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After playing thousands of games, I’m convinced Scrabble blows Words With Friends out of the water for 3 clear reasons

After playing thousands of games, I’m convinced Scrabble blows Words With Friends out of the water for 3 clear reasons

Text With Good friends is just one of the most well-liked cellular video games of all time, with all around 13 million customers enjoying the term recreation just about every month.

Anybody who’s played Words and phrases With Good friends is familiar with it bears a solid resemblance to Scrabble, the timeless board sport that debuted in 1938.

But acquire a nearer glance and you’ll see that there are several distinctions involving the two online games, from the types of words and phrases they allow for to the techniques required to win.

I am specially attuned to these variations. I have been playing in Scrabble tournaments throughout the country considering that I was 16 several years aged. I’ve played in two North American Scrabble Championships, and my formal rating places me between the best gamers in New York Town.

I’ve also logged a lot more than 1,000 game titles in Words and phrases With Mates, and whilst the cell activity has a number of strengths to Scrabble’s cellular application — it is really sleeker, has a larger user foundation, and has addictive mini-games and troubles on the facet — I can safely say that when it will come to the gameplay itself, Scrabble is the remarkable activity by a longshot.

Here’s why.

The Words With Mates dictionary is maddeningly inconsistent

One particular variation amongst Scrabble and Words and phrases With Good friends that is not evident at to start with sight is the two dictionaries the online games use.

Mainly because the Scrabble dictionary is copyrighted by Hasbro, the builders of Words and phrases With Friends sourced its terms from a community-domain word checklist known as Help, alongside with a few of its own additions to the dictionary.

However, there are some annoying inconsistencies with the Words and phrases With Good friends list. It makes it possible for you to enjoy “dongle,” for instance, but not the plural “dongles.” You are cost-free to enjoy “vape,” but not “vapes,” “vaped,” or “vaping.” The game enables you to participate in sure acronyms like “BFF” or “TFW,” but not other folks like “LOL” and “OMG.”

Any term video game is absolutely free to use whichever dictionary it chooses, on the other hand the inconsistencies in the Terms With Buddies list make it also unpredictable of a game to enjoy completely.

You will find no fifty-position reward for employing all your letters

In Scrabble, if you participate in a term that utilizes all 7 of your tiles, you earn a 50-stage reward. That engage in is termed a bingo, and for professional Scrabble players, it is ordinary to get two or a few bingos each individual video game.

Bingos are the critical to a sky-significant Scrabble rating, and Scrabble strategy is constructed all around maximizing your likelihood of playing just one.

In Phrases With Pals, on the other hand, making use of all of your letters earns you a 35-issue bonus — which is 15 fewer details.

It may perhaps not feel like a enormous difference, but the lesser bonus can take much of the exciting out of what must be the most exciting perform in the activity. In a lot of conditions, taking part in a bingo in Words and phrases With Buddies is essentially the mistaken detail to do, either since you can get more points by enjoying a shorter word, or because the bingo would open up quite a few perilous places for your opponent to rating even extra than you did.

Scrabble acquired it right by awarding much more bonus factors. Seven- and eight-letter words and phrases are noticeably more challenging to find in a scrambled pool of letters than four-letter text, and the additional brainpower and ability essential really should be rewarded with additional details.

And the design and style of the board leads to a large imbalance in scoring

Glimpse at a Scrabble board and a Phrases With Good friends board facet by facet and you can expect to detect that the premium squares — the double- and triple-word scores and the double- and triple-letter scores — are laid out in different ways. Just take a search underneath:

Scrabble on the left, Text With Buddies on the appropriate.
Mark Abadi/Business Insider

The board structure in Phrases With Close friends is considerably from just a beauty departure from Scrabble: It has a spectacular result on how the sport is performed.

In Scrabble, the placement of people premium squares is these types of that no subject where on the board you enjoy, you open up up scoring prospects for your opponent. You will see what I necessarily mean in the instance down below:

Mark Abadi/Business Insider

In this instance, I can engage in ZEBRA on my opening shift for 52 factors, which is a fantastic way to start out the activity. But it also opens the door for my opponent to appear back with significant scores.

The double-word scores earlier mentioned and underneath the Z guarantee that my opponent will rating 28 or more factors if they can regulate to string alongside one another a five-letter term like BLITZ or ZONED. There are also double-term scores over and under the E, so if my opponent can appear up with a seven letter term with E in the center, like ABSENCE or FIREMAN, they’d strike each of all those squares at as soon as for near to 50 points.

Lastly, the middle house on the Scrabble board — which the initial phrase of the game is required to touch — is positioned seven spaces away from a triple-word score. In the earlier mentioned case in point, an 8-letter term starting or ending with A would strike a triple-phrase score for a substantial sum of factors. Since of the site of the triple-phrase scores, no matter what phrase the very first player will make, they will usually open up a high-scoring lane for their opponent.

In the reserve “Word Freak,” writer Stefan Fatsis wrote how Scrabble inventor Alfred Butts labored for plenty of several hours to obtain the excellent board layout that would assure fairness for each players all over the game.

“The distances and spot of the high quality squares are just right,” Fatsis wrote. “The recreation is a carefully choreographed pas de deux, a fragile equilibrium between possibility and reward.”

Regretably, that fairness would not exist in Words and phrases With Buddies. Here is what a typical first transfer appears to be like like in Text With Buddies:

Mark Abadi/Business Insider

With this board design and style, you will find no triple-word rating which is obtainable soon after the to start with flip, and the double-word scores are spaced just much more than enough apart that my opponent cannot strike equally of them in one switch. That drastically diminishes the amount of superior-scoring chances my opponent will have merely since they experienced the misfortune of heading next.

But the authentic destruction comes later on in the match, as the words and phrases grow outward towards the edges of the board. Glance at this hotspot on the board which is only feasible in Words With Friends:

Mark Abadi/Business enterprise Insider

You’ll recognize that in the best left corner, it is really probable to enjoy a term that hits each a triple-term score and a triple-letter score. Using that R, a very simple term like PARK or CARVE can quickly rating 60 or a lot more details without the need of creating a comparable opportunity for my opponent. Even if they employed all of their letters, they nonetheless wouldn’t achieve the closest triple-word score, which is 8 areas away:

Mark Abadi/Company Insider

Likewise, the placement of the high quality squares also opens the door for absurdly-scoring moves like the one underneath. While DOOZIE is a good obtain, on a Scrabble board, it would only be well worth seventy two details, as a substitute of the inflated a hundred and five it scores listed here:


Those minimal tweaks to the board design fully toss off the balance of the game, as very generally, the ultimate rating arrives down basically to whichever participant can get to those corner high quality squares first. That creates an incentive for each players to perform conservatively by enjoying short, clunky text that block off specific sections of the board, like in the illustration beneath:

Mark Abadi/Business Insider

What effects is a a lot less pleasant actively playing encounter, as the threat of opening scoring lanes for your opponent is significantly additional severe in Terms With Pals, and the consequence is a lot more luck-dependent than Scrabble.

Whilst you can find a time and a location for almost everything, if you are wanting for the game that has the far better stability of luck and talent, I’d stick with the vintage.

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