There are some classic games that have been around forever; Monopoly, Chess, Draughts, Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Backgammon, just to name a few. And then there is the very popular word building game, Scrabble.
Scrabble has been around since the 1930’s, originally called Criss Cross by the architect who developed it, Alfred M. Butts, and it is still going strong today! In fact, it is still one of the world’s bestselling and most played board games. I have always known and played Scrabble as a board game where words are spelt out with tiles on a game board to score points. There have been some rules changes over the years since its conception as well as themed versions, large print versions, and other variations of the game including Scrabble Cards from John Adams which sees the board and tiles removed to become a card game!
In the box:
- 136 Scrabble Cards – 100 Letter Cards, 10 Premium Cards, 16 Action Cards and 10 Rummy Round Cards
- Rules / Instructions
Scrabble Cards is a word building card game for 2-4 players, aged 10+. A card-based version of the classic Scrabble game with 3 ways to play; Classic, Forfeit and Rummy. It can be played in the same way as the classic game that we all know and love by building words in a crossword pattern to score points, but it also can also be played with some rule changes to play Forfeit or Rummy versions.
Classic – make the best words you can from the cards in your hand and get high scores with Double and Triple Word Cards.
Forfeit – with new action cards you can choose to increase your score – or take points away from another player.
Rummy – Race to match a different target in each of ten rounds – but be quick or miss out on the points!
Now everybody knows how to play Scrabble, it is a favourite for many game nights – build words on the board to earn as many points as you can trying to use double and triple letter/word squares. Not really difficult to understand, but getting good quality high scoring words is. Well Scrabble Cards is pretty much the same except that there is no board to play on, no double and triple letter/word squares to land on and some words get removed from play after a turn. Scrabble Cards is played with, well, cards. There are the same number of letter cards as in regular Scrabble and the cards do have the same points value as the traditional board game.
The classic version of Scrabble Cards is still played pretty much the same as the board game, but as it is with cards rather than small square tiles there are some noticeable changes – apart from having no board and bonus score squares. Each player receives 7 cards, these will be a mix of letter cards and premium cards (the premium cards allow players to use a card if they have it for a double or triple word score). Players then take it in turns to play a word or expand a word that has already been played. Players can exchange cards or miss a turn just as you would in the board game and get an extra 50 points if all 7 cards are used. The board game version shows all words played, laid out in a grid pattern but in Scrabble Cards that is more difficult to do due to the amount of space that you would need. This is the biggest difference between the two versions – when the word or words have been scored, only the words which have been created or modified on that turn should be left on the table. Any words from previous turns should be removed and placed in the discard pile. The instructions explain it in detail with examples of how this works. It may take a couple of reads through the instructions to fully grasp the concept, but it isn’t that complicated and works well. When all cards from the draw pile have been used and players can no longer make any more words, the scores are added up and the player with the highest score wins.
Scrabble Cards is great for playing classic Scrabble anywhere, but it also has two more fun ways to play as mentioned earlier on.
Forfeit adds in the Action cards (they have an exclamation mark on the back of the card). You play the same way as in the classic game but now each player has an Action card which when played can increase their own score or take points from another player – so you might have an Action card that says 5 letter word or contains “G”, if you play that card when you lay a five letter word or a word with the letter “G” in it you get the + value of that category added to your score, alternatively if another player lays a 5 five letter word or one with “G” in it, you can play the card and they lose the negative value on the card from their score.
Rummy adds in the Rummy Round cards. Whilst playing the classic version, you turn over the top Rummy card and players must complete the task on the card to score the points for that round. Play lasts for 10 rounds and the player with the highest score wins.
Overall, I have loved Scrabble Cards. It is perfect for taking and playing anywhere, the box is the size of two decks of cards. It is pretty much the same as playing the board game version except for the removing of cards, but once you get used to that you don’t really notice it. And then they are two bonus games to expand on the word building fun.
The cards are the size of a standard playing card and feel good quality. If I had to pick a fault with it the game it would be with the box, if you throw the game in a bag to take with you on your travels the lid could easily pop off leaving cards all over the place, but an elastic band around the box solves this – if I were to make an improvement it would be to have a more secure lid (maybe a hinged lid with a magnetic closing for example). Other than that, it is the perfect travel game.
Scrabble Cards is lots of fun. It has the same word building fun as the classic board game and can be enjoyed anywhere. Take it into the garden, the park or away for a staycation or holiday abroad and play whilst enjoying the outdoors this summer. All you need is a pen and paper to keep track of the scores and a good vocabulary (you might even learn some new words along the way).