Many unfairly criticize board game translations because they are not as fun as playing the actual game with a group of friends. And that may be true in many cases; computers can't replicate the same level of interaction you get from a group of people. Yet critics often fail to realize that not everyone has someone to play with whenever the urge arises. Or maybe they do, but it doesn't necessarily mean the friend wants to play the game! Scrabble CD-ROM Crossword Game takes care of this problem by offering a challenging computer opponent and support for up four players on either the Internet or Network.
The moment you begin playing, you'll realize that this is how you translate a board game. Hasbro Interactive didn't disappoint with bringing Monopoly to the masses and they continue their success with an excellent update to a timeless classic. If you love the Scrabble board game, you can't help but be happy with this translation. The 3D board looks great, set atop a rich marble platform, all of the word score squares are clearly marked with their appropriate colors, and the tiles are modeled after those from the board game (complete with their point values in the lower right corner). Nice effects like crumbling tiles and multiple backgrounds make this the best looking game of Scrabble at the time of its release.
Gameplay follows the rules of the board game, although the computer is lenient on challenging your words since it has the advantage of knowing every legal word in the Scrabble dictionary. If you try to enter an incorrect phrase, the computer will let you try again or pass. Your available tiles are shown at the bottom of the screen and play involves dragging them onto the board with the mouse. Once you let go of the button, they'll "click" into place. Other features that set this game apart from the board game include: automatic scoring (no big surprise), automatic shuffling of your tiles, the option to receive word definitions, hints for best moves (great for beginners), and nine different levels of difficulty within the Championship setting, the highest in the game.
You may be wondering how challenging the computer is as an opponent. Let me put it this way: if you can beat the computer on the highest difficulty level (Championship), then you should consider professional competition or at least a job writing dictionaries. Even on the lower difficulty settings, the computer will play words that you've probably never heard before. If you're a wordsmith, you'll be in heaven. While the computer may be challenging, the bright side is that you'll actually improve your vocabulary--not bad for a game. Though if you use some of these words in your regular speech, don't be surprised when you receive a lot of blank stares! All in all, Scrabble CD-ROM Crossword Game is an excellent learning tool for anyone looking to build upon their spelling or vocabulary skills. Learning and fun? That fits this game to the letter.
Graphics: The board has a photo-quality appearance and is tilted at an angle to show the marble base. Tiles also look exactly like those found in the board game.
Sound: There are a lot of tunes to choose from, but they are mostly familiar. Classical numbers are always nice to hear during a thinking game!
Enjoyment: The best thing is that you don't have to keep score. The computer is very competitive too! Of course if you don't like Scrabble, you won't like this game.
Replay Value: The game features Internet support and is infinitely replayable. The five difficulty levels will keep solo players busy for a long time.
Play the classic board game against the computer or over the internet with the DOS version.
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