Okay, I'll admit it. When I read the box that proclaimed Scrabble as "the ultimate interactive experience," I was something short of impressed. I mean, I've waded through the sewers of the damned in Quake, I've trampled entire dynasties into the sand in Civilization, I've even stopped an invasion from the stars in X-COM! It turns out however, that even with all of my world saving skills, I still had yet to face the ultimate challenge - to defeat my copy editor at Scrabble. This is not a task for the faint of heart.
Hasbro has taken this Milton Bradley favorite and converted it beautifully into a frighteningly addictive computer game. "It's Scrabble! What could they have possibly done?" you ask. Well for starters, Hasbro has created the perfect Scrabble board, hung in an impossibly beautiful sky in crystal clear 640x480 with a full 256 color palette. Next they added the entire Official Scrabble Dictionary as a behind-the-scenes deterrent for "imaginary words" (I still swear the qlazz is a breed of weasel found only in South America). Combine this with the fact that the game sports a fantastic classical soundtrack with enough variation to stay entertaining and factor in the game's flexible network and Internet play modes - and you're looking at the Scrabble of tomorrow. For those of you who are, ahem, a little short on friends, you'll also be interested to know that Scrabble features a realistic and challenging computer opponent (believe me, on its most advanced level it's pretty talented at putting words together - frankly I'm a little worried for my job if the boss ever gets a look at it).
Scrabble was made for computer play: The pieces don't accidentally get dumped everywhere, your buddies can't make up words, and you can always remember where you put it. Even so, the fact remains that no matter how picture perfect this translation is, it's still Scrabble. If you like puzzle games, or you find yourself looking for something a little bit different, I can't recommend a title more highly. If you're only interested in words as a way to explain how you killed your last opponent, you'll find Scrabble to be just what it is - a board game on a screen.
By Trent C. Ward, GameSpot