REVIEW: Scrabble for Kindle

Price: $5

Grade: C (The solo game is a solid B, but the lack of multiplayer drags down the overall grade.)

Scrabble gets a heavy workout on all of my devices. I play it every day, usually in multiplayer games via app and Facebook.

Having it on my Kindle seemed like a natural fit. Although I have a huge book collection (about 6,000 volumes), I still love my Kindle for its portability. I’ve had a 2nd generation model for over a year, and I just got hold of a 3rd generation model. The new screen is fantabulous, with superb contrast and clarity. The web browser is vastly improved, the storage capacity is higher, and the WiFi option is welcome. The new design is more compact and sleek, with a redesigned book cover that features a built in light. Overall, it’s a good improvement on the last model, although it still lacks a touchscreen.

Until that’s resolved, gaming on the Kindle is going to be difficult. I’ve already written about the two free games, both of which have their merits. Now we come to the Big Daddy of word games.

Scrabble for Kindle is a half of a good game. Given the interface limitations, the controls are fairly effective. You use the directional controls to choose your space, and then just type in your word. All the rest works just as you’d expect, with a full Scrabble dictionary, scoring, and a few setup options.

Unfortunately, not all the setup options are winners. For starters, games versus AI opponents are limited to you and one computer-controlled player. Although pass and play can accommodate up to 4 players, solo play can only handle two. Not good enough. “Game Style” settings allow you to select various point or round limitations for shorter games, but there is no option for choosing alternate dictionaries.

The biggest failing, however, is the lack of multiplayer mode. Scrabble is not a hard game to adapt for turn-based multiplayer, and, depending on the model, the Kindle has at least a WiFi connection and perhaps 3G. Why not enable the Facebook/PC/app-linked multiplayer support? Because people might use their free 3G time playing Scrabble online? If that’s the reason, it’s a pretty poor one.

It’s nice to have Scrabble on my e-reader, but without online support it’s not going to get a heavy workout. Other gamers may be just fine with solo/pass-n-play as a break from reading. If that’s all you want, this does a perfectly good job.Publish Post