf space. Travel scrabble is space efficient, something few other scrabbles can boast.
The most important feature though is in the tile fixings. The travel scrabble board is essentially a dotted grid with pinholes on the corners of every square. The tiles have four feet that slot into the pins keeping all the tiles in place. They're very secure (though still nowhere near secure enough to travel with) and it makes it a lot easier to just leave a board mid game without worrying about knocking the table, sending the alphabet flying.
If you already own a scrabble set and are looking to upgrade to a more mobile scrabble, I wouldn't recommend this. The "travel" label is laughable really but if you're currently without a set then it's a nice one to have.
The reason why I prefer Travel Scrabble over regular scrabble is obviously because of the way in which the compact board allows you to carry it in any corner of the world. But more than that, it's also easy and very practical to store since it (again obviously) takes up less space. But I have to admit that the compact size means that the squares are quite teeny-tiny and you might find yourself having to squint quite a lot in order to read the points value. But it's just as fun as the original Scrabble. I would, however, advise you to be really, really careful with little ones around: This is definitely choking hazard material. My little cousin managed to pop a couple of the alphabets in her mouth before we luckily managed to take them out.
The basis of the game is as simple and educational as the original Scrabble: The game board is marked by squares upon which point values are inscribed. This goes in line with the point values marked on the alphabets. The point of the game is to form words- you can start a new word from another existing word, but it the flow has to be coherent. This means that you just cannot start a different word from the middle of an existing word, since the letters will clash with each other. Usually, longer words will bring more points, but some more tricky letters such as Z or X will bring more points. By the end of the game, the player with the most points is declared the winner.
What I like about this game is that it really does stimulate the mind and makes you think really hard- this happens as the game nears to its end, after you have exhausted your mental stock of word and has to make words out of X, W, Y, V and other fiddly letters! However, while I would have awarded the original Scrabble game five dooyoo stars, this one only gets four stars because the small size really adds an unnecessarily hassle. Moreover, I noticed the alphabets are printed in quite pale ink which makes it even more difficult to read, given the tiny size. The tiles also get easy to lose, but the one I bought thankfully came with its small pouch which allows easy storage.
Overall, I will recommend them, but I personally use this for ease of storing instead of while travelling. It's too small and fiddly to use on a plane or train and the small size also means that you can't really play with more than two players. But otherwise, four stars since it basically does what it's meant to do and provides hours of fun and entertainment.
Travel Scrabble, is as the name suggest, a miniature version of the popular board game designed for use when out and about. Scrabble, in a nutshell, involves making words based on lettered tiles you receive and using lettered tiles already placed on the board. The highest score wins! Simple.
Now, first off I do not think Scrabble is the best game to be used as a travel game. It requires thinking and using your brain, which some people might not wish to do on a long journey and it takes time. It could easily zap away hours on your trip and make the long train journeys fly, but it could also drag and its not ideal for a family game. There are far better options to help keep kids calm and pass the time unless you are really mad keen scrabble fans.
The product itself is well made, its solid and the tiles stick fine so any unexpected jolts wont ruin your game. The pieces are very small though, the whole thing can fit easily into the standard handbag, and might cause problems and I personally have dropped tons of them, some never to be seen again. It's a bit fiddly at times. It can turn the game into a chore sometimes and cause frustration which isn't ideal of long trips.
And the last criticism is the price...£15-£18 is way too much for this sort of product. Unless you travel regularly and use this regularly then its simply not worth it.
Only worth investing in for those who enjoy the point of scrabble and travel often, otherwise avoid!
Also on CIAO
Scrabble - everybody knows this game. In one sentence: a game board marked with a 15-by-15 grid (so 225 fields-squares) and two to four players scoring points by forming words across and down from tiles. Generally, the longer word you build, the more points you get, but some letters are more valuable than other. Furthermore, there are special squares with extra points.
A small version of Scrabble is nice. It is identical to the "big" game, so you don't have to learn by heart new rules. Even the board looks like the original one. The game is easy and fast, it takes a few minutes to finish a normal match. Of course the true fun begins with 3-4 players, however during the travel it may be impossible to play in full squad. The set has good quality, all letters and signs are bold. For some people its pieces will be too small, but it is a compact travel version after all. The tiles are stored in a green bag - and they are waiting for a chance to escape, so take care of them! Remember that the board still remains some space both to play and store.
Do you like Scrabble? If you are always on the go, try this set. According to some sources classic Scrabble sets are found in one out of every three American homes. Now it is possible to find this game in their cars as well.
I managed to pick up Travel Scrabble about a year ago now for just over £15 as I have always loved the game even though I haven't played for a while now due to not having the time. But I did used to enjoy playing the game as it was educational and fun. Since we have started travelling more and more recently I thought I'd get the travel version and I can tell you it really does take up some time on long journeys.
One of the important factors with any travel game is that it needs to be light and small enough to fit snugly into a bag as otherwise it wouldn't be a travel game. This one fits that bill anyway and can easily be put into a rucksack or handbag as my wife has proved.
I'm sure as you know from the original game you get a number of tiles and a tile holder and from these letters you need to make up words to earn points by placing them on the scrabble board and win the game. Each letter has a different value which determines your score for a particular word. With the travel game you get all this but just smaller.
The board itself can be collapsed and is easy to open or put away in tight spaces when on a train or plane. The board is identical to the full game.
For me, this is an ideal travel companion as it is great fun to play and keeps your brain ticking over on those boring, tedious journeys. I wouldn't be without this now and it makes things go so much quicker. It's easy to pack away too when you need to quickly which is always handy.
Available for just under 18 quid on Amazon this has been a godsend to me on trips out of the country when my laptop or notebook have been unavailable, small enough to easily fit into a reasonable sized handbag or a rucksack it is also a good way to make friends with other travellers as i´ve found in Cairo, Auckland and Bangladesh in the past.
The theme of the game is universal, you have a number of tiles and even in the travel version you still get your little tile holder, from these letters you must make words on the scrabble board, you gain points for the value of each letter in the word and values on certain squares on the board itself.
The board is collapsible so is easy to open up or put away on train tables or in bars, the tiles come in a little bag similar to the one the FA cup balls used to come out of, it is a lovely little green thing which is handy and easy to carry.
The board and the game have helped me cover a lot of ground and been a real ice breaker in the past, they have also made me friends on commutes to London when the time can pass incredibly slowly and anyone is looking for distraction.
The game is for up to 4 players, the board is identical to the full game but in a handy collapsible form whilst it all tidies up really well to take up very little space when your travelling, i´d recommend three people as minimum for a real good game and its optional whether you carry a travel dictionary to root out cheating but overall this is easily worth the money as its more personal and offers the chance to meet others which a handheld or laptop never does.
This is available in most good toystores and I have even seen it in WH Smiths at Gatwick and Heathrow. Its great fun, gets the brain working and can create some really good debates over whether letters actually do form real words or not, but its something that I feel has paid for itself in making friends and getting people to buy me drinks wherever i´ve got it out.
When mom and dad were alive we often used to play Scrabble. I had Junior Scrabble as a child and then adult Scrabble and Travel Scrabble when I was older.
The version that I am talking about today is Travel Scrabble which is the standard adult version except that it is in a travel format.
I have just taken a look on the Internet and found that it is currently available at John Lewis at a cost of £17.99.
What do you get for your money?
In our version, which is admittedly about 20 years old, we have a game board, which is the same size as the box, (I understand that in the newer versions the box is smaller and the board folds in two) 100 cream coloured tiles each with a black letter on it, four racks on which to stand the letters and a draw string bag made from green cloth in which to keep the tiles. The box also contains a full list of instructions for play.
In this version of the game each square on the board has a small hole at each corner and every tile has a small peg at each corner. This means that the tiles click into place on the board so that they don't slide about if the board is moved.
The idea of the game
The game is played in exactly the same way as you would play Standard Adult Scrabble and, although the whole thing is smaller (but still large enough to see clearly) and more compact the number of squares on the playing board remains the same as do the values of the letters and the rules of the game.
The game can be played by 2, 3 or 4 people or could even be played as a solitaire game if you like.
The game board is made up of 225 squares onto which the letter tiles are placed in the form of a crossword.
98 of the tiles have a black letter and a small black number ranging from just one for the vowels and more popular consonants through to 10 for the Q and Z which are potentially the most difficult letters to play. The remaining two tiles are completely blank and can be used as any letter but they have no numeric value and as such do not add to the score.
Each player draws one tile and the person having the letter nearest to the beginning of the alphabet will begin the game. These tiles are then put back into the bag.
Each player draws 7 letter tiles from the bag, without looking at them of course, and places them on a letter rack so that they can be seen by the player who has drawn them but not by the other players.
The first person makes a word using some or all of their letters and puts it on the game board either horizontally or vertically making sure that the centre square is one of the squares covered by a letter. The word must be in the Oxford English Dictionary and must not be a proper noun (start with a capital letter),
The player then takes the number of tiles from the bag that they have just played so that the total of their tiles is 7 again.
Each player plays in turn in the same way but each time the new word must fit onto a word or words already on the game board. For example if the first player had put down the word 'table' the next player could possibly put 'brain' using the 'b' in the word table to make a crossword formation - maybe the next person could put 'easy' by putting the 's' of 'easy' at the end of 'brain' or 'table' to make the plural. Hopefully you get the idea!
This continues until all the tiles have been played or until the remaining ones are unplayable.
Well as each tile has a letter with a numeric value on it you may correctly assume that each word played would score the total of all the letters used, but this is only part of the score.
The squares on the game board are not all blank - there are some light blue squares which are double letter squares, dark blue squares are triple letter squares, pale pink squares are double word and the eight red squares are the best of all as they are triple word squares.
The triple word squares are at situated at the four corners of the game board and also exactly in the centre of each side of the board which of course makes them the most difficult to cover since every game must begin with a word which covers the centre square - itself a double word square incidentally.
The scoring is simple - when a word is played the numeric value of the letters is totalled up taking account of any bonus squares which have been covered. If, as in my example above, a word containing an 's' is played making an existing word into a plural then both new words are scored but the bonus squares are only counted if they are under the letters actually played.
If you manage to use all 7 letters in one round to make your word then you receive a bonus of 50 points.
At the end of the game any letters which are unplayable are deducted at face value from the score of the player holding them.
We always kept a notepad and pen in the box with the playing equipment so we could use it to make a note of the scores.
It does say in the rules that if you are challenged as to the existence of any word that you play you will need to define the word and have it verified using a dictionary in order for it to count. The way we played was slightly different - we used to look at our letters and then say I wonder if such and such is a word? This was especially true at the end of the game when we were struggling to use the last few, sometimes unusual, letters.
We then kept a list of all the really weird words that we discovered in the box with the rest of the Scrabble kit. There included such words as qua, qi, jo, zee, etc so that we would have a chance of getting rid of the unusual letters even when the situation looked hopeless!
This is a great game to play at whatever level you wish to play - you could stick to simpler words if children were playing or go for a serious, strategic game using the cleverest words you can think of or indeed anything in between! The travel version makes it easy to play on the move and it is small enough to pack and take on holiday with you.
To be honest we always used to use the Travel Scrabble when we played as we used to sit on the sofa rather than sitting at the table to play and the Travel Scrabble was easy to pass around as the letters didn't slip off the playing board.
By the way how many of you are old enough to remember the episode of Butterflies where the two sons are playing Scrabble when mom, alias Wendy Craig, walks in and asks what they are doing. They confess that they are playing Scrabble only using 'naughty' words and, instead of being cross, she leans over and plays a word herself and the boys just look SO shocked as they exclaim 'Mom!' - sadly we never got to see what the word was! LOL!
So, all in all, it is a great game to play seriously or just for fun and it helps to expand and develop your vocabulary as you play.
Take the fun of Scrabble with you wherever you go!