“Words for Friends” Doesn’t Hold a Candle to the Scrabble App
Lately, I’ve found a way to sit still (which is hard), challenge myself, keep my brain tuned up, relax AND waste time all at once – Scrabble on the iPhone. Forget “Words for Friends.” I’ve played it and didn’t enjoy it. However, I just uploaded the latest Scrabble app on my iPhone and have to say it’s come a long way since the first versions of a few years ago. This Scrabble app, which cost under ten dollars, is designed for players of all levels, beginner to expert. It works pretty much like the actual board game, so you can be playing in no time. You can also choose to play against other online players or against the computer.
The great thing about this app is that you can release your inner Scrabble geek and play as hard or as competitively as you want to, which is what I’ve been doing against the computer. It’s been years since I played with any frequency, so I started at the beginning level and then hung out at the intermediate level for some time. At first it felt like I was shaking nothing but cobwebs out of my brain. I stunk, but nonetheless, I was hooked. I’ve since advanced through beginner, intermediate and up to the expert level, but the computer is now kicking my butt on a regular basis. That’s okay, it only makes me come back harder. As we all know, there is no crying in Scrabble, there is only a rematch.
I may be a Scrabble binger from time to time, but I’m really a neophyte in the world of Scrabble players. To meet the real diehards, read “Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players,” by Stefan Fatsis. Yes, there are competitive tournaments for Scrabble and the people who play in them are in an entire other category than most of us. As one reader noted, “I always realized my dad was part of some bizarre subculture, but ‘Word Freak’ made a few things clear: 1. My dad is exceptionally normal in the grand scheme of Scrabble things. 2. He is nowhere near alone. 3. The subculture is much more bizarre and much more developed than I ever knew.”
After reading the book, I’m a bit in awe of these players. I’ll never be as good as they are, but I admit it’s tempting to grab the dictionary and start memorizing word lists like they do. I’ve come close but haven’t done it.
Yet, that is…