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Computer Scrabble

Computer Scrabble
Computer Scrabble

SystemSinclair QL

Leisure Genius

Sinclair QL

Release Date: 1/1/1985
Manufacturer: Leisure Genius
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
Donated By: David C. Bloor
QL Scrabble is quite a different program, by Leisure Genius. You might be forgiven for thinking it was just a conversion, but that's only because two official versions of a well-known game are bound to look much alike.

The official Scrabble reference book is Chambers 20th Century Dictionary, and QL Scrabble knows over 20,000 words from that, including lots of weird two and three letter words which are only ever found on Scrabble boards. And how about things like gadi or glia? I reckon there are some words whose definitions should always remain a total mystery.

You can play with up to four players, any or all of which can be taken over by the computer. When entering a computer player, you can also set its skill level from one to eight. From level five onwards the computer will run through all the two, three and four letter words in the dictionary - when it has a duff hand, that can take some time.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the time taken by playing against the clock. You can set a maximum time for each move ranging from ten seconds to ten minutes - tournament time is two minutes. The sound effects can be turned on and off as you please. Lightning Scrabble is a thoroughly punitive business against three computer players, but lots of fun all the same.

Options are all in this sort of game, and other choices include watching the computer suss out its best move, looking at all the players' racks of letters, and calling up tables of the number of letters and their values. You can also ask the computer for a hint, but that does take rather a long time, and there is no guarantee that the hint will be the best choice available.

QL Scrabble is an excellent game, perfectly suited to the capabilities of the machine, and with enough options to tailor the game to your own demands and abilities. I take on trust Leisure Genius' claim to have written a completely different program from the Psion original, and given that have no hesitation in awarding it a Classic.

It is reasonably priced, well-presented, has Load and Save facilities, and should give Scrabble fans endless enjoyment - as well as sharpening the wits of anybody who dares to take on the all-powerful QL at a game it plays with considerable brilliance.

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* Inflation data courtesy of Values are approximate using our own calculations.

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