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Yahoo! Literati

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3 Reviews

Literati is a word game where up to four players compete by creating words from various letter tiles. The game is played on a 15x15 grid on which players create words by placing tiles at intersections on the grid. Certain intersections have special values and can increase a player's score. Scores are totaled off the point values of each letter tile plus any bonuses. The first player creates a word using the center intersection and everyone, in turn, must play off of the tiles on the board to create new words. The game is over when all the letter tiles are played or no player can spell a valid word with the tiles they have left. The player with the highest score wins the game.

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    3 Reviews
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    • More +
      03.02.2012 16:43
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      A fun, intellectually challenging game that provides an easy way to waste your time

      Literati is basically scrabble with a few small changes. The game can get competitive, is challenging and usually lots of fun if you want to be intellectually stimulated. The game consists of a small square of a pale green-blue hue with a variety of bonus points such as trebles or double word scores, much like the original scrabble game. The aim of the game, as you might have expected is to be the person at the end, once all the tiles have been used or you are no longer to take a 'turn' as you can't seem to find any eligible words, with the highest score. That person is then rewarded with a typically random seeming number of points, which can increase/decrease depending on the number of tiles they have remaining at the end of the game. As you can probably tell from my tone, I sometimes become frustrated with the points system but that's another matter.

      Further when deciding to play Literati, is it always important to consider this simple fact: people are mean and some are simply way too over the top and/or into their word games. Yes, I do sound about 5 years old right now but bear with me. Not only are some people so ultra-competitive that they begin to insult or 'trash talk' you, but the main game selecting page is full of socialites who appear to have menial conversations, whilst sometimes being interrupted by a grumpy recently losing participants who will enter your username as well as a string of profanities in the attempt to get you banned or to get others to avoid playing with you. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have been called obese, in a nicer way to put it, over the web for having randomly chosen a name which happened to include the word 'plump'.

      Not only this but some competitors cannot stand a slower player and will abuse you via the chat menu at the bottom of the screen to attempt to speed you up. I tend to ignore this however, because there is a standard 3 minute timer that limits how much time you can take and once you/your opponent has exceeded it they/you have the option to 'wait', 'boot' them from you table thus ending the game and giving you points, or to cancel the game and both leave with your points in tact, but your time gone. However, if you too would like a fast-paced game there is the option to set a timer to ensure the game lasts a certain number of minutes and doesn't exceed this.

      Maybe I just have bad luck and there are those of you out there who have been greeted by friendly opponents who just want to play a simple game over the internet to kill some time. I'm sure they do exist and for this reason, as well as boredom, I continue to play Literati in the desperate hope I can achieve 1600 points and I can finally move out of the 'Beginner Lounge' to the more advanced options.

      It is a silly game with silly word allowances, such as words like 'Joe' or 'despited' being allowed, but not anything with a 'u' if you are playing the American version (i.e. humour, armour, honour...which ironically have a little red line on my screen right now as I type this). Of course I am being ridiculous in my judgement of Literati and mostly it is a decent game with friendly or silent partners, a way to kill time and relax. However, I thought that in case one of you out there had the misfortune of coming across someone such as I have who is aggressive, I would give you this warning. I dont think that any of this is reason not to play however, and unless you have a particularly weak backbone I'm sure you can endure the teasing which you'll probably get once every 200 games.


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      • More +
        17.04.2007 21:46
        Very helpful



        A good game for those that like words.

        I am a regular player of Literati, and although it bears no comparison with the original concept of Scrabble, other than placing words on a board to link up and score points, it's a great laugh, and if you can find an online player with a sense of fun, then is certainly worth exploring.

        This is a yahoo game, and in order to play, you need a yahoo name. If you already have a yahoo email address, then you have an ID that can easily be used to play this game online. Access to the game is pretty easy, and just by typing 'Yahoo Games Literati' directly into your google search box, the site is easily accessed, and you are given a choice of rooms where you can play.

        If you are new to the game, try a quieter room, as many of the busier rooms are serious competitors, and you are likely to get into a heavy battle of wits and wisdom, not so much on what words are good words, but on which words work. There's a knack with Literati, and many of the words make little sense off the board, though regular players know which ones work.

        Starting a game.

        To open your own table is easy, and here you get choices of a simple game, a timed game, and also the number of players. For group games this is great and I have played this with online friends before, although when playing with strangers, be aware that people are not always responsive and quick with their games, and that many drop out during the course of a game. Two players is a better option, though there are two modes of play, challenge and normal. You will need java to activate the game.

        Timed games

        Beware of playing games with those who insist on using a timer. If the time given is reasonable, i.e. 20 minutes upwards, then it's ok. That just means that they are seeking games that are quickly played, although you get a lot of people who play speed Literati, which I admit takes some dexterity but to my mind is less likely to satisfy a true wordsmith, since many of the words placed are questionable at best.

        Normal play

        Normal play is untimed. You and your competitor have to make words out of the letters given to you, the first player playing across the centre of the board. Different squares have different values, and notably the ones to look out for are the double and triple words, as leaving these open for an oponent will lose you valuable points. In the normal play mode, Yahoo itself decides which are good words, and which are not acceptable, and nothing is left to dispute.

        Challenge Play

        In this mode, there is more fun to be had, since each player is able to challenge the opponent's play though will lose their next go if they are wrong. It's great fun, and I must say I prefer the challenge mode, although most players prefer normal mode. Challenge is a slower game, though careful attention is needed to play the most difficult words that you can, in order to gain the advantage over the opponent.

        In all games

        Swapping of tiles that you don't like is acceptable in all games, though loses you a turn on the board. Moving pieces onto the board is very simple putting the curser on the piece in question and simply moving it into it's place. Blank tiles are counted as any choice you care to make, and can be used by tapping the tile and typing in the letter you require that tile to be. Scores are shown during the game, and if you feel like a laugh, you can tap the little character that represents you as a player and change your look. I've been a blonde, a brunette and a little boy with a silly hat. As for the different colours of letters, these represent different values for the level of difficulty for placing such a letter, with vowels scoring much less than for example a letter like Q.

        The purpose of the game.

        Literati have a league and many of the players take league playing very seriously. Personally, I am not that interested in what ranking I have, though always play games that count towards ranking since otherwise you tend to get players that are not that serious about the game. Rated games do bring out the more serious players and are certainly the way to go.


        As you play, there is a talk box at the bottom of the screen, and although many of the contestants are amicable, some are plain rude. Many want to know your age, sex and location, although you usually get a feel for those that are there to play and those that are there to talk. I have experienced very rude players and my advice in the case of encountering one of these people is to leave the game, and find someone who is a decent human being to play a game with.

        My thoughts on the game.

        It's a good game, and one I feel would be better if the dictionary used was the same as that used for Scrabble. What detracts from the quality of the game is the use of American words as opposed to recognizable English words, though once you get over the culture shock, you can still have a pretty good game.

        You come across many characters that you bump into regularly, and can message players in the room where you set up a game by tapping their name twice and sending a greeting. I think it is one of the most consistent of online games for interaction with others. There are better one player word games, though I find meeting people from all over the world, and playing sometimes two games at a time is great fun, and passes the time in an amicable way.

        See you there.



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        • More +
          01.08.2006 13:13
          Very helpful



          GOOD GAME!

          I Actually found literati by mistake about 4 years ago I was addicted to playing games on the net & used to love playing monopoly but I went to play one day & the site had been closed down & I could not find a new site where you didn't have to pay to play & that's when I noticed yahoo did games for free. I have had a yahoo email account for as long as I can remember & never really paid much attention to anything to else. But when needs must you begin to look everywhere & I began on all the card games I knew like Go fish, Blackjack & Patients which I found out all had different American names. I then came across Literati, which after a couple of games I interpreted as scrabble. Scrabble is a game I used to play with my gran & granddad & I always remember her checking the dictionary on nearly every single word!
          After a few games I really started to enjoy literati not only because you can play with literally anyone anywhere you can keep putting letters down making words up & sometimes you can't actually believe that you've actually made up a word & its worth quite a lot of points.
          You can access literati on www.yahoo.com/games & obviously you have to be a member of yahoo. If you're not you can't play but you can become a member for free after completing a couple of painless online forms. My actual login is Stephgirlx2 but I have made lots of logins up on profiles & I usually play as the moongoddess264.
          I swap & change according to rating because every time you win a game you get some points & the more points you get the better rating you get & the more people want to play you.
          Ok so there is the background now I'll explain how Literati works as it has some differences to scrabble.

          Where do I play ???
          Once you get on to the literati page you will be faced with the choice of playing on the social boards which are meant just for fun & a bit of a chat you still get rated but its not meant to be serious. You then have the beginner table, intermediate table & advanced table I always go to the beginner table but to be honest it doesn't really matter because people just go to any sometimes the advanced has some pretty good players but the beginner & intermediate is really a mixed bag. Once you have chosen one of these areas you will be faced with a list of about 10 different rooms & it shows how many people are playing in each I usually go for the most full to get a good game. The game gets full around 125 players & then you can no longer enter that room. If you go to yahoo.co.uk it will show just UK tables but in the day & early evening there doesn't seem to be many people in these.

          How to play
          Once you get on to the room you want you will be faced with a list of numbered tables, which have already been opened by other people, & as long as these aren't private you are free to join them. The tables are played in either a two, three, four or five player mode obviously the more people the quicker the game will be. You can also have a quick game by going to a table where the turns are limited to a certain time per hand but you do have to be a bit more experienced for the quicker hands. If none of them take your fancy why not open your own table, which I usually do. To do this you click on create table & then you can choose how many players you want at your table & then if it is rated or not & if you want to have a challenge stage.
          RATED - This means you gain points at the end of the game & UNRATED - Means you are just playing for fun because who ever wins or losers will not lose or gain any points I used to like playing on this mode when I first joined the game to get a bit more practise.
          CHALLENGE - This is a good mode if you know your stuff (which I do not but like to play for a bit of fun) It is quite straight forward once someone puts down a word if you don't think it Is in the dictionary you hit challenge & it checks it, If the word does exist then you miss a go but if it doesn't exist then the player who laid it will miss a turn. Yahoo games check the words with dictionary.com.
          If you do not care which table or in which mode you play you can click on the button play now & yahoo will allocate you the first vacant table, I don't usually bother doing this because it means you cant have any option on any of the settings.
          When you are playing the game in any mode I thought I just better let you know that you can pass on any of your turns if you think you have horrible letters & want a fresh hand you simply click pass & then all your letters come up in a small box this is where you click on the letters you want to get rid of & then they will go back into the bag & new ones will be given to you. There Is no guarantee that you wont get any of those letters back especially if there are only a couple of letters left until the end of the game.

          Who wins ?
          Once all the letters are gone from the bag it is like a race against time to get rid of all the letters in your hand especially if the scores are close. This is the part I hate because I usually have all consonants if you are left with a wild tile or like an e or s you have it made but if not you could be on to a loser. Whoever drops all there letters has the best chance of winning because all the other players letters left have there point totals taken off their ain score, which sounds ok if you have only 1point tiles but if you are left with a Z or an X you get 5 points deducted & in literati this can mean a lot. The person with the most points wins the game!

          The board
          Well this is quite similar to Scrabble but just looks different but the principle is the same the board is a grey greenie sort of colour with the main middle square & the odd double word circle which is blue & says 2w then there is the triple word score which is a circle with grey 3w in & there are the double letter score & that says 2l in brown & then the triple letter score which is a black 3L. It is very good if you can get a triple letter & triple word all in one work because the letter gets tripled before the word does do you get maximum points.
          The board is a 15x15 grid & looks a bit dull & could do with being a bit brighter but I think there are just enough squares not too many to get bored with.
          On the left hand side of the board it has 7 tabs down the side
          START GAME
          Which is quite obvious but everyone has had to hit this before the game will begin.
          Another quite explanatory button but once you press this it isn't all over so don't get worried if you hit this in error you get another box saying do you really want to resign. This is good because in some gains it just kicks you out which is so annoying.
          STAND UP
          This button can be used if you want or move seats or if you just wish to spectate & not play, as it will keep you in the game but not actually at the table. You can't stand up mid game though
          TABLE TYPE
          This can only be accessed by the host of the table it is a drop down menu of either public, protected or private. Public means anyone can join, private means people can come to the table but they must be invited to take a seat so they can watch but not play & Private is a good option if you're in a serious game or if you are playing with friends it basically means no one can access your table unless they get an invite.
          This is also another button only to be used by the host once the host opens a new table you can invite people to your table by clicking this a list of people who are on this game will come up & you can invite who you want. Their names & ratings will come up so you can see your opposition (this does not apply to the social games though only on the beginner, intermediate & expert)
          This is also quite obvious if haven't started a rated game you can boot someone say if you don't wish to play with them or they wont click start, but only if you're the host.
          You cannot boot someone in mid game if it is rated.
          SET TIMER
          This again is a host button it is good in some ways & bad in others the good thing is you can make the game speedier as you can change how long each person has to take there go the least being 1 minute & the most being what ever has you can choose to have no timer which believe me is sooo boring you always get a beginner who wants to take all day or people who just take the mickey. I know it sounds mean but you don't want to wait all day for a game to end. When I was younger I know it sound bad but I used to deliberately go on no timer & make people resign so I'd get the points I know it's stupid but I was young & silly & just wanted to annoy, how ridiculous I sound now but I used to leave it for ages & come back & say I was on the toilet just to wind people up! DOH!
          At the bottom of the screen there is also three little check boxes which are sort of like your personal settings the first one is Allow kibitz which means people who aren't playing can look at your letters! If you UN tick this they can't I don't see the point in it so I uncheck it always because you always get the odd trouble maker reading out your letters. The second one is Kibitz which is if you come to the table not to play if you tick this box you can have a look at everyone's letters unless they have unchecked that box. The third is sound which you can turn on with a tick it is good because whenever it is your turn or someone joins you r table it does a small beep & its good if you are working on some thing else once it beeps you take your go.
          Then at the very bottom there are two small buttons one called help, which leads you to the help menu, & the second one, which is quit & if you hit this it automatically takes you out of the room.
          One the right hand side of the board there is your name & a small cartoon image which you can left click on & it changes to match an image similar to your own either male or female or blonde or brunette, glasses or no glasses hair up or down.
          The next part depends on which mode you play if you play without any challenge which I prefer you get just the simple submit to add your word or pass to change your letters & move on to the next persons turn. If you choose to play a challenge game there will be two boxes above this one saying accept which you would hit if it was a word you knew was in the dictionary & then the challenge button if you didn't think they had put a correct word.
          There is also a large box t the bottom of the board, which is used as a chat box, & it also displays the points you get & the people who enter the room.

          The scoring
          When you first play you have a rating of 1500 & each time you win will you gain points there is no set points if the person you are playing has a low rating & you have a high one it takes two points from them & gives you one, but if you are playing a person with a high rating you get more points. That's is why people with high ratings don't want to know the people with the low ratings.
          Once you have played 10 times you come of provisional which is a grey colour then you become a colour a bit like ciao.
          0-1199 qualifies you to be a murky green colour
          1200-1499 will make you a light blue
          1500-1799 makes you purple
          1800-2099 allows you to go orange (the highest colour I have made it to)
          2100+ once you get here you are a victorious red
          The letters you get are very similar to Scrabble the difficult letters have a higher value.
          The normal letters that are easy to make a word are all worth one point you know the ones like A, T, S, E need I go on. These are a yellow colour. Then there are the letters worth 2 points, which are on a blue background, & they are letters like H, P
          You then have the letter letters worth 3 points in a greenie colour a bit like a grass stain on your jeans green & they are F, K & Y.
          Then you have the bright green coloured square worth 4 points & they are the hardish letters to make into a word such as V & W & then there are the difficult letters such as Z, X, J & Q, which are purple, & worth 5 points.
          Of course if you put these down on a triple or double letter the points double & triple & its even better if you put them down on a triple letter score & a triple word score.
          There is also about 4 wild tiles in the bag as well these are blank white tiles & are worth nothing but you can type any letter on it (caps lock must be off)
          BINGO!!!!! No I am not getting confused & talking about another game bingo bonus is worth 34 points & can be gained if you put down all your letters. Usually you can do this at the beginning of the game if you have a good hand but if you can put it down later on over a double word that's when you get big points!!!

          The players
          Each person playing has a nickname & aviator which is supposed to look a bit like them, the players on yahoo are very friendly & range from about 13 to 80 you get them all there are some very good players & some not so good players but you can easily match up with someone similar to you level by playing someone with a similar rating to yourself. I know it sounds stupid but sometimes I try to play a lower rating if I have had a bad streak just so I know I will win, but when you lose you feel even worse !!!!
          To chat to another player you can either type in the main hat window or you can double left click on someone's name for a private chat once you have done this a grey box will come up which is very helpful it tells you how many games they have played, how many they have won, how many they have lost & how many games they have just abandoned. It also tells you their streak so if they are on a winning streak beware !! They must be having a good day lol. If their streak is minus then they must be having a good day & it is time to play them !!!
          Many of the people who play literati will make small talk if you speak to them but they are not very big conversation starters a lot are there just for the game which is nice so you can all just get on with it but not so good if your after a chin wag concentration is the key in literati.

          The cheaters
          It is a shame but there always has to be a cheat in any game doesn't there? Believe me literati is no different in the main chat box everyone is always leaving links to cheats & to be honest I have even downloaded one before purely for speculation lol & to be honest I thought it was good at first but then I got bored & thought what is the point to this !!! I probably used it about twice & good players can usually tell & start asking what words mean doh! Ever since that though I have never bothered I downloaded the cheat called literati buddy it doesn't occupy much space on your hard drive so I suppose that's a good thing but it really is very clever. I was quite surprised when I first saw it, once you log on to it brings up a game board exactly like the literati board & you have to put the letters in your hand & copy the words of the main board on to the cheat board & it shows you exactly where to put your word & how many points it will be worth. I was very shocked at how in depth the whole thing was & how it came up with such a simple word you should have been thinking yourself.

          Why I love Literati ?
          Well who couldn't I love literati because it is so simple to follow & you get a real kick out of coming up with a big word you didn't even think you knew. I like the fact you can play with real people & even get into a conversation with them. I think the game is quite educational & competitive everyone likes to win! I would defiantly recommend this game to anyone looking to pass a couple of hours.
          The only downside to the whole thing is that you can just get so carried away with the game you could be playing until the early hours of the morning, which is not a good thing for anyone.

          I apologise if anyone believes I have this review purely on yahoo but I have only ever experienced literati on yahoo & don't know where else you can play this online socially but if anyone knows of anywhere please drop me a line & I will gladly check it out & maybe give you a game ;-)


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