Developer: Coresoft Inc.
Version Reviewed: 1.5
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The twist in AbbleDabble is that the game types (there are a few of them) range from slightly different than the traditional game of Scrabble to very different. The most common game found, in my play testing, was a version that moved the bonus squares around randomly after every turn. Maybe I'm too much of a traditionalist, but I generally prefer the strategy that comes with a normal Scrabble game than the crazy randomness of an AbbleDabble word-fest. The variances in the gameplay seem to be a hit though with many gamers though, so it's hard for me to criticize the game for having more game options. Variety is the spice of life, or so they say.
What I can say definitively is that the interface of AbbleDabble definitely falls below the quality of both EA's Scrabble and Words With Friends. It's not bad per se, but it just doesn't have that silky smooth polish of the competition. My least favorite thing about the interface, by far, is the leaderboard, which indirectly ties to its online gaming woes. When you start the game, you have to sign up for Coresoft's own independent game server. With a great option like GameCenter available, why make people re-add all their friends to another game server? I'd love to just pop in and invite some friends that are already in the system, but instead I have to send them invites. Yuck.
The leaderboard itself, in theory, could be great. At the end of each match you get a point score and some stats that could make for some great gameplay matching. "Could" is the important word though, as you are limited to only viewing people in the top 100, and can only see them as name only. It would be fantastic if you could click on a user, view their stats, and instantly invite them all on one screen, but you can't. The leaderboard has a ton of game type options to flick through, but I really just want to use the leaderboard to scout the next player I want to play.
As far as the game interface goes, it's like Words With Friends on crack. Along with the typical features of a Scrabble type game, you get a button for a dictionary (which lists all the acceptable two letter words), a stat button that tells you what tiles are left and what both players have played, a shuffle button, a trade button, a chat feature, whew. Some people will be turned off the the mass of buttons, but people like me greatly appreciate the fact that I have something to do with my time between turns.
In the end, Scrabble/Words With Friends fans who are looking for something a bit different will really love the variety of the Abble Dabble game boards, but traditionalists would do better to stay still. I know, it's very possible to play a fairly normal game of Scrabble in AbbleDabble, but I genuinely like the interfaces of the competition more than this offering from Coresoft.