It was inevitable that Scrabulous would get yanked off of Facebook eventually, so I didn’t even rouse myself to note the fact of it when it happened a couple of days ago. I admit that I was rather peeved at Hasbro, mainly because I was doing rather well on the games I had in progress – including a bingo I had spent over a month nurturing towards revelation. Still, I don’t exactly have any loyalty to the brother Ajarwal, who were making a comfortable $25k a month for their (obvious) copyright violation (moral soapbox: when I violate copyright, I don’t profit off it!). So, I figured I’d give the Official Scrabble App a try. Here’s a screenshot of my game in progress:
Overall, it’s a slick application, with everything that Scrabulous had except for support of the alternate dictionaries and Challenge mode. I did prefer Scarb’s less-flair aesthetic, it was a cleaner looking app, this one goes for a lot of the 3D tile effect which makes the screen look too busy. The focus should be on the grid, not the tiles or the players etc.
Also somewhat irritating is the fact that the game is segmented so that only US/Canada players can play each other, and international players can only play themselves, with no crossover. This may be due to some licensing thing but it really is a drag. I don’t know if its a limitation most people will chafe under, but it’s something that does affect me, and feels really arbitrary. This sort of limitation is why sometimes it’s better to go the unofficial route.
Anyway, if you need a fix of Scrabble, you can still get one, and that’s what matters. I do wish they’d tone down the interface a bit though. They should hire these two brothers in India I know about who have some experience in that regard…