Board games are the easiest, and often the most polished games that release on mobile platforms — the iPhone and iPad especially. The reasons are obvious: they’re simple, require practically no processing power to run, and everyone knows how to play them. Developers are then free to do whatever they please to make the game as unique an experience as possible, and hopefully make the smaller, digital edition better than the real thing.
Scrabble on the iPhone did this tremendously well, but with the iPad you can officially throw away your tile racks and bag as EA Mobile has outdone themselves. EA Mobile’s version of Scrabble on the iPad is the best way to play Scrabble, period. There simply isn’t a better way to play the official Scrabble in any variance of settings, whether it be on the road or at home.
EA Mobile managed to accomplish this in two ways: it built on top of the already-excellent iPhone Scrabble game, which features Facebook connectivity, multiple play dictionaries, and Wi-Fi play. You get all this on the iPad, obviously on a much larger screen, as well as an easy-to-use dictionary right in the game so players can look up if a word is real on the spot. Of course, serious Scrabble players might not care for this feature because no fake words are permitted, regardless of what rules you may play with. Any word that isn’t in the dictionary will simply not count, and all the players will see the letters you have.
The second way can only be enjoyed by iPhone and iPod Touch owners: connecting your iPhone or iPod Touch via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to the iPad and using them as tile racks. This way, all players can watch the board simultaneously, leaving it on a table or some other flat surface, while their letters appear on their phone or media player. This of course only works with iPhones and iPod Touchs, and requires a free download of the “Scrabble Tile Rack” app.
Without this app, players can simply pass around the iPad, though we assume most iPad owners will own at least one or more of the Apple handhelds, so it’s best to take advantage of it. Passing the iPad around is cumbersome, so it’s recommended finding friends who own Apple technology to experience Scrabble in all its glory.
The one downside of Scrabble on the iPad is that, unlike competitor Words With Friends HD, there is no random matchmaking. Scrabble only allows for public play over Facebook, which is in no way equal to matchmaking in any respect. Multiple games can be had at once, but the interface is designed for playing one game at a time, which is more in tune with more invested players.
Regardless of the matchmaking shortcomings, Scrabble on the iPad is an excellent game and obvious replacement for the physical board game. For $10, it’s a fantastic buy that shouldn’t be missed for any particular reason besides illiteracy. Call up three friends and enjoy the time saved on passing out tiles by experiencing EA Mobiles handy mobile version with HD clarity.