Is SCRABBLE for Kindle a game changer?

Is SCRABBLE for Kindle a game changer?

Summary: The Kindle steps up its functionality with the introduction of SCRABBLE by EA

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TOPICS: Mobility
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We previously reported on two games becoming available for the Kindle: Every Word and Shuffled Row. At the time I wasn't very impressed with the quality of the games, but it was the first iteration of games coming from the Kindle Development Kit.

Well, it's now more than a month later and I'm happy to announce that the game experience is much improved. First off, EA has joined the fun and created a version of SCRABBLE for the Kindle. The game itself plays out like you would expect, but since there's no touch screen, the developer had to incorporate ALT + [key] keystrokes for navigation purposes. As for gameplay, you can play against the computer or pass it to the other player when it's their turn. The game itself is a little slow to refresh, but that has more to do with the e-ink than the game.

While the game itself is better than the other two being offered (SCRABBLE is currently $4.99, while the other two games are free), the big news here isn't the gameplay but more the fact that a device originally designed for reading is now being retrofitted for gaming. The gaming experience is definitely not on par with the one found on the iPad, iPhone, or other portable devices, but it's good enough for the casual player, and for that reason could be a game changer, since the Kindle is an e-Reader first, and now a multi-function device second.

The first thing I thought of when I started playing SCRABBLE on my Kindle was how many hours I logged playing a Frogger knockoff on my original Blackberry, not to mention the hours wasted on the Blackberry's version of Breakout. I can imagine that people with the Kindle will now be doing the same thing. After all, what's better than a game to break up some hard core reading time?

When the KDK was first announced I was eager to see what the independent developers may create for the Kindle. Instead it looks like the big boys are getting a shot first, and gaming is on the menu. Hopefully we'll still see the KDK released to the wild, and then we'll start enjoying some killer apps, made by some previously unknown developers.

Topic: Mobility

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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10 comments
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  • RE: Is SCRABBLE for Kindle a game changer?

    Scrabble? Hardly changes everything does it? Is this nice, sure - but hardly a revolution.

    I don't actually see this as a "problem" the Kindle is now so cheap, and the book store so well stocked that the Kindle probably doesn't need games.

    I think actually putting the Kindle "app" on other devices ensures the future for the Kindle device. If you start using the "Kindle app" on other hardware then you'll end up with a "Kindle library" - if you ever decide to buy a dedicated ereader then it'll be a Kindle. The price of the Kindle means you can do that pretty easily. Even if you're an avid user of the iPad, there are times when you might want a dedicated ereader (a simple example is working on a paper - you want to be able to write AND refer to the literature, or even just cross referencing).

    The Kindle app is great, and is sure to encourage lots of users to supplement it with Kindle hardware. But games? I think I've already got enough screens to play games on - and frankly I doubt an e-ink display is ever going to lend itself to such an endeavour.

    If some future Kindle gets a display with the advantages of an e-ink display with fast refresh and colour - maybe then it'll be a different story.
    Jeremy-UK
  • RE: Is SCRABBLE for Kindle a game changer?

    I look at the Kindle as an "ecosystem" with all of the hardware, software and content as a parts. Games such as scrable, crossword puzzles, suduko, and the like are just add ons. While they would appeal to the avid reader who is likely a Kindle owner, I see them as distractions. In my opinion the beauty of the Kindle is in its simplicity, and games distract from that. In general the KDK is not a game changer until someone develops some kind of app which aids in research, or something like that. I could see some kind of app which allows a student to add in notes which gets pushed to thier email or exported to Word. This would assist in footnoting or creating study guides. Other interesting ideas include, quoting system, flash cards, indexing for larger research projects. I'm sure there are brighter minds than mine who will cook up even better ideas than these.
    Getting back the "ecosystem" concept these ideas would fall into a nice workflow for students, read (mostly consume information) on the Kindle hardware. Make simple notes, index, quote, etc on the Kindle hardware. All being stored and synced in the "Cloud" (software, and content). On a notebook, or ipad the student would compile the notes, etc. entered on the Kindle hardware. From there they would use a full word processing application or power point to create papers, presentations, study guide, flas cards, etc.
    jhuddle
  • RE: Is SCRABBLE for Kindle a game changer?

    This article is bizarre. I cannot think of a worse platform for gaming than the Kindle, other than actually buying a real Scrabble board. I got my Kindle 3 in a few weeks ago. It's got a hardware interface and UI from 20 years ago but it's great for reading books (except for the one I sampled the other day with a weird font and misspellings everywhere). It's frustrating enough navigating the menus but the fact that they want to throw extra software on there is annoying. Even weirder is the fact that so many tech sites review these add-ons as if they're some integral part of the device. It's as if the idea of a single purpose device cannot be grasped. What I suspect is that this is actually an underhanded attack on the device by Apple fans who want to create the perception that the Kindle is a tablet computer, which throws it into competition with the iPad. Otherwise I am baffled.
    peterseb80
    • RE: Is SCRABBLE for Kindle a game changer?

      @peterseb80 I think they are more complementary products. I think owners of iPads (who use the excellent Kindle app) are quite likely to pick up a Kindle. But you're right - I don't see them playing games on it.
      Jeremy-UK
  • Already been playing scrabble on it...

    It is great in the sunlight...as my iPod touch is mostly worthless when driving on a sunny day... It is nearly impossible to see the screen. However, the kindle is wonderful and we can pass the kindle around and play scrabble in the car while on a road trip.
    condelirios
    • RE: Is SCRABBLE for Kindle a game changer?

      @condelirios um, you probably shouldn't be playing games on your iPod touch while you're driving, sunny day or no.
      dheady
  • scrabble is the all time best seller game

    There are millions of scrabble fans. They will get a kindle just for Scrabble. Monitoring http://scrabblecheat.com shows me 20% of users are now mobile users. With so many selling every day I see 30% soon.
    svfox
  • Why are people so crazy about scrabble anyway

    I have been in IT for quite a while and decided to code scrabble word finder at http://scrabbleicious.com. I had no idea how many people in US are crazy about this game until i checked my stats a couple of weeks back
    People love scrabble and they love Kindle. So its fair to say that kindle can turn out to be a good platform for plating scrabble with the loved ones once you are tired reading.
    PLus its handy and available everywhere .. So why not
    ishanguptaa
  • mobile devices is what is making Scrabble so hot right now

    Scrabble is having a re-birth due to popularity of the game on handheld devices.
    We get thousands of daily users to solve Scrabble and get word lists at http://anagrammer.com/scrabble/ Next platform for scrabble will be on people's watches
    Scrabble Cheat
  • scrabble word finder

    I adore this game! I just got it on my Android Phone and I find it very fun and cool. I play it with my friends especially we are having an out of town, all of us play this game. Its very interesting. We also use the ANAGRAMMER which will give some clues in times we are having a hard time.

    http://www.anagrammer.com
    scrabblefinder