Word games never go out of vogue. From the simplicity of Angry Birds to the mind-boggling complexity of Skyrim, we still like to put up our vocabulary against the challenge of a word game. When I wrote about 5 Ways To Play a Scrabble Game Online, I thought that was it. After all, how many varieties of Scrabble can be there? Apparently not many, because Scrabble is a trademark and Hasbro and Mattel rightly are overzealous about protecting it.
Scrabble is also dangerously close to becoming a generic name for word games with similar gameplay. Even as the dust of copyright infringement and lawsuits settle, there are quite a few varieties of Scrabble-like games on the web. Let’s look at a few multiplayer online Scrabble games which I managed to dig up.
The Challenger is a Java based online Scrabble game. This is not a multiplayer game in the strictest sense, but a Scrabble game you play against the computer. I included it in this list because it is as close to the authentic Scrabble experience as you can find on the web. Though I did manage to find that you can set other players to play along from the Options and turn it into a multiplayer game. You can define a player as a human or a computer and then play turn-by-turn. The help file didn’t help because it is in French.
Fundox is a free multiplayer online word game which is a combination of Scrabble and Reversi. You will need the Silverlight browser plugin to play this game in your browser. The game is played on a board of 13×13 squares. Similar to Scrabble, you use a rack of seven letters to make your words. The rounds are timed, but the time can be decided by one of the players before the game starts. Each tile is worth a point (unlike Scrabble) and the idea of the game is to gather the maximum number of points. Fundox has different rooms for English, Dutch, and French. The help file explains the rules of the game in detail.
Quadplex is an ad-supported Java based Scrabble game. The game is played on a 15X15 board just like Scrabble. A maximum of four players can play Quadplex online (obviously).You can log-in or play as a guest against online players. The turns are timed at five minutes per player. You can choose to pass your turn. If you get a word wrong, you get two tries more. The online chat feature is just the thing if you would like to shout out – cheat!
A maximum of four players can compete on a 15X15 tiled board which is actually a java applet. Just like Scrabble, players have to form words with word tiles and rack up points. The game is over when all the letter tiles are played or no player can spell a valid word with the tiles they have left. The player with the highest score wins the game. Each player can join an existing table or create a new one. There are many game rooms – some of them are on specific topics like poetry. Rooms are also arranged around levels, ranging from basic to advanced. Wining rounds pushes up the league standings. Yahoo also holds official Literati tournaments apart from the usual league ones. The only slight downer about Yahoo are the ads.
I didn’t have much success at Literaxx because there were only a handful of people online in the game room. This is a Polish variant of Scrabble and is played with colored tiles – each color has a value. You can create your own tables and wait for other to “sit” and join in.
Wordipelago is a Scrabble variant and a massively multi-player on-line word game in the mold of WordSquared which we covered in the previous article. The game is free to join, anytime, anywhere with a browser. You have eight letters in your rack to construct vertical and horizontal words on the board. There are challenges and leaderboards – overall total-score, highest-scoring-turn, and average-score-per-turn leader boards. Winners are announced on the site.
Wabble is an online word game which can also be played on your mobile and tablet. Unlike some of the games on this list, this game is not dependent on Java runtimes. It is a very simple game where you just have to sign-in and join a game. Games can be set as public and private. Private games are restricted with a password. You can set up a private game with friends or family. You also cannot join a public game that has already started.
Take seven letters and form the longest word you can think of. Sounds just like any other Scrabble-clone game. Crosswise takes the players through 10, 20, or 30 rounds and each round is played against the clock. There is also an inline chat for messaging your opponents.
The popularity of Scrabble hasn’t diminished in the least bit. More options to play Scrabble or Scrabble-like word games have cropped up. I haven’t even touched upon the variants that exist in iTunes or Google Play. Playing it on the board is often hindered by a lack of partners. Not so with these online multiplayer online Scrabble games. There’s probably more where these came from. Do you play Scrabble (or Scrabble clones) online? Which is your favorite site? Let’s meet up.
Image Credit: Wikipedia