Scrabble has always been a board game that I have enjoyed over the years. And, many of its variants have proved to be entertaining as well. Of course, with the recent proliferation of smart phones, I've also been able to hone my Scrabble skills mobily with my favorite downloaded game, Wordfeud. So, my wife thought it would be a good idea to make a new addition to our game library and she picked up Hasbro's Electronic Scrabble Flash to hopefully provide hours of entertainment.
Recommend this product?
The Electronic Scrabble Flash game is rather ingenious. The "game" consists of 5 small electronic tiles that interact among themselves. The player(s) positions the tiles next to each other in order to make words. Amazingly, the tiles are able to sense each other and confirm when a word is correctly spelled. They are also equipped with timers that add an extra element of excitement to your game.
There are three different games that can be played with Scrabble Flash. Two of them are individual games and the third is a group game.
Game 1 - an individual makes as many 3, 4 or 5 letter words in an allotted time. If you make a five letter word, 5 seconds is added to the clock.
Game 2 - an individual makes as many five letter words in an allotted time.
Game 3 - multiple players compete to complete words with five letters. After each player completes a word, they pass the tiles to the next player. Players are eliminated as they fail to complete a word. The last player standing wins.
Variants - each game can be played with four tiles if so desired. In Game 1, the five second bonus is given with each four letter word that is played.
While the game play is certainly easy, the entertainment value is actually quite low. The first problem with the game is that the allotted time to play is quite short. The directions don't specify how long a game lasts, but I would guess that it is around 3 minutes. This may seem like plenty of time, but when under pressure it goes pretty fast. It's especially quick for the multiple player game. Depending on how many players you have, some might never get a chance to attempt a word. We have found that with large groups, it's better to play an individual game and then compare scores after everyone has had a turn. Another issue is the fickleness of the tiles. I am impressed with the technology that allows tiles to interactive with each other. However, the tiles must be placed immediately next to each other in order for the word to be accepted. This can pose a problem depending on the playing surface you are using. My best advice is to always play on a table. But, the tiles are a bit heavy and clunky so you might want to make sure that the table is one that you aren't worried about scratching or dinging.
There are a few other issues that bear mentioning. Firstly, Scrabble Flash is not really like the original Scrabble game at all. It's more of a word scramble game than a word creation game. This isn't necessarily a negative, but just don't expect the same game experience. Secondly, many of the words that are accepted are not words that are usually used in common conversation. In fact, many don't even seem like real words. But keep in mind, the official Scrabble dictionary is used. So, while it might look weird, if it's in the dictionary, it counts.
You might be asking yourself what's good about Scrabble Flash and the answer is "a few things." For one, it's very easy to play. You simply line up the tiles and hit the power buttons that are conveniently located on the front of each tile. Then you'll be prompted to select your game and then you're off and playing. Just maneuver the tiles to spell words and they'll flash and buzz if the word is legit. If you don't see/hear anything, then you'll need to scramble again and try for a new word. The game can also travel anywhere. The tiles are small and there is a carrying case included so the game turns out to be about the size of a stapler.
Honestly, Scrabble Flash is probably not a game that you need to add to your household. Sure, it's easy to play and does offer some entertainment. However, it fails to meet the standards of the original Scrabble and the modified game play has a few drawbacks that can't be overlooked. If you are wanting an experience similar to Scrabble, perhaps while traveling, Scrabble Flash is simply not a viable alternative.
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Amount Paid (US$): 24.99
Type of Toy: Board Game
Age Range of Child: Whole Family