I’m impatient. My father would say that it’s because I’m a girl – but I like to think it’s because I have better things to do than, for example, wait around for other people to take their turn during a long painful game of Scrabble. While I like the premise of the game, the waiting thing KILLS me. I also haven’t taken the time to memorize lots of words with odd mixtures of letters, which puts me at a distinct disadvantage when playing against some of my family members. Thankfully Hasbro realizes that there are other people like me and have created a fantastic new game called Scrabble Flash that I’m sure is going to be a hot holiday item.
I first got to play with Scrabble Flash at the Hasbro showroom of New York Toy Fair this past February and I desperately wanted to take it home with me, but I’m pretty sure that the hoards of other people waiting to play would have noticed. It’s just so cute and magical that it’s hard not to like it! The game is made up of five small LCD square tiles that recognize when they are touching each other, which allows the tiles to identify if they are in the proper order to make a word. This concept is the backbone of all three games you can play with your Scrabble Flash tiles.
When you turn all of the tiles on by pressing each of their buttons, the tiles give you a choice of games 1, 2 or 3. Game 1 is a 1-player game in which you find as many 3, 4, and 5 letter words as you can from one set of letters before the little timers appear on the screens. Every time you line up the tiles to make a word they flash to let you know that the word’s been counted. In a way it feels a lot like the old Boggle handheld just with fewer letters to choose from.
Game 2 is also a 1-player game where you find as many 5-letter words as you can in the allotted time. After you find a word, you get a new set of letters to unscramble. The third game is the same as game 2, but it’s for multiple players. Once you get a word you pass the tiles to the next player. If time runs out while you’re looking for a word it will display OUT and you have to pass the tiles to the next player. Last man standing wins.
The cute little tiles also score! At the end of game 1 if you line up the 5 tiles your score will appear as well as how many words were possible. At the end of game 2 it shows you not only the word you missed but also how many sets you were able to unscramble before time ran out. The only downfall I see is that it doesn’t save scores so there’s no running high score that you’re constantly striving to beat. But I will totally forgive that small shortcoming because it comes with a nice hard plastic travel case! You get to toss out the big box you brought home from the store and instead everything – including the instructions – packs easily into a box that’s a little larger than 2 in. x 2 in. x 4 in. How nice is that?! And because it’s not intrusive, it’s been on my desk for weeks now – I use it as a mini-break every now and then. Love it!
Scrabble Flash Stats:
$30 Amazon and many others (2015 UPDATE: it’s $14 on Amazon now)
1 or more players, most games are for 1-player
~3 minutes per round so it’s up to you
Ages 8 and Up (although some words might be difficult for an 8 year old)