Written by  :  Chris Martin (1204)
Written on  :  Mar 20, 2000
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars

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A great game if you like Scrabble.

The Good

Scrabble is…. Well, Scrabble. There is really no other way to define it. If you've ever played the board game, it's exactly the same.

Graphics are very good. The board is titled back to give it a pseudo-isometric 3D view. The tiles look wooden and Random Games took their time making sure that it look good.

Sound is interesting. Although sound doesn't play a big factor in the game, the click of tiles, the sound of a bingo being played. The sound FX's are not intruding so they are not bad. MIDI files are included for background music, but they really distract you from the game, so usually I just turn them off.

Gameplay is solid. And I mean that the gameplay is exactly what you'd expect from this style of game.

AI is outstanding. You can set the AI from Novice (like playing a average High school graduate) to Champion 1620 (which is like playing Joe Edley – 2 time world champion). So you can really learn hoe to play better, and progress through the levels.

Internet play over either Mplayer or Zone is an excellent addition to the game.

The Bad

A few problems with it.

1) The program can only be run in 256 color mode. This isn't a real problem until you log on to the internet to play using either Mplayer or Zone. Since those sites usually run in 16-bit color mode, it's a PITA having to switch your monitor resolution to play.

2) In the manual, a "Modify Board" option was listed. For those players who would like to set up a board to play best plays (found in 2 books published with tons of puzzles) it would have been a great utility. Unfortunately, Hasbro removed it at the last minute with no explanation.

3) You can't play phoney words! One of the great things about Scrabble is being able to play fake words to try to fake out your opponents. Maven (the in-game AI) will automatically remove from the board any word that does not appear in the dictionary.

The Bottom Line

If you are an avid Scrabble player, this is a fantastic game. Great AI, superb on-line support, and an all-around fun game. Great for the whole family.