It’s a familiar feeling to anyone who regularly plays Scrabble – at the end of a hard-fought intellectual battle, everyone scrambles to add up the scores that were hastily written on a scrap of paper throughout the game. Arguments and negotiations often ensue throughout the counting process.
According to Hasbro – the makers of Scrabble and many other beloved board games – there is a better way. The company recently rolled out a digital version of Scrabble complete with an electronic scoring machine.
The little machine keeps track of up to four competitors and automatically adds up each player’s score throughout the game. The scores are entered through the turning of a plastic wheel at the bottom of the score keeper.
We tried out the game during a family gathering over Thanksgiving weekend. In the pro column, players know the exact score throughout the game. One con is that the “timer option” took a while to figure out, leading the players in our test sample to get frustrated and give up on it.
Additionally (on a non-digital note), Scrabble fans who are used to the wooden tiles used in games made in the 70s and 80s should note that modern games include red plastic tiles. That means that players can’t “accidentally” feel for the wooden grooves that gave the letters away while picking out tiles. Not that anyone reading this would ever do a thing like that.