We descend rapidly from the petrol-headed world of Buggy Boy, as we pull a chair up to the virtual table for our next game in the Your Sinclair Top 100. Our gaming universe suddenly becomes somewhat quieter with the ZX Spectrum version of the board game Scrabble.
Scrabble – or as it’s correctly known here Computer Scrabble – was published by Sinclair Research Ltd. back in 1983, written by Steve Kelly (Psion Software Ltd.) who was also the chap behind Match Point. Computer Scrabble allowed up to four players to play at once, or if you had no friends you could invite the computer to join you in bringing together numerous random letters to make words – hopefully not to input rude ones and also hopefully showing that you had a better grasp of the English language than a machine with only 48K of RAM did.
In truth it was a good conversion of the board game, but this doesn’t really wash with myself as I’m not a fan of Scrabble – or Computer Scrabble – due to being extremely poor at it and my wife being extremely good at it. Here though in Computer Scrabble I can do one thing that I can’t do with physical version Scrabble which is cheat like a swine! If I had seven “Z”’s in front of me I could drop them on the board across a triple word score, then when the computer questions if this is a real word – due to it not being within its in-game dictionary – I just select “Yes” and the points are mine. Stupid trusting machine!
If you like Scrabble you’ll possibly love Computer Scrabble. If like me you despise Scrabble, plus you can’t see the point in having a board game on a computer screen, then I’d steer clear.