August 26, 2008

Scrab–tab–u–lousy–result.

Writing about web page http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/technology/2008/08/scrabulous_users_stunned_bemus.html

Well it's not that much of a surprise that Scrabulous has now been removed by Mattel, but I have to say personally I'm a little bit gutted. Not that I think they had the right to continue, and despite certain arguments I never could see how scrabulous wasn't a pretty near carbon copy of Scrabble (c) so the outcome was fairly inevitable all along.

I would agree though that Scrabble (c) would have been wise to have made something equally good, either by utilising the skills of the scrabulous creators or simply copying them (tit for tat!) but from what I've read (admittedly I've not tried the official scrabble game application, I can't make myself add it because I know most of my friends won't bother and that's the main reason I played so that I could play against them, I don't want to play randoms!) the official version is nowhere near as good as scrabulous was. I think there's a time limit within which you have to make your move or the game is abandoned. This, to my mind is a bit naff. Not all of us have 24hr access to the internet, and I don't know about any other users, but if I'm on holiday for the week I'm hardly going to log in to make my move.

As per any game, you have people who are more involved than others. For some this will have been a genuine blow and real cause of distress, for others it's a loss but they'll find something else to play in their lunch hours and for the rest they'll probably not even notice it's disappeared from their pages. I'd say I fall into the middle category. I played it quite a lot, usually had 6 or more games on the go, and enjoyed looking up new words. I'd say it had increased my vocabulary and word regonition skills to some degree. I will miss more the interaction between friends who played it - I loved the banter you could have in the little message box to the side. Some very amusing conversations passed between us! Especially playing against people I don't get to see very often - an old school friend used to thrash me at the game, and then I beat him - the joy!!

I think I'd still go out and buy the board game, I never owned it or really played it before scrabulous so by rights I probably should have bought one at some point anyway, and I don't go with the whole boycotting of the Mattel group products (Barbie was a very important part of my childhood) because I don't think it will prove anything. I would probably argue that sales of scrabble (c) have probably risen as a result of scrabulous (I don't know if they have, I have no stats to say either way) or at least it hasn't done them any harm (their legal action may have though if some of the comments are anything to go by) but I think they were always going to keep selling the board game/offline version with or without scrabulous.

So there you have it. If anyone's interested I'm now playing Pathwords. It looks like the blockbuster board ("I'll have a P(eee) please Bob") but it's nothing like that. It's not as good as scrabulous and it never will be. Sigh.


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