Reviewed by Wendy

What it is: Perhaps my all-time favorite board game, Scrabble is a word-lover’s dream!

Scrabble may be a bit more of a generational icon, ranking at the top of the list for fun for those of us who grew up without cell phones, tablets and computers. So for those handful of people who haven’t played, the directions are pretty simple: Just build words (by attaching them to existing words) across the board to rack up points with letter tiles of varying point values. (HINT: The letters Z and Q are worth a heck of a lot more than the letter E!) Premium squares offer bonus points in the form of double letter and triple word score and you get an extra 50 points if you use all seven of your letters in a word.

A few hints: Brush up on your two-letter words (e.g., qi and za!). Don’t expect to create proper nouns as they’re not allowed. If you challenge someone on a word they play and it’s not in the dictionary, they lose a turn. If it IS in the dictionary, you lose a turn!

If you’re an expert wordsmith, you may have trouble finding someone to play against. (My kids like Scrabble but not when they play against me!) So I downloaded the Scrabble app onto my phone so I can play against the computer.

Brain Benefits: Deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, long-term memory, problem solving, sequential processing, short-term memory, simultaneous processing, visual processing, word attack

What I love: I enjoy learning new words. I used to love playing against my father because he knows a ton of random words that no one else ever uses. (Of course, I quickly learned not to challenge him by seeing if his word was in the dictionary, so for all I know he started making up nonsense words!)

As one of the most classic games in history, it’s not surprising that Scrabble has expanded to include a variety of versions: an electronic scoring edition, Tile Lock Scrabble, Scrabble Boggle Game, Scrabble Spanish Edition, Super Scrabble, Scrabble Junior, Scrabble Deluxe Edition and many more.

What I would change: I’d like to find an online version that gives you the definition of a word you don’t know (e.g., played by the computer) simply by clicking on it.


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