Super Scrabble: Extra Room for Extra High Scores
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A Truly Super Scrabble
Super Scrabble is an apt name. It takes the regular Scrabble game and supersizes everything about it. The board is much bigger, there are more letter tiles and there are more words to play. This is the best version of Scrabble for people who live by the philosophy of “go big or go home.”
And in many ways, it’s the better version of the game for game nights with lots of people. Yes, the original Scrabble can accommodate up to four players. But, there’s no denying that the comfortable option is to play with two people. Super Scrabble gives three or four players plenty of room to find words to play and lets their spelling imagination run wild.
The first printing of the Super Scrabble game was in 2004. Winning Moves Games developed the game and was given licensing rights by Hasbro.
The Finer Details of the Major Differences
Take one look at a Super Scrabble board and you’ll instantly understand that this game is not some mere update of the original. Every component of the game is modified to make the new dimensions work.
A massive game board: Super Scrabble takes things up a notch by expanding the size of the board to a 21 x 21 grid. That means the Super Scrabble board has a total of 441 squares. For comparison, a normal Scrabble board features a 15 x 15 grid with a total of 225 squares.
New Word Score squares: With all of that new real estate, it makes sense that the game would also include more score multiplier squares. There are also new types of squares. Super Scrabble adds quadruple word squares to the outer edges of the game board.
Almost double the letter tiles: Finally, to complete a supersized trio, there are double the letter tiles. Regular Scrabble has 100 letter tiles. Super Scrabble comes with 200 tiles. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean the quantity of each letter is exactly doubled as well. Some letters have more than double, and others have less. The Super Scrabble letter distribution breaks down as follows.
Opening Up New Word Possibilities
One of the best things about the added letter tiles is that you and your opponents have the opportunity to use a plethora of previously invalid words. These are words that were impossible to spell because you didn’t have access to all the required letters.
No more do you have to use “za” to mean pizza. In Super Scrabble, “pizza” is actually available, because there are two Z letter tiles instead of just one. Isn’t a full pizza always better than just a slice? Yes, you can make words with letters you may not have had in regular Scrabble.
There’s only one issue with all of the new words at your disposal: You need to know which of them you and the other players will allow. To make it work, you all need to agree on an acceptable set of words. The best way to do this is to set some ground rules and consult both a quality dictionary and one of the official Scrabble dictionaries.
Super Scores for a Super Game
With all of these new squares and letter tiles, you might assume that player scores at the end of each game would be massive. And, you’d be right. The end results of all the upgrades are scores of Brobdingnagian proportions. Playing words that are 7 or 8 letters long is one thing. Playing 14-letter words is a whole other ball game.
It’s not uncommon for you to see Super Scrabble scores of 800 points or more. With all of the new space, the extra letters, (especially the additional high-value letters) and new quadruple word score bonus squares, tallying the scores at the end of a game will take some time.
Use in the Competitive Scrabble Scene
Though Super Scrabble has its place among game nights with friends, not everyone is a big fan of the big game. Serious Scrabble players, the ones who play in tournaments, have their valid criticisms of the update to their favorite game.
Bingos aren’t as useful because of the scores. In Super Scrabble, a bingo still only earns you 50 bonus points. In a game where players are easily earning hundreds of points, a bingo probably isn’t going to help you take the lead or keep it for very long.
The scoring potential is an unignorable issue. When it comes down to it, Scrabble is more of a math game than a spelling game. You need to keep track of your points and plan your moves to get the best score possible. That gets difficult when players can make consecutive massive plays with ease.
Picking a word list isn’t easy. Competitive players can’t simply rely on the normal tournament lists, such as the one from NASPA. Those lists don’t account for words that were previously unavailable, like the aforementioned “pizza.” It can take a lot of work and planning to establish a word list that every expert player can agree upon.
Super Scrabble Deluxe Edition With Tile Lock
An update to the Scrabble update, Super Scrabble Deluxe Edition debuted in the first half of 2007. The downside of Super Scrabble’s size is that it’s not the easiest game board to navigate. A big board means not being able to reach across it easily, which means accidentally knocking into and messing up the tiles a lot.
Winning Moves Games’ remedy for this issue was to create a board with a lock-in square grid, which keeps the tiles in place. The tile lock Super Scrabble board also sits on a lazy Susan-style turntable. This makes it easy for everyone to access every part of the table without needing to move.
If you can track one down, Super Scrabble Deluxe Edition may be worth the premium price over the standard Super Scrabble game.
Yet Another Scrabble Remix
Scrabble is fun. And, when you’re an avid player, finding new ways to play helps keep it invigorating. Super Scrabble is the version for people who want to make big plays. Of course, there are other reimaginings of Scrabble also worth exploring. If you haven’t tried playing Clabbers yet, you’ll want to do something about that. You use the same board and letter tiles from the original game, but one simple rule change turns it into an entirely different game.
Zac Pricener has been a content creator for the past eight years. He’s a bit of an all-around nerd, and he has a bad habit of working movie and TV show references into conversations whenever possible.