Scrabble is one of my all time favorite board games ever, with Monopoly coming in as a close second. Unlike Monopoly though which I’ve not only played the actual board game, but I’ve been playing on various different systems since NES, I’ve never seen an actual console version of Scrabble. The only time I’ve played a “game” version of Scrabble was on Pogo which was why when I seen that it was coming to the PS4, I was super excited. After downloading this game day one, here’s what I thought about it.
This is Scrabble so there isn’t a story to it and there doesn’t need to be a story to it, it’s simply a good old fashioned board game that has made its way onto the PS4.
The console version is clearly different from the actual board game version and then the Pogo version, that’s a given. When it comes to the actual board game, it’s lucky if you can get one whole game in and with the Pogo version I know I used to spend hours upon hours playing game after game. With the PS4 version, I was stuck in the middle. While I can’t see myself constantly playing hours upon hours, I can play this game for a couple of hours at a time especially since the games against the AI lasted me between 10 and 15 minutes. I enjoyed that there were different levels of AI ranging from Very Easy to Very Hard and it all depended on how you wanted to play. Do you want an easy victory? Play on Very Easy where the AI is in a way child like. Do you want a hard fought battle where the final scores are 1-5 points apart? Play on Very Hard where the real challenge begins.
It absolutely amazed me at how simple this game was to play. Everything functioned quickly and the game was extremely responsive to the fast paced style that I enjoy playing. Putting the letters on the board was extremely easy and took no effort at all making the game more enjoyable as a whole. If there were problems putting the pieces on the board the game would have become tedious to play making it less enjoyable. The only complaint I have in the playability department is that I couldn’t arrange the tiles on my tray the way I wanted. While I could shuffle them, I couldn’t start arranging my letters to form words at all. I’m not complaining that I had to do all of that in my head, but I just think it would have been more convenient to be able to arrange the letters how I wanted them in my tray.
The graphics didn’t need to be crazy for this game, but they had to be true to Scrabble, and that’s exactly what they were. The board was done flawlessly and the background behind the board wasn’t distracting. Everything had a real feel to it and it complimented the game nicely.
Trophies! There are trophies for Scrabble! Can you believe it? There are a total of 14 trophies for this game and they’re all extremely easy to get. The only trophy I would say might become a problem is getting the We Like You, Too trophy which requires you to spell “Scrabble” on the Scrabble board. It’s a little bit of a pain to get, but it can be done.
I was really excited for the Scrabble multiplayer thinking that it would be close to how playing with another person on Pogo would be done, but I was sadly disappointed in the multiplayer as a whole. While I only played the classic mode of the multiplayer, the servers were completely dead and it took half an hour for me to actually get into a game. This is for a game that came out last Tuesday and I played the multiplayer last Wednesday. Then there was the problem of there not being able to pick if there should be a timer or not while playing. The person I was playing against took almost five minutes each turn making me think that he or she was using the Scrabble website in order to get the best possible words instead of using their brain. I sadly lost the game by 8 points when I got stuck with the letter J on my word rack, but that’s besides the point. I just wish the multiplayer was better and that the servers were active enough where I would enjoy playing with other people because there is only a certain amount of times you can beat the computer before it gets boring.
Overall I give this game a 3.5 out of 5
+ It’s classic Scrabble and this time it’s on the PS4
+ Simple game play that makes it easy to jump right in and get started.
+ Nice graphics that are fitting of a Scrabble game.
What’s Not So Great:
– Inactive servers right when the game is released making it hard to find a partner.
– No timer on the multiplayer allowing players to take as much time as needed to search for a word using Google or the Scrabble website instead of thinking of a word.
– Without there being an active multiplayer community, the game has zero replay ability factor since playing against the AI gets boring.
Even though I enjoyed the game for the whole day that I played it, I can’t justify spending $14.99 for this game. Without an active multiplayer community there is no reason to keep playing over and over again against the computer. I haven’t exactly given up on this game yet though and even though I got all the trophies, I still keep this on my system hoping that every once in a while I might be able to find someone to play with. What I can say though is that it’s a good representation of Scrabble and if you have someone to actually play with then go ahead and pick this one up, if not I would give it a pass.