Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Scrabulous + Lawsuite = Wordscraper?

Man, I miss playing Scrabulous on Facebook. Even though I really didn't play it much, and have not kept abreast of all the recent controversy, it was a fun diversion inside of a diversion (Facebook).

For the uninitiated, Scrabulous was a direct knock-off of Hasbro's game, Scrabble, that you could play with your friends on Facebook. It was literally just like Scrabble, but on the computer, which was nice. But, surprise (not really), Hasbro filed suite against the two brothers who built Scrabulous, Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, so they responded by removing the application from Facebook.

...And setting it up on a standalone website at where you can play against other people online, over email, or just against the computer. So Scrabulous addicts can still get their fix, just without the Facebook integration, which is really half the fun, since you could challenge your friends and play on and off whenever you happened to be checking your account without having to go to another website.

Enter Wordscraper, the Agarwalla brothers' newest attempt at Facebook "Scrabble." But in this version, the board is different, so they probably won't get sued - at least not as quickly. Users can actually change the board around to their liking for each game, even if they want to make it exactly like that other board game.

Despite some complaints, Wordscraper is still getting a 4.6 our of 5 rating (with 105 reviews) and has over 133,000 active users, as of Tuesday morning.

Hasbro's attempt on the other hand, the New York Times is reporting that "players are not universally flocking to Hasbro’s official Scrabble game," and that despite their best efforts,
Hasbro and Mattel’s official versions of Scrabble on Facebook continued to draw nearly universal boos. The Hasbro version continued to seize up on Sunday, letters were impossible to play and common words were not accepted.

So, anyone up for a game of "Wordscraper?"


Melissa said...

Yay, i am! I love scrabulous- i play over email with my grandma and right now she is whipping my butt!!

mnthomp said...

Scrabulous is some good stuff. I'm pretty sure that my Grandma would beat the pants off of me, as well. The Internets do allow you to cheat a little though... ;)