Farmville vs Scrabble

Farmville vs Scrabble

Scrabble and its online versions are most known games among others.
However, each and every day a new online game comes in front of online users.

Farmville, a real-time farm simulation game developed by Zynga, available as an application on the social networking website Facebook, is the new competitor to Scrabble and also to the other word games.

Farmville's popularity increases rapidly as shown below against Scrabble. You can find below Google trends results Scrabble vs Farmville:

As you realize, there is an uncontrollable rise of Farmville. Even if you compare Farmville with the keyword" New Year" which should be the most popular word nowadays, you see the power of Farmville:

How to Play Scrabble Slam


SCRABBLE SLAM is one of the newest versions of Scrabble.

Scrabble Slam is a high-speed four letter word game, race against each other to change the existing word and get rid of your cards.

Slam is a quick game. It can be made to be even faster with fewer face-up piles and it can be made to be a good bit more challenging with more face-up piles. The 4-piles that the rules specify make a good game, but it is not a game of scrabble.

I expect that playing Slam is a good way to build some flexibility with words that could both improve one's spelling and prepare a young newbie for real scrabble.
A four letter word is laid out on the table and the remaining cards are dealt out to each player. Not all letters are present in the "deck" of 55 cards.

There are no Q's and no X's, although there are couple of Z's and several Blanks . Each card has two letters on it, one on the front and one on the back, and this allows the player a lot of flexibility to change words that are on the board.

Each player then takes it in turn to lay down a single card anywhere on the 4 letter word. For instance, player 1 may spell GRIM and player two lays down a P to make it GRIP.

Player 1 may respond with a T making it TRIP. As the game progresses it can become somewhat challenging to make words out and needless to say that you'll want to get rid of the harder letters as soon as possible (Z, J, K, etc.) because if that's all you have left at the end of the game you're going to be in a world of hurt. The person with the fewest cards at the end of the game wins.

If one wants to up the difficulty a bit simply up the number of letters in the word. Just making it 5 letters long had a noticeable effect and made it much more challenging.

Scrabble Helpers Scrabble Wordfinders

Scrabble Helpers / Scrabble Wordfinders

There are several tools to help you when you play Scrabble.
Some of the Scrabble helpers are online ones, and some other not. Some are tools to be mounted to your blog.
Below are the list of the Scrabble helpers and wordfinders:

1- Scrabble Helper

As you see below on the screenshot, you just enter the letters you have and choose the dictionary. That's all.
2- Scrabble Word Lists

You can find here :
2-Letter Words
3-Letter Words
Q Words Without a U

3- Scrabble Word Lookup

Check the dictionary! Check if a word is a valid word for Scrabble game play. Get the definition.
Below is the screenshot:

4- a2z WordFinder:

Online Scrabble Dictionary & Word Generator

5- Quick Word Builder

A simple and helpful Scrabble wordfinder.

6- Scrabble Helper:

This tool is designed to assist you while playing Scrabble or Literai.
SOWPODS, TWL (English), ODS4 (French),and Zingarelli (Italian, Unofficial) wordlists are currrently available.

7- Scrabulizer:

Find the best moves for your Scrabble, Lexulous or Wordscraper game in seconds. The ultimate solver for Scrabble enthusiasts

8- Scrabble Help:

A Free Scrabble Help tool for finding words and word scores for the game scrabble.

9- Scrabble Helper:

Another online useful tool. Readers’ Favorite iPhone Apps of 2009

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Post: Readers’ Favorite iPhone Apps of 2009 /December 11th, 2009 Readers’ Favorite iPhone Apps of 2009

Earlier this week we asked readers to submit and vote on their favorite iPhone apps of 2009, and the winners have been chosen.

The voting process was simple: Add your favorite app(s) using our Reddit widget, then vote up or down on each other’s submissions. Surprisingly, the list of your favorites is fairly short. So many of you adored one particular app that rather than vote on the existing submission, you decided to submit it over and over and over. That led to about 80 redundant submissions of the app, giving it a resounding victory.

In the end, only five iPhone apps accrued enough votes to be deemed your favorites of 2009. That’s OK — quality over quantity, right? Here they are.

1. Words With Friends

Yes, the iPhone game that readers loved so much they nominated it again and again was Words With Friends. It’s an iPhone version of Scrabble, which is hardly original, but the social integration of the game is done beautifully. You can invite and play with multiple iPhone users at the same time; you can chat within the app; and you can also set up Words With Friends to send you a push notification whenever it’s your turn to make a move. All very Web 2.0 savvy.

My favorite feature is a pair of eyeballs that pop up in the corner of the screen, signifying when your opponent is looking at the board. That’s just darn cute. There’s a free version, Words With Friends Free, which is ad-supported, and the version, Words With Friends, is ad-free.

2. The Moron Test

Apparently a lot of you enjoy gauging your intelligence (or lack thereof), because The Moron Test received a lot of votes. The app is a series of tests evaluating your ability to understand and follow directions. Touch the ducks from biggest to smallest, for example, or tap the green button twice, then the red button and the blue button. Whenever you mess up, the screen reads “FAIL!” and you can either choose to start over or use a continue. Fun stuff, albeit a jokey method to test one’s smarts. Moron Test is in the App Store.

3. Pocket God

When you’re sitting around bored at work, do you ever fantasize about torturing small creatures for fun? Clearly, a lot of readers do, and fortunately their outlet is not their pets or younger siblings, it’s an iPhone app called Pocket God. It’s a free-form scenario of sorts where you assume the role of a sadistic god and you can abuse the living hell out of a group of islanders, known as Pygmies. You can control the environment in countless ways to kill the Pygmies: throw lighting bolts, feed them to the sharks, harpoon them underwater and so on. Politically correct it is not. Pocket God is in the App Store.

4. Adobe Mobile

Taking good photos with the iPhone is a challenge, thanks to the gadget’s shoddy camera. Even the superior autofocusing camera on the iPhone 3GS only goes part way to fixing the problem. That’s why Adobe’s app is a huge help, because it can make you look like a less crummy photographer. The app features very basic editing tools that are extremely easy to apply, such as setting exposure, adding soft focus and adjusting tint. That’s pretty nifty, and the best part is it’s free.

5. Thirty One

311A sizable number of you voted on the card game Thirty One. In the game, each player gets dealt three cards, and the goal is to get a hand with an added value of 31 (or closer to it than your opponents) by only counting cards in the same suit. Fun stuff, and it’s a buck in the App Store.

WordTrotter Becomes the First Filipino Video Game on Facebook!

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Post: WordTrotter Becomes the First Filipino Video Game on Facebook! / December 12th, 2009

WordTrotter Becomes the First Filipino Video Game on Facebook!

“Pssst! Pinoys got Facebook game!”

Wordtrotter, fondly dubbed “The World’s Coolest Word Game” by fans and gamers from around the world is now the first Filipino-created, Filipino-developed, and Filipino-owned video game on Facebook…

The game challenges players of all ages to guide an uncanny word bug known as Wordtrotter in a quest to catch mystical alphabet bugs, the Letterbugs, to form a secret magical word that will save the world from being destroyed by the curse of a wicked witch.

Or monsters will have them for lunch—alive!

Launched on Facebook ( last November 9, 2009, Wordtrotter aims to stand toe-to-toe with foreign video games on the social platform.

Wordtrotter (official site currently ranks number one in the world in Google’s search results for the keyword phrase “world’s coolest word game.”

It also appears on top of over 204 million Yahoo! search results pages when you look for “free internet word game.”

“I am thrilled to unleash, by the grace of God, an offspring of innovation on Facebook,” Gil De Palma, Wordtrotter creator and President & CEO of comics/animation/video game company Palmagick Entertainment, said. “And it’s 100% proudly Filipino-made.”

Unique Homegrown Game

What could anyone possibly do with a word game—aside from guessing the game word? Everything has been pretty much cut-and-dried for this genre.

Test drive Wordtrotter and you’ll discover that it’s unlike any word game you have ever played before.

It’s like a fusion of three of popular video games—Pacman, Text Twist, and Snake—framed by De Palma’s distinctive creative twist.

“First, I put the game within a story,” De Palma said. “Then I told the story as a game.”

The synergy of game mechanics gave birth to a unique word game with an engaging mystery, engaging gameplay and distinctive design and skill requirements that feature a far greater entertainment value than what each of the abovementioned individual game offers.

Play Wordtrotter as a word game or a puzzle game or a casual-action game, but you’ll have to watch your words (literally!) for it is engaging and so much fun you’ll hardly notice that you’re building your vocabulary as you play.

But that’s just the beginning of your Wordtrotter adventure…

Can You Find the Word that will Save the World?

The curse of the wicked witch Grimmar has plunged the bug world Wordth into darkness. You must guide an uncanny word bug known as Wordtrotter in a quest to catch mystical alphabet bugs that form the Anti-Spell, a secret magical word that will save Wordth from destruction.

Seek out dictionary bugs, the Vocabugs, to obtain word clues like synonyms, antonyms, and definitions to help you catch the right word.

To power up your Wordtrotter and earn bonus points, feed it with bugstuff found on top of Wordth’s sleepy letter-shaped hills.

Watch out for bug traps!

Grimmar has discovered your mission, dispatching her bug-eating monsters, the Buggers, to smother you. If you fail, they will devour your Wordtrotter—alive.

You may implore Def the Forgetful Wizard for a talisman that will give you magical powers—but use it at your own risk. The absentminded wizard randomly grants both helpful and harmful powers.

Otherwise, just pile up game points to earn Wordtrotter Coins and use them to purchase power up items. It will also unlock magical powers that you can send as a gift to your friends.

Find the word. Save the world. Achieve score milestones to win Wordtrotter Crowns. Hot tip: The last crown rewards you with 100 coins.

Win a free game! Achieve 100,000 game points to download a free Wordtrotter special edition game.

All this you can easily share with your friends on Facebook.

Oh, and…just try not to become a Bugger’s lunch.

It’s Got Full Facebook Social Gaming Functionality!

Wordtrotter comes with full Facebook application functionality so you can enjoy it with all your friends here:

You want to share the game? Easy. Just one click and your friends will get it.

You want the world to know your top score? Just click!

You want to send a free game, power-up gifts, and other game freebies? The Wordtrotter FB app will handle it all for you.

Wordtrotter even features an in-game coin system that allows you to buy magic powers and other game items on the fly.

One of the coolest things is that you can also invite friends and compare scores (and brag!) on the game’s leaderboard.

And you and your friends and friends’ friends can all be a Wordtrotter fan right here:

Of course, if you fail to get the right word, everyone in your list will know, too!

How to Make the First Filipino Facebook Game

Wordtrotter is an all-Filipino child with one birthfather and two sets of adoptive parents, in a manner of speaking.

“I did not do it alone,” said De Palma, also the founder of video game publishing company Gameris, Inc. “It took months of prayers, hard work, and fun with the best team I have ever worked with.”

De Palma considers his partners, businessman Johnny Tamayo and lawyer Ma. Arlene Mendoza, as Wordtrotter’s first adoptive parents.

“Leny and Johnny were there at the onset, sharing their business acumen and legal expertise to help me conceive a game that would break the mold,” De Palma says. “I could have never done it without them.”

Then there’s the Palmagick team of Filipino artists and programmers that helped him turn his concept and story into a world-class video game.

“My team works like a street gang,” De Palma said. “We go at every project tooth and nail as one man.”

It worked well when he gave the game a whimsical letter-shaped world with a distinctive gravitational orientation—characters trot and jump horizontally, vertically, and even upside down—never been seen in any other Flash games before.

De Palma said: “There were no available source codes we could use as a model. The forums didn’t have any answer to our development queries either. The notion that innovation spells the difference between a leader and a follower gave us the impetus to do it on our own—from scratch.”

Creative Director Jd Dimanarig and Graphic Artist/Animator Cristian Sigua collaborated with Lead Programmers Roy Sanchez and Rafael Hingco, researching, experimenting, and complementing each other with creative and technical input to build Wordtrotter’s unique game engine.

“Let’s build the “awesomest” word game!” It was the team’s development war cry, according to De Palma. “Of course, we would change it to ‘coolest’ later,” he said.

The Facebook project duo of Technical Director/Web Designer Fred Timajo and Senior Game Programmer Jan Manalaysay teamed up with De Palma, Dimanarig, and Sanchez again to integrate Wordtrotter into the social platform as an application. When the FB project hit a snag right about the same time when Sanchez also discovered a game-breaking bug, the gang would strike again…

The rest of the team, including SEO Chief Mary Rivera and Social Media Manager Ina Mangalindan who supposedly were supposedly just in-charge of search engine optimization and Internet marketing, backed them up with research, programming, and game testing works to surmount the hurdles.

Singapore-based Creative Directors Joni Raso and Jeff Mendoza also provided artistic guidance to the team.

Gameris’ Tamayo and Mendoza likewise suggested ways to help make the first Filipino Facebook game application globally competitive.

“God gets the glory,” De Palma said. “Right from the start, the Lord has blessed with a team that’s on top of its game. I knew then that we could make this Facebook game.”

Let’s Make History!

Test-drive Wordtrotter on Facebook and see that Filipinos can hold their own against the best in the world.

And yes, you’ll be playing the first Filipino-created, Filipino-developed, and Filipino-owned video game on Facebook—with your head held high…

It’s your game!

“Wordtrotter puts a piece of video game history in the hands of Filipinos,” De Palma said. “And we can all proudly say, ‘We got Facebook game!’ ”

So you think you can find the word that will save the world? Play WordTrotter at

New Year Gifts for Scrabble Lovers

New Year Gifts for Scrabble Lovers

A set of Scrabble accessories may be a good choice for the Scrabble lovers as New Year gift:

- Scrabble - Deluxe Tile Bag
- Scrabble Score Pad
- Scrabble Timer


Deluxe cloth bag for tile storage to complete your scrabble experience.


Keep the scoring in check with this great piece of Scrabble playing kit! The deluxe vinyl wallet contains all you need to score every game of Scrabble.

With two 50 sheet scorepads and full-length pencil. Also includes a handy Tile Tracker on a separate card.


An electronic timer to complete your scrabble experience.

Scrabble Word Play Poker Card Game

Scrabble Word Play Poker Card Game

This game combines the best of the classic game of Scrabble with the high stakes excitement of Poker!

The classic board game of Scrabble gets an extreme fun makeover with this portable, card version.

Using some of the rules of standard 7-card draw poker, Scrabble Word Play Poker allows players to discard undesirable letter cards in favor of replacements in order to spell higher scoring words.

A game to please both word lovers and poker players is in the cards. Includes 110 Scrabble Word Play Poker Cards and instructions.

Players weave spelling skills together within the framework of a poker style game for an 'all in' fun game. Seven cards are dealt to each player, which contain letters and point values. Players may replace up to three cards in their hand, with cards from the dealer's deck.

Each player lays down the highest point value word that they can spell. At the end of the round, the person with the highest points wins the hand. The winner is the person with the highest score after 10 rounds.

Also includes rules for a Hold 'Em Style game! Players will combine the letters in their hand with the community cards in the center of the table to form words. Score is determined the same as the regular game.

The Top 10 Video Games To Improve Senior Health

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Post: The Top 10 Video Games To Improve Senior Health / December 9th, 2009

The Top 10 Video Games To Improve Senior Health

If you think that video games are for lazy teenagers or adult couch potatoes only, think again. Once you start reaching your ‘golden’ age or if you are way past your 60s and 70s, your heart, body and mind can use the adrenaline rush brought about by the modern gaming devices which are available today.

Why Video Games Aren’t Just For Kids Anymore?

So what exactly are the benefits that grandma and grandpa can get from playing Wii, online games, PlayStation 2 or similar gaming devices? There’s actually a lot more to video gaming than you may actually think.

A good number of studies in the past have shown that playing video games has many positive benefits to senior health. For young people, one of the benefits of playing video games is to sharpen their problem-solving abilities. Video games are even known to improve the skills of a surgeon in the operating table.

Now, to give you an idea about the health benefits that older people will enjoy, take a look at the following list:

1. According to the Psychology and Aging magazine, playing complex video games after receiving training may improve the cognitive functions of seniors. This is one the functions which typically decline with age.

2. Aside from improving their cognitive functions, video games which require seniors to juggle multiple tasks may also improve their ability to perform some other everyday tasks in the ‘real world’.

3. Researches done in the past also indicated that video games such as the ones provided by Nintendo and Wii can be successfully used to doctor seniors with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other illnesses of a psychological or psychosocial nature.

4. Preliminary studies have shown that strategy video games may help older adults in keeping their brains razor sharp.

Since you will be playing with the aid of a joystick, video games can help improve your eye-hand coordination.
To sum it all up, what video games do is keep an aging brain young – which is why they bring forth a multitude of benefits for a senior’s overall health. And with the introduction of Wii fitness-themed games, who says that they can’t enjoy the physical benefits of video games as well?

Top 10 Video Games to Improve Senior Health

After learning about the benefits of using video games to improve senior health, which games should you borrow from your grand kids? Here are the top 10 video games which help improve senior health:

1. Brain Age and Brain Age2

This is a video game developed by Nintendo DS, which has already spawned a sequel: Brain Age2. Both the original and the sequel video games are inspired by the work of Japanese neuroscientist Dr. Ryuta Kawashima.

Basically, what the Brain Age video game will assist you with is stimulating your brain by giving it the workout that it needs with activities like solving simple math problems, currency counting, drawing pictures or unscrambling letters.

As indicated in their website, the activities in the Brain Age2 video game will increase the blood flow to your prefrontal cortex. [Poor Blood Circulation]

2. is actually a website which was started in 1997 by Kevin Stone, BSC. The site has a great collection of logic game, brain teasers, riddles, puzzles, games and optical illusions.

The good thing about BrainBashers is that five new puzzles are added every other week, so you will have some new brain-exerciser games to look forward to. [Brain Strengthening Exercises]

The benefit of visiting sites like these is that your mental acuity will be sharpened because of the sheer number of activities that your brain can be engaged in.

3. Wii Golf

If, for one reason or another, you have decided to quit playing golf – you can still have a go at it with the help of a video game like the Nintendo Wii Golf.

You can enjoy it as part of the Wii Sports collection which includes a series of five sports simulations: tennis, baseball, golf, bowling and boxing. So, how exactly will the Wii Golf help seniors have a pretty good workout – with the help of a video game console? [Balance Exercises For Seniors]

The Wii Remote is the key. What it does is mimic the actions performed in real life sports.

Let’s say that you have swung the Wii Remote which you will be using as a golf club, its mechanism will detect how strong or how gentle your golf swing is, and the results will be seen on the screen.

4. Dancing with the Stars

Whether or not you’re a fan of the show that the video game is based on, you will have a blast playing the “Dancing with the Stars” video game. Released in October 2007, the game has PC and online versions, and is also available in Wii, PC, mobile and PlayStation 2 platforms.

If you will get the PlayStation 2 or Wii formats of the game, that is when you will have the best time exercising because it comes with the dance pad. Basically, you will enjoy a physical workout while playing a video game at the same time.

5. Tetris

Whether it’s a game installed on your mobile phone, your computer or a gaming console, the classic blocks game of Tetris will provide a lot of benefits for you as a senior.

When you use the arrow keys on your keyboard to play the game and you’re at an advanced level, your quick thinking skills will be sharpened. Hand-eye coordination and logical thinking are the other benefits that you will get from playing this game.

6. NASCAR 09

Bring out the risk-taking race car driver in you with the NASCAR 09 video game. It comes in the following formats: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. If you’re not into race car driving, you can try the other driving and flying video games, which will keep your wits razor sharp.

7. Guild Wars

This PC game is available in Windows format only, and is developed by ArenaNet. It’s an episodic series of role-playing games on multiplayer online mode.

Guild Wars is in fact popular with both the younger and the older crowd – so you’ll have plenty of youthfulness to keep you company while the game sharpens your wits at the same time.


If there’s one online video gaming site that is popular with the over-40 crowd, that is none other than The site is suitable for seniors who are not really into racing, war games or strategic games. includes a wide array of puzzle games, word games, card games, board games, arcade and sports games that will keep you spending as much hours as your grand kid is spending on the Internet.

9. Scrabble

Another classic game that will keep your brain razor sharp is scrabble. You can even go one step further and use the fun game to connect with your friends and family – no matter which part of the world they live in.

You can have a game with two to four players, and receive notifications on your e-mail if it is your turn to play.

10. Grandparent Games

To cap off our list, there’s the aptly named Grandparent Games which allows seniors to connect with their grandchildren through interactive games. If you want to connect with your children’s kids while exercising your brain at the same time, you get free access to the service for 7 days.

There’s a minimal fee to continue, but if you like playing the games, it is definitely worth it.

There you have it – our top 10 list of the best video games that will allow seniors to exercise their brains, their bodies and improve their eye-hand coordination. Whoever said that video games are a waste of time and are only meant for lazy kids and adults, can never be more wrong.

A great "travelling" word game

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Post: A great "travelling" word game / December 8, 2009

A great "travelling" word game

Here's another great word game.

Our family recently travelled to Ottawa. Early one morning, we broke out a game we'd brought called Scrabble Apple.

We really enjoyed it. What I like about it is that it's portable, all of the pieces go back in the apple when you're done, and there's no board to lug around.

As a literacy tool, it's great because you can play with it any way you want. There are rules, but essentially it's just a bag of letters that stack.

The traditional rules are: You put all the letters out, and each person turns over a letter. You try to make words with your letters; you get points for every word. A red letter doubles the points.

The twist is that the letters stack. So if you had the word BAG and I turn over an E, I can create BEG by putting the E on top of the A.

While gramma may have been better at creating words, our son was faster at re-creating words - so it sort of levelled the playing field and made it really fun. It was a toss-up as to who would win.

I'm going to play this with the six-year-old I'm working with. We'll play "find the vowels." The first person to turn over the vowels and say the sounds they make will win.

Inexpensive Board Games for Children This Christmas Season

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Post: Inexpensive Board Games for Children This Christmas Season /Dec 08, 2009

Inexpensive Board Games for Children This Christmas Season

If you like millions of people out of work this holiday season, having a good Christmas can often seem impossible. Don't despair. You can still provide your children with inexpensive games that won't break your bank.

As parents we all want to make sure our children have the best Christmas possible. We would love to be able to spoil them at this time of year and provide them with all the gifts they so richly deserve. After all, if you can’t spoil your kids at Christmas, then when can you? However, you may be one of the millions of people struggling to get by and don’t see any possible way to fulfill your kids extensive Christmas list. It’s not an easy position to be in.

This might be completely new to you. Your sense of pride and accomplishment for being a provider has been damaged and you’re likely feeling guilty for being unable to get everything they want. Don’t despair! Christmas can still be a great holiday regardless of your financial position. What children need most is interaction and family time. You may not be able to get the most expensive toy, but giving them something they can truly appreciate is all that’s needed.

For Children, sometimes the simplest things do the trick. You, like many other parents, have likely purchased a large toy only to see your kids play decide to play with the box it came in. Keep that in mind as you search for simple and inexpensive games that won’t break your bank.

1. Snakes and Ladders:

This is a classic game for the whole family that won’t break your bank. It involves 2 or more players rolling dice and moving along a grid of squares numbered 1 to 100.

Along the way, you can land on squares with snakes on them that force you down to a lower level square, or ladders, that force you to move up to higher squares along the grid. It is a fantastic game for children and helps teach them how to count and learn to win and lose. It’s a cheap and classic children’s game. You’ll likely find this game priced well below other comparative board games.

If you want, you can even make the game yourself by making a 10 x 10 grid of squares numbered 1 to 100 on a piece of large paper or cardboard. You can then draw random ladders leading up to higher squares, and snakes leading to lower squares along the grid. Now, if you have dice, you’re ready to play.

2. Candyland:

First published in 1949 by the Milton Bradley Company, this is another classic game for children that has stood the test of time. Much like snakes and ladders, the game can take some time, as you can move back and forth along a grid depending upon where you land. Instead of rolling dice, you’ll pick a card with a random color on it and move your piece to the corresponding color on the grid.

Each grid, or square, has a different color, and some cards have two colors on them indicating the sequence of colors you should move to next. Like Snakes and Ladders, you can duplicate this game yourself. You need only mark 134 squares with various colors, and then make some cards with corresponding colors.

There are no dice, and the player simply draws cards to determine their next move in the game. The goal is to move to the end of the 134 squares. This again is an inexpensive game for the whole family.

3. Connect Four:

Another game from Milton Bradley, this is another simple and fun game for children. Meant only for 2 players, it involves each player choosing a color and trying to connect four colors in a line by dropping discs into a suspending grid.

Each player takes a turn until four of the same colors in any direction line up. Another inexpensive game that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to make this one, but should be able to afford it as it is one of the least expensive games on the market for children.

4. Scrabble Junior:

The same game enjoyed by seniors and adults, is also available for children. It’s a great way to teach them the basics of spelling and reading. The game is played between 2 to 4 players who score points by making words from individual letters on a board with a 15-15 grid of squares. Additional points can be awarded by making more words on top of other words.

5. Make Your Own Board Game as a Family:

Can’t afford any of these games above, and need to come up with something fun. Sometimes the simplest thing is all you need to do. Make your own board game. It’s that simple. Sit down as a family, and have your children take part in making the game with you. It can be whatever you wish it to be, and as George Bernard Shaw said “Imagination is the beginning of creation”.

This time of year can especially be difficult for those no longer working. In the worst economy since the Great Depression, families everywhere are struggling to keep it together.

You don’t have to feel guilty for your current situation. It is what it is, and until things get better, you’ll likely have to make the best of a bad situation. You don’t have to spend a lot to enjoy a lot. Keep that in mind this Christmas season.

Christmas Scrabble Game Kids Can Make

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Post: Christmas Scrabble Game Kids Can Make / November 27, 2006

Christmas Scrabble Game Kids Can Make

This easy Christmas craft project is a fun way for kids to create their own homemade scrabble game. They can make this simple Christmas themed scrabble game over their Christmas school break and have hours of fun playing with the family trying to spell out all of their favorite Christmas words.

To Make This Simple Christmas Themed Scrabble Game Kids Will Need:

Small square wood cut outs
Foam Core board
Black Magic Marker
Puff Paint

The fist step is to have the kids start cutting out a ton of letters from any old and leftover magazines you don’t mind recycling into a new craft project. This is one time I will recommend trying to cut out similar sized letters. You don’t have to, but your scrabble board will be a lot easier to use if you aim for similar sized letters.

Now, make piles of letters. It can be one huge pile of all of the letters; they do not have to be separated.

Now, the wood square cuts outs will not be just like a traditional scrabble board game piece. I like to buy those bags of thin wood cut outs you can get at every single arts and craft store in America. They come in bags and 100 thin wood cut outs cost about $5. I find them near the Popsicle sticks al the time. You can use any shape you want, like hearts and circles.

Now, take the simple letters you cut out from the magazine. Paint some decoupage onto the back of the paper. Press it onto one wood square cut out. Now, press it into place. Paint over the front of the paper with your decoupage as well.

Now, continue this process with all of your letters. You will need white a few pieces.

Now, for the game board. I can’t tell you what size you will need, because you will need to base that on the size of your wood cut outs.

In general you should try to make about 30 rows each way. So, simply use a ruler to measure how tall and wide your wood blocks are. Make each row wide enough to accommodate it.

I like to trace these lines out on my foam coward board with a ruler and a very thin magic marker.

Be sure to leave some room at the top to write the name “Christmas Scrabble.”

Word Play With Scrabble Jewellery

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Post: Word Play With Scrabble Jewellery By Katarina Louise…. / December 7th, 2009

Word Play With Scrabble Jewellery By Katarina Louise….

The latest unusual yet quirky jewellery trend is upon us. When we spotted these scrabble pieces, which come in the shape of rings and pendants, we were admittedly
unsure as to the desirability of this concept. I mean, love letters yes, often seen as wonderfully dainty and contemporary pieces of fine jewellery. But Scrabble letters?

However, we have spotted these strangely desirable pieces on the talented Pixie Lott recently, and we have to admit, they look great! Designed by the talented jewellery designer Katarina Louise who enjoys international success with her eclectic jewellery collections, inspired from all corners of the world, bringing huge success and attention to the brand.

Pixie Lott has recently been quoted in Glamour magazine singing the praises of Katarina’s designs: ”My make-up artist gave me a pendant with a ‘P’ tile from Scrabble on it by an Australian designer called Katarina Louise. It’s my favourite piece.”

Available in necklaces and rings, take Pixie’s example and wear your name spelled out on each finger or drape your initials around your neck! The Scrabble collection ranges from £5 to £20. Check out Katarina’s other designs too, we are particularly fans of her wonderful charm bracelets!

Causeway 2009 (Day 5)

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A Scrabble Guide to Daily Life

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Post: Causeway 2009 (Day 5) / December 7, 2009

Causeway 2009 (Day 5)

Day 5 was a daymare. I lost the game against Anand missing an easy bonus ( ENTRISM) as an out play, I lost the game against Henry Yeo by 8 points after bonusing* and taking the last four tiles from the bag (EEER), I lost the game against Karen Richards by 7 points after challenging two of her words ( words I was almost one hundred percent sure of!), and another game where my opponent saw the word OAKIER on the board next to us, and decided to try OAKIEST for 96 points! That gave him the win!.

In my last game of the tournament, Bob Jackman from Australia played EUIO* against me. I challenged it off. Bob is my friend. A part of me wanted to let him have another go, while the other one ( the player) look at him and said: " Sorry Bob". I know that in Scrabble, these mistakes don't go unpunished... I remember how last year at the UK Scrabble Open I wanted to play the word HANGS. After I pressed the clock, I realized that I had played the nonvalid word HAGNS!!! It was challenged off by one of my good friends, Phil Robertshaw.
We' re still friends. Or so he thinks...

In the same game, Bob and I realized after we finished the game, that there was still a tile in the bag. It was my mistake, since I failed to find it, thinking that there was only one tile left! We didn't know the rules. Bob had another turn, and since he couldn't go out in one, I played the tile left in the bag for 8 points.

So the Causeway Challenge 2009 has come to an end. The same players who fought in the final of the WSC (Nigel and Pakorn) finished first and second, which shows that luck is just a part of the game!

On the way to the airport, Sanjoy Gupta, a Scrabble player from India, offered me a beer. At first, I thanked him and said that I wasn't a beer person. Then, I accepted his present. It was my first beer this year. After the firt sip, I remembered why I didn't like beer. It had a bitter taste. Just like the taste of defeat...:))

Speed Scrabble

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Post: Speed Scrabble / November 25, 2009

Speed Scrabble

I forgot how much i love Speed Scrabble. Spent most of last night trying to remember the rules. Here's what we came up with...

1. Speed Scrabble is played with out the actual Scrabble board. It uses just the tiles.

2. Each player gets seven tiles (all tiles are placed facing down in the center of the table.)

3. One player says "Go" then each player turns over their seven tiles and tries to form words in front of them. (You will have your own scrabble layout in front of you) So say your letters are C T A F R O N So you could spell FRONT and then using the T spelling CAT (you can spell more then one word a turn, hence the speed part)

Here's the fun part

4. The first person to use all seven letters yells GO

5. Each person then grabs two more letters and continues to spell words on their own scrabble set up.

6. This continues until all letters are used once the last letter is used in a word the game suddenly stops. Everyone adds up their letters and subtracts any letters they have left over.

*tip sometimes the game will get stuck once that happens everyone verbally agrees to take two letters and the game continues. For additional tips wiki speed scrabble.

The agony of online Scrabble

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Post: The agony of online Scrabble /Dec. 5 2009

The agony of online Scrabble

I play online Scrabble. I never play offline Scrabble. Online is better. You don’t have to sit over the board tapping your toe while the opponent thinks. And thinks. And perhaps is dead but still looks like he’s sitting there thinking.

And if I’m the one thinking, I’m so conscious of how much time my thinking is taking, it interferes with my thinking.

That’s the flaw of most face-to-face board games. Online, you go live your life and come back to the virtual board whenever and poof! The foe has played. It’s your turn. Peachy!

Also you can play multiple games. Why plod through one at a time? I currently have eight games going with four (invisible) people. Or maybe vice versa.

For boring legal reasons, these games are called Wordscraper or Lexulous, not Official Scrabble, registered trademark, pat pending, etc. But they’re Scrabble.

I play on Facebook, which seems to be the most convenient online version.

Even with your opponent neatly out of sight, though, Scrabble is frustrating. You have a great scoring opportunity but bad letters. You have good letters but no place to put them. You have all vowels. All consonants. Four Is, two Vs a K and a U. Your opponent gets an S before you do and slaps it on the word that’s sitting there begging to be pluralized. You have a great word and a perfect place to put it but the word is only a word in Hungarian.

Endless suffering is the lot of the Scrabbler.

But the most vexing thing of all is the Official Word List.

The uninitiated think the key to Scrabble victory is a big vocabulary. No, the key is a big vocabulary of words found on the Official Word List. Those are the only words that are “valid.” I have come to hate the word “valid.”

I don’t know what demented lexicographer devised the list, but if you ask me, it’s ridiculously arbitrary. Of course, so is the English language but that’s no excuse.

The OWL is full of words that do not exist in any other time or place but Scrabble. Some of them sound like the names of planets explored by the Starship Enterprise. Zax. Gox. Amu. Bree. Souari. Sha. Azo. All of these, according to the OWL, are real English words. Yeah, right. Microsoft Word spellcheck just nixed all of them.

Then there are the goofy alternate spellings. Nobody spells the cat’s meow as miaou, miau or mew. Scrabble does.

Baal is allowed—why? It’s a proper noun, an ancient god. Manitou, some sort of American Indian divinity, is also allowed, for God’s sake, but not zen, a word people toss around so much more commonly than Baal or Manitou.

Sweeny is valid. Sweeny? If you click on definition, you’re told sweeny is “a wasting of the shoulder muscles of a horse, esp. as the result of a nerve injury.” Oh, that sweeny.

And yet a perfectly good word like weanings—which would have given me a 50-point bonus had I been allowed to play it yesterday–is verboten. (Verboten is OK, though I could’ve sworn it was German, a language decidedly not the English one.)

What the hell is wrong with weanings? More weanings than ever are occurring in our fecund archipelago. There; I just used it in a sentence. But no appeal can be made.

Appeal, yes! That’s what there should be—a Scrabble appellate court, in constant session. Accessible any time via IM. Empowered to overrule the arbitrary and ridiculous Official Word List. Presided over by reasonable, intelligent adults with no family history of insanity. I demand it be created. Now. I trust the relevant authorities are listening.

Bad Scrabble strategy

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Marginal Revolution
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Post: Bad Scrabble strategy / November 28, 2009

Bad Scrabble strategy

I try not to blog Sarah Palin, but this passage, reproduced on Andrew Sullivan's blog, caught my interest for non-Palin reasons:

"Everybody in the family played Scrabble and took great pride in hoarding Ks and Qs and slapping them down in long, fancy words on triple-letter scores." -- Going Rogue, p. 12.

Sullivan's reader objects that there is only one K and one Q but I think permissible to use the plural in this context, referring to general acts of hoarding over time.

My point is that this is bad Scrabble strategy. The way to do very well is to put down seven-letter words on bonus squares, thereby getting the fifty-point bonus for using all your letters and doubled or tripled at that.

Such a strategy means maximizing one's holdings of S, R, E, T, O, A, and N, essentially, and dumping awkward letters which stand in the way. "ING" is a powerful combination. In addition, high frequency letters help you link up with other words running crossways, boosting your score further.

The astute MR reader will recognize here that we are dealing with portfolio theory, albeit where many assets are complements rather than near-perfect substitutes.

K doesn't mesh well with most other letters and so you should try to dump it quickly. Q is paralyzing unless you have a U to go with it. If you are happy because you could lay down "quit" on a double word score, for 26 points, I would say you are not a very ambitious Scrabble player, all the more if you hoarded letters and waited turns to do that. (You have some chance of "aliquot" or "quaeres" or "quinoas," but do you really expect to score "obloquy," "quassia," or "qigongs"?, keeping in mind that if you build upon an already-laid tile you need an eight-letter word with q to score the bonus.)

If this is her game of Scrabble, you can only imagine what her foreign policy would be like.

Correction: If you search inside the book, you will see that she is referring to the Scrabble strategies of her grandparents, not her own Scrabble strategies. They are the ones who cannot be trusted with U.S. foreign policy and it can also be said that she misses this chance to condemn their weak gaming strategies.

I thank Seth H. for the pointer.

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