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Literati is a version of a 1990 DOS shareware game that was converted and upgraded with more features for Windows in 1994 for MVP Software. In 2000, it became a popular part of the Yahoo Games web portal playable in a JAVA format in a web browser.

Similar to Scrabble, the gameplay involves placing letters from 7 tiles per player on a board and trying to accumulate the highest score possible. Letters are distributed to players randomly and are worth between 1 and 5 points while blank tiles (one which is always given in first 7 tiles of the game) have no point value but can be made into any letter. The first word must be placed horizontally or vertically with one tile on the center square. Subsequent words must use one letter of an existing word or be placed next to one so that any touching letters form valid words also. Knowing the valid 2-letter words is very helpful in doing this. Placing tiles on letter and word multiplier squares will increase your score and if you place all 7 tiles on the board at once, a 35-point bonus is given. A player can also choose to pass and select any of the letters in their pile to trade for new ones but loses their turn.

At player first creates a table and can change its options for number of players, put a time limit and whether it is unrated or rated (the outcome will affect a person's overall rating). A challenge mode can also be set so that any word placed on the board can be challenged as to its validity by an opponent. If it is invalid the word is removed and the player who put it down loses their turn or else the challenger loses their next turn if the word is indeed valid. Other players choose to Join a table and press Start to begin a game.

When all tiles in the game are distributed and one player places all their remaining ones on the board or no-one can play any more tiles then the game is over. The sum of the letter values in each player's hand is subtracted from their score. If a player has no letters remaining, the sum of all of the letter values in the other players' hands are added to their score. The person with the highest score wins.


Literati Windows 3.x Some of the game control functions that can be accessed via the menu bar.
The Preferences option lets the player change the music and window size
Literati Windows 3.x The shareware game looks much smarter when run under WIN 98
Literati Windows 3.x The start of a game
The first decision is to decide how many players there are
Literati Lite is the shareware version
Literati Windows 3.x When a player has made their word they press ENTER and are asked if their word is complete

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Alternate Titles

  • "Literati PLUS" -- Title of the registered game
  • "Literati Lite" -- Title of shareware release

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Contributed to by Scaryfun (17980)