'If you're not into wordgames there's no way you'll go for this, but there is a mental challenge which makes it worth considering.'
MIKE ... 75%
'This is one of the most mathematically clever games I've played in a long time - if you don't believe me try putting the computer in a really difficult position and see how fast it gets out of it! The memory used must be immense (even on a 128) - every word you can think of is there. Even when playing the computer at very low levels the HELP option comes in useful and is surprisingly fast. Still, I would have thought computer Scrabble De Luxe could have a few more than two colours on the screen. It's the ideal game to keep everyone quiet over the Christmas period - and the best thing about it is that everyone can play at their own level.'
PAUL ... 73%
'First came the fantastic board game, then the not-so-fantastic (though nicely-presented and colourful) Spectrum game from Psion, and now Scrabble De Luxe is just another version of the board game. There's hardly any colour and what there is is very dull; the controls are confusing, too.'
NICK ... 37%
This is the 128K version of Psion's 48K Scrabble - released before CRASH appeared, but covered in Lloyd Mangram's Issue Four Living Guide!
Scrabble De Luxe is based very closely on the board game, where players pick letters at random and try to form words with them, earning extra points for using difficult letters.
In this Spectrum version, two, three or four can play, each starting off with seven letters displayed in a rack. With these, the players have to form words vertically or horizontally on the Scrabble board.
The chosen word is typed, and the cursor positions it on the board. When a word is in position its score is calculated, but if it's not in the computer's 20,000-word vocabulary, that turn is challenged. This challenge can be accepted by the player, in which case the turn and its score are lost.
But if the player rejects the challenge, the computer accepts the word, and any other word generated from it.
As in the board game, there's a set score for each letter, and the score for a word is the total for all the letters. However, placing letters on certain squares on the grid boosts the player's score.
The computer can help each player by suggesting words which can be made with a player's selection of letters, and can also point out where they would fit on the grid.
And you can choose to play against the computer itself. Its thinking process can be called up on screen, so that the human player is not totally out of depth in taking on the electronic megabrain.
Sound: virtually none
Options: eight skill levels, with the computer using more obscure words at higher levelsGeneral Rating:
Well, it's Scrabble...
Putting two words together.