Okay, has anyone here not heard of the game Scrabble? Anyone? Bueller? Okay, so I won't go into the details of how to play Scrabble, but rather I will just talk about Scrabble on the iPhone.
The iPhone version of the Scrabble game has a very nice presentation. Ranging from the crisp, clean graphics to the nice animation sequences to the sound the tiles make as you play the game, it comes off as very professional. Which it should, since EA made the game - I would expect nothing less of them.
The interface is nice as well. In the menu options, slightly luminescent buttons are used to choose various options and menu settings. When you play the game, you use the standard iPhone operations to shrink or expand the board, and slide around with the finger to move the board around. When playing the game, the basic functions (exchange your tiles, shuffle them, play a word) are placed at the bottom of the screen. The game also has a "best word" option, which you can use four times during a game to find the best possible word.
The various options for playing are nice as well. You can play a quick game against a computer opponent. You can play a multi-player wifi game (which gets saved if the game is interupted!). You can also customize a game, choosing a game style, opponent (mutliplayer pass'n'play or computer), etc. The varied options for setting up a game mean that you can have a varied range of game types. They also have an option for an interesting mode I have never heard of before called "duplicate".
Unfortunately, you can't adjust those options when setting up a wifi-game, meaning you can only play in the standard "classic" mode. Still fun, but limiting. Also, you can't play over an internet connection - both players must be on the same wifi network.
The help options are fairly complete - you can read the various rules for the different game play modes, as well as a general guide for how to play.
While a wifi game is automatically saved if you are interrupted, you can't save any other type of game to resume. This means that you can only really play one game at a time. It would be nice to be able to have a few games going at once, but EA decided they didn't want to allow that.
One of the main drawbacks is that there is no dictionary option. The facebook version of the game includes a dictionary, as well as a list of all two-letter words. This would be a nice inclusion in this game, so you don't continue to put words on the board to test if they are valid.
Pros: Nice interface and game control, lots of playing options
Cons: No internet multiplayer, can't save a game in progress, no dictionary
All in all, this is a nice program, a good adaptation of the classic Scrabble board game. It has the basic features of Scrabble, and includes a number of different play modes. The inclusion of wifi multiplayer is nice, but internet is missing. This game is currently $4.99 (on "sale" since Dec 18), and I give it four out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.