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Wednesday, March 5, 2008
A Word On Scrabble For iPod
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

A new review of EA's Scrabble for iPod is now available from iLounge. The game offers varying difficulty levels, multiple styles of play, stat tracking, and the ability for up to four players to compete. ILounge gave Scrabble a letter grade of B-.

From the review:

Though the dictionary and point tallying will be acceptable to most players, Scrabble purists may not be completely satisfied with the way they work. In addition to intentionally omitting certain obscure or obscene words, as the game discloses, the dictionary sometimes didn’t pick up on ones we knew and subsequently verified with Dictionary.com to be legitimate. Consequently, we’d lose a triple-word-score opportunity without any ability to appeal—the sort of thing that serious Scrabble players find themselves whipping out dictionaries to remedy. We also noticed that, in situations of unusually high tile density where tiles were being laid down, the word checker sometimes appeared to be fixating on checking the wrong word rather than the one we’d laid down. On balance, these issues are not huge ones for casual players, and the dictionary clearly has plenty of brainiac-level words, but you’ll be happier with Scrabble if you go in with lowered expectations.

Since there’s no way to consult the game’s dictionary directly, we discovered the game’s linguistic limitations through a potentially game-changing feature called Best Word. Selected by the player from a pop-up menu on the screen’s left side, Best Word lets the computer help you by searching its dictionary and the board for both the best possible use of your tiles and the optimal place to drop them on the grid. You can approve or disapprove of the choice, but unless you have a brilliant use of your current letters planned a move ahead, you’ll probably approve it and rack up the points. Using the tool is limited to four times per game per human opponent, which in our experience suffices to beat the computer pretty consistently on the middle of three difficulty settings; the computer has a better than average vocabulary on that setting, but a Best Word-caliber one on hard. We liked this feature, particularly because it can speed up a relatively slow-paced game with only a couple of button clicks, but wouldn’t have minded also having less aggressive, educational option such as a viewable dictionary or list of acceptable words to consult. That might not be part of Scrabble’s old rules, but then, neither is Best Word.
Read the full review at the link provided below.

iLounge: iPod Scrabble Review

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