Scrabble Change Makes Collaboration Name Of The Game

A new, less “intimidating” version of Scrabble has been launched

Scrabble Together board

by David Ker |
Updated on

There’s another side to Scrabble. Literally. The classic game has a new board which toymaker Mattel says will make it more accessible to anyone who’s ever thought ”word games aren’t for me”.

The change is the most significant in the game’s 75-year history and has been announced ahead of National Scrabble Day on 13 April.

Scrabble Together is a collaborative version of the familiar formula which sees the introduction of a double-sided board.

Those who choose the new mode are promised a faster-paced experience where moves are made as a team in order to complete goal cards. The revised gameplay also features helper cards and a simpler scoring system.

The decision to encourage greater cooperation is consistent with other successful board games which focus on teamwork and shared strategy.

Ray Adler, Vice President, Global Head of Games, Mattel, said: “Scrabble has truly stood the test of time as one of the most popular board games in history, and we want to ensure the game continues to be inclusive for all players.”

Scrabble Together board and pieces

According to research conducted by Opinion Matters among a sample of 2,000 UK adults, 31% of Scrabble players say quality time and social interaction with family and friends is what motivates them to play, whilst 23% love the competitive nature.

It’s a finding echoed by Brett Smitheram, current UK number 1 and 2016 World Scrabble Champion, who said the new version of the game: “speaks to a trend in younger people who want to avoid competitive games, instead favouring teamwork and collaboration working towards a fun goal together.”

Research also found that:

- Over half (51%) of Brits play board games to de-stress, or to unplug from social media

- 35% of Brits think that baby boomers are the most competitive generation, followed by Millennials (31%) with only 29% thinking Gen Z are the most competitive generation

- 29% of board game players aged 16-24 say that their dad is the most competitive player

- Almost half (49%) of Scrabble players have tried to make up a new word to try winning a game of Scrabble

- 75% of Scrabble players aged 25-34 have had to search a word to check it’s real

Game changer

There has always been more than one way of playing Scrabble, whether with unique family rules, as a solo player, or by using standalone versions like Scrabble Trickster. However, most players will only be familiar with the standard game.

Broadcaster and founder of the UK National Scrabble Championships Gyles Brandreth, says that alterations to the traditional board are to be welcomed. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “change is the salt in the soup of life... Gen Z people want a game where you can simply enjoy words and language”.

More than 165 million Scrabble sets have been produced since 1948, with Ukrainian the latest addition to its numerous linguistic versions. Editions of the game include Deluxe, Junior, Travel, online and Retro, and it has also joined forces with Star Wars, The Simpsons, Harry Potter and the Wizard of Oz (which is not a valid two-letter Scrabble word, although ‘ZO’ is).

So, what’s it to be for your next ‘night on the tiles’?

Have you played Scrabble Together? Let us know what you think.

Includes 50 Goal Cards that Teach Scrabble Basics

Scrabble 2 Games in 1
Price: £15.99
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