Scrabble Remix
| Scrabble Remix

I expect many of you will have had it up to here with boardgames by now. For those who celebrate Christmas it seems to be the custom to drag out the dusty boxes of Risk and Monopoly and force every member of the family to join in.

RealNetworks’s Scrabble Remix is the perfect salve for even the most severe boardgame chafage. This isn’t the Scrabble we all know and love/hate - it’s a collection of distilled, single player only Scrabble themed mini-games that goes down very easily indeed.

It’s only words

First up is Standard mode, which presents you with a never-ending string of jumbled up Scrabble letters. For each set of letters you must form as many words as possible before the two minute timer ticks down, and you’ll only move on to the next level once you’ve managed a total clearance.

Untimed is exactly the same but, as you might have guessed (and if you haven’t this probably isn’t the game for you), it removes the time limit for a more leisurely game.

Letter Mania requires you to complete a certain number of words in order to progress, while Lightning asks you to solve five scrambled words within a limited time. Daily Word rounds things off with a single conundrum to solve each day.

Despite the six game types, the core Scrabble experience of spotting words in a seemingly random jumble of letters remains the same. All that changes are the criteria for progression and for failure.

Words worth

Indeed, despite an attempt to instil a little of the old Scrabble magic into proceedings via double-score and triple-score bonus multipliers, I couldn’t help but pine for a rather more traditional take on Scrabble. The king of word games, after all, has much more going for it than mere letters.

There’s the whole spatial-puzzle element, as you not only have to figure out the best word but one that will fit onto the game board. Then there’s the potential for combinations, and the tactical considerations of leaving a gaping triple-word score square for your opponents to exploit.

While Scrabble Remix is a neat twist on the classic Scrabble formula, and a fine mobile word game in its own right, it’s a bit of a shame that it finds no way to replicate the finer points of the host game within its bite-sized shell.

Scrabble Remix

A fine collection of Scrabble-themed mini-games that's more suited to mobile play than the original game. When it comes to depth and lasting appeal, though, it doesn’t stack up quite so well