Mattel’s official SCRABBLE site has a interesting history behind the game. Before you start getting confused who the game belongs too, here’s the data – Hasbro controls the copyright for North America, while the copyright for the rest of the world belongs to Mattel.
Online SCRABBLE is not rampant as other games. There are actually very few places on the web where you can play SCRABBLE online for free. Here’s a small list of five, with some on the list offering versions that are similar to SCRABBLE. Pick your tiles and let the fun begin.
SCRABBLE on Facebook [No Longer Available]
Next to buying the game from the official torchbearers of the game for North America (Hasbro), the “˜official’ free way is to use the Facebook application. But again, SCRABBLE can only be played on the Facebook app if you are in the U.S or Canada. As I am not, I can only direct you there; not play out a round with you. With 411,000+ SCRABBLE buffs on the Like list, the online game has got good things going for it.
The application info page says:
This new version of the original board game includes built-in chat and dictionary, multiple word lists, dynamic animations, and multiple speed settings for public games. An easy-to-use interface lets you play with anyone who loves the game!
You can connect to a free online site for SCRABBLE via Hasbro.com. From there, if you are in the U.S or Canada, you can play a round of free online SCRABBLE at Pogo.com.
SCRABBLE Cubes (WorldWinner)
Go 3D in this online version of SCRABBLE. The game is free to join and on WorldWinner.com you can enter competitions for the thrill of winning cash and prizes. SCRABBLE Cubes is just one of the 35 games you can play. To play this game, you have to install a tiny game player file. SCRABBLE Cubes is like Rubik’s Cube for words. You have to connect adjacent letters by rearranging some with a right click. The value of the letters is the same as the traditional game. The game is really challenging, because you have to think in three dimensions.
This is the online meeting ground for SCRABBLE devotes. The free site attracts some of the best names in this board game. Playing here involves installation of a desktop client (Wordbiz) that connects to the ISC server. The free client is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. There is also a limited access Java application. Gameplay is about seeking out an online opponent and challenging them. One unique aspect of ISC is that you can also observe other games. ISC is completely free but paying voluntary subscriptions opens up a few benefits like a place at the head of the queue when playing against a computer opponent. There are 35 bots that you can play with. For certain functions, you can use a command line. Inspite of registering, I couldn’t log-in. Perhaps from your part of the world, you will have better luck.
Okay, Lexulous ain’t SCRABBLE. In fact, it tried to be and it even outstripped the official game in the popularity stakes before a legal choke forced them to shut shop. Reborn as Lexulous, it takes a lot from the rules and ways of SCRABBLE with minor alterations. In its present avatar, you can play Lexulous in real time with others around the world in game rooms; there’s the turn based Email Lexulous for friends in different time zones; and apps for Nokia, Blackberry, and iPhone. There’s the Facebook app too which started the frenzy. There’s also LEX the robot who can take you through the paces. You can change themes, pick a layout, and even chat with your fellow players.
There are lots of variations you can try (like the Lexulous Blitz) if you feel that you have conquered all. Lexulous is not an official SCRABBLE game but it deserves a mention for its sheer fan following. It’s probably the best free online SCRABBLE like game presently.
WordSquared is a massively multiplayer online SCRABBLE inspired game. The game is beautifully constructed thanks to HTML5. The game board is large with lots of players playing on it in real time. The goal is to build as large a chain of words as possible before others start occupying the squares next to you. Unlike SCRABBLE, you have to use your own words to build your chain and garner points.
My hunt for places to play Scrabble online for free proved that Hasbro and Mattel have a tight grip on their trademark. There are lots of variants in the form of word games, but pure free forms of SCRABBLE are sorely lacking. Do you know of any that can be added to the list? Let us know.
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