Words With Friends is among the most popular Scrabble clones available on the iPhone/iPad, and if you haven't already been playing it obsessively, we're sure you've at least heard of it. Scrabble with your friends no matter where you are is a pretty great concept, after all. So how can you improve on that? Well, AbbleDabble aims to do so by adding a twist - a challenging board that rotates tiles, so every round you have a new chance at scoring that sexy triple letter bonus. That really does spice things up a bit, believe us.*
If you've already played Words With Friends, AbbleDabble is going to be a snap for you. Much like Scrabble and Words With Friends, gameplay is based on a board that has bonus tiles which award points for the use of certain letters or words spelled using them. You can play this straightforward version, or you can go for AbbleDabble's charming new one, which rotates the tiles on each turn so the bonus tiles move around.
There are a few things in Abble Dabble that we actually preferred to the setup of Words With Friends. For instance, the menus offer some handy little extras, like the ability to check out possible two letter word matches using Lookup, based on what's in your tile tray, a stat button that tells you what tiles are left and what both players have played, a chat feature, and buttons for shuffle and trade. This is very handy for people who need a lot to do between turns. You can also play games against yourself in Sandbox Mode, so you're not stuck waiting for your random opponent to take their turn and therefore totally stall the game.
AbbleDabble allows you to play up to 25 separate games at a time, so if you're an epic multitasker, this feature will likely really appeal to you. There's a balanced tray option, which we really enjoyed, that enables you to get an even mix of vowels and consonants so you aren't sitting there staring at the X and Z in your tray wondering what the hell to do with them. You can also play with up to four people in one game, so that's a nice option to have.
It is worth noting that AbbleDabble is not GameCenter compatible, however - you will need to sign up for CoreSoft's game server in order to track your scores and such. It seems a bit odd to not enable a title like this for GameCenter use, but if you don't mind taking an extra few seconds of your time out you can still have all the perks of watching your score compare to others.
The interface may offer a lot more to do than Words With Friends, but it doesn't quite have the polish that Words With Friends does. However, this is the type of title that will appeal to a gamer who wants to spice up the gaming experience. Staunch traditionalists should probably stick with basic mode, but the rotating bonus board is there for those who enjoy the changeup. Add in a host of other cool features, and AbbleDabble is a steal at the price. In fact, if you need a whole lot of input, you could potentially have a dozen ongoing games and even play Words With Friends at the same time. Spell to your heart's content, my friends.
* Yeah, of course you’re still playing Scrabble instead of blowing up aliens, so it’s not like this turns it into a white-knuckle rocket ride down adrenaline mountain. But for a word game, this is exciting stuff.
May 25, 2011