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Review by: Brian Pipa
Published: April 1, 1997
I’ll admit it, I wasn’t overly thrilled when I received Scrabble to review. I haven’t played the board game in well over ten years and I usually steer toward action games on the computer. However, Scrabble has made the transition to the computer in admirable fashion.
Now I’ll admit also that I’m no Scrabble expert, but this game gives almost every option for Scrabble play that I can imagine. The computer opponents can be set to any number of levels including Scrabble champion levels. You can get hints at any time and the computer checks every word against its comprehensive official Scrabble dictionary. If the computer uses a word that you have never seen before (which happened frequently) use the dictionary to look up the definition of the word. All legal words are in the dictionary.
If you don’t want to play Scrabble alone, there are many ways to play it against other humans. Modem, network, and Internet play are all supported. I didn’t get a chance to try the modem or IPX play, but the connection sounds very easy. The Internet play allows you to connect directly to a game simply by connecting to your opponent’s IP address. Scrabble is also supported on online networks like Mplayer and soon it will be on Microsoft’s Internet Gaming Zone. I played a few multiplayer games via Mplayer and found it to be very enjoyable. Playing a four-player game and text-chatting with your opponents was an experience. Needless to say, I lost miserably in my games against others who have had “years of experience” playing Scrabble. It was fun, though. There is also a great match-making service on the Scrabble website, along with information on any other facet of Scrabble that you could think of.
The only minor problem I found was that the manual mentions a Modify Board option to setup the board in a certain configuration, then begin play from there. When I went into the game and checked through the menus, that option was nowhere to be found. Very minor problem. The options, graphics, sound FX, music, and every other part of Scrabble is extremely well-done and impressive to see. An excellent piece of software – definitely a must-buy if you’re a Scrabble fan or just enjoy word games in general.
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