The iPad was made to play Scrabble. Some people will call the iPad an e-book reader’s dream, or a gamer’s heaven, but it’s fantastic classic board games like Scrabble that will really make iPad stand out.
We’ve known for years that Scrabble is one of the all-time best board games ever made. The true test is whether or not the iPad version stacks up to the tabletop version.
After spending a significant amount of time with Scrabble for iPad, we’re ready to say that, yes, this is just as good as the physical version, and it blows the iPhone version out of the water. That’s not to say that the iPhone version was ever bad, but playing it now seems like a cruel joke.
In addition to the obvious increase in the size of the play area and tiles (which makes it much easier to play a smooth game), there are also several different modes included in this premium pack. Aside from the classic play mode, there are modes designed to significantly shorten the length of each game, which can take up to 90 minutes if you and your opponent aren’t extremely crafty wordsmiths.
Kwyjibo: A big, dumb, balding, North American ape.
While there’s little besides the normal mode of play (no minigames or anything like that), the different rule settings can help make the game much more flexible. If you’ve only got twenty minutes, then you can set the point cap at 75 or a simple time limit of 8 rounds.
After years of producing Scrabble videogames, EA Mobile knows just about everything that you need in order to make your games enjoyable. There’s soothing smooth jazz lobby music that plays throughout the game. There’s a full dictionary included that is just a tap away. There’s a helpful “best word” hint mechanic that can help you out when you’re stuck (but it comes with a limited number of uses). There’s even a list of all the two-letter words in the English language, for those times when you’re just plain stumped.
The most interesting feature, though, is the new “Party Play” game mode. It’s still basic Scrabble, but its implementation is very unique. It uses the iPad as an enlarged playing space, and then up to four players connect with an iPhone or iPod Touch which is used as your tile rack. This way, instead of constantly passing the iPad around the room, everyone can still see the board and plan our their moves while keeping their tiles secret. Tiles are then flicked onto the board for use during your turn.
There’s really nothing at all to complain about with this app. EA Mobile knew what they had to do to deliver a great Scrabble experience, and they knocked it out of the park. Board games are bound to become an important part of iPad gaming, and right now Scrabble is the gold standard for how to make a quality iPad gaming experience.