Ah yes, Scrabble. A game, like Monopoly, that has proudly ruined countless friendships across the world for decades. Can Ubisoft take a concept that feels like it's been rereleased more times than Tetris feel new and original?
Well, for starters, the game works and plays as of this review. Connected to LIVE or not. So that's a good start. Small applause for that.
The landing menu is limited, but is accompanied by a classy, Macy's elevator piano jingle. You're given the option to either play against an AI, a friend in the room, a friend not in the room, or three of any combination of those. It plays out like a traditional game of Scrabble does -- not much else to say from there. Pick letters, the game does a decent job trying to predict where you want to place them, spell words, try to score more points than your pal(s).
The problem with the game isn't that it glitches out pretty frequently, could be played on a Wii, feels like its development was rushed, or that it desperately wants you to install other applications to enjoy it fully (Ubisoft Connect / Hasbro Game Channel) -- the biggest problem is that Scrabble, in general, has been ruined since online play. And maybe that's why not a lot of thought went into producing this game.
As much as we'd all like to believe that the internet is exclusively filled with Peacemaking Patricias and Honest Henrys, it isn't, and there are hundreds of word unscramblers all over the web. So unless you're planning on playing with others on the same couch, it's easy to abuse the freedom of privacy.
As a host of a game, you can attempt to tighten the leashes of players if you'd like -- limiting their time during their turn to
cheat think out and strategically play a word. But it also penalizes players who are playing fairly.
So, in short, it acts like a Scrabble game, it smells like a Scrabble game, it quacks like a Scrabble game. It's a Scrabble game. Play it indoors and enjoy not needing to fret about losing letter tiles. But don't get your hopes up: There's no crazy CGI action cutscenes or a compelling storyline to get you boosted. It's Scrabble.