The Scrabble GO experience, and how to avoid it (including a review of Word Master Pro)

So far, 14,000 people have read my little post about my outrage with the end of the Scrabble app — and with Scrabble GO, its replacement. Now I’ll tell you why Scrabble’s EA app is going away for good, what it’s like to play Scrabble GO as a decent player, and how you might enjoy Word Master, which may be better than EA’s Scrabble ever was.

I learned that I’m not alone

There are 217 comments on my Scrabble post. All of you hate Scrabble GO. The staid old EA Scrabble app has a following, and, at least as far your comments reveal, no one in that following likes the new, busy, ugly Scrabble GO app from Scopely.

There is a petition at change.org. It has lots of supporters. It’s up to 1,111 as I write this. Feel free to add your name.

Scrabble GO has 130,000 reviews on the Google Play store. It’s at 4.4 stars average, but there are thousands of negative reviews. The distribution of reviews on the Apple App Store is similar. Most of the recent reviews are critical. Feel free to add your own.

The EA Scrabble App will be gone for good

As a former media analyst, I know how licensing works. I can’t be certain, but it’s pretty. clear what happened — and what it means for you as a Scrabble player.

The owners of Scrabble (Hasbro in the US and Canada, Mattel elsewhere) want to make more money. The previous EA Scrabble app is either free with ads, or a one-time purchase of about $10. They want more.

The deal with Scopely to create the new and abominable Scrabble GO was designed to increase revenue. Scrabble GO is rife with the gamification strategies that generate ongoing revenues, such as bugging you to get your friends on it and to make in-app purchases of gems and the like to get to the next level.

In an interview with LA Biz, Scopely’s chief revenue officer explained a bit more, including why the company acquired the studio that built Scrabble GO for them:

Hasbro and Mattel were looking for a partner that would be willing to invest and build “Scrabble” for today’s market. With the success that we’d seen with “Yahtzee” — super social, deep, rich gameplay that’s a business that’s been growing every year since we launched it — they knew that we were a team that could really bring the “Scrabble” experience to life in mobile and kind of honor the core “Scrabble” gameplay that “Scrabble” players have known for years, as well as bring in a new set of features and experiences that can appease the word game players on mobile today. . . .

People love “Scrabble.” If you’re a word game player, you know “Scrabble.” It was our job to make sure that consumers and the market knew that “Scrabble Go” was here, because we knew that once they got into the game, they would stay and play and invite their friends to play. . . .

We’ve seen about a 10% increase in revenue across the portfolio [in the wake of the coronavirus]. This could be industry-wide, but for sure our casual titles have seen substantially more installs happening.

Let me translate for you in terms that matter to you. I’m certain that Scopely has an exclusive deal on Scrabble. That exclusivity requires EA to shut down its Scrabble app, eliminating the competition. That’s why the EA app is shutting down. Begging EA will do no good. Pleading to Scopely will do no good. Complaining to Hasbro (and, potentially, Mattel) could, conceivably, make a difference, but Hasbro/Mattel made the deal with Scopely and, I’m sure, promised that exclusivity. So they really don’t want to talk about it, and they don’t want to go back on the contract. They just want to see the money roll in.

The people playing Scrabble GO are not the same people that were playing the EA app. Hasbro is throwing the rest of us under the bus in hopes that a younger audience will adopt Scrabble GO and keep paying money to them for jewels and upgrades. They don’t are about you, they only care about the other people who generate more revenue.

What’s wrong with Scrabble GO?

Before I wrote this, I wanted to give Scrabble GO a fair shake. I don’t care about jewels and levels and leaderboards. Could I at least get a good game out of it?

If you want to play the machine, you’re stuck playing with “Zooey,” the avatar for the game. She sucks. Anyone decent can beat her. And there is no higher level of difficulty you can access. So if you like to play the machine, you need another alternative. (That’s WordMaster, which I’ll describe in a minute.)

If you want to play other people, you’ll still have to put up with the ads and constant nagging to turn on notifications and pay for features that used to be free, like the “teacher” telling you the best move that you missed. I was unwilling to connect my Scrabble GO app to Facebook, because it seemed like a bad idea to have it spamming my friends. But you can still play other people it matches you up to.

There are two kinds of people there: real humans and bots.

The bots are not labelled as bots. But you can spot them — they have blue clouds around their avatars, and their “best word” score is zero. They don’t all play quickly, which is annoying — why are we waiting for a bot to get around to playing us? You’re not fooling anyone. I beat the bots every time I played them. They’re better than Zooey, but not much competition for a decent player.

These aren’t people, they’re bots. They’re better than Zooey, but not that good.

You can also play actual humans. I tried a few. And I scored better than I usually do, because the game shows you when you put the tiles down if something is a legal word or not. If you don’t have to guess if something’s a word, you can keep messing around until you find one.

My average score was over 400. I am not actually that good. The features of this game inflate your score.

I also beat all the humans I played. But a funny thing happens. If you start a game and you jump out to a lead, the other player slows down or stops playing. They don’t want to lose, since that will jeopardize their “streak.” So you end up with a bunch of half-finished games. The one person who was decent competition wouldn’t accept a rematch with me — she opted out.

As a result, there is no competition worthy of the word on Scrabble GO, and I’m not interested in easily besting random people who don’t enjoy it.

My readers, especially women, say that there are men hanging around trying to chat up women on Scrabble GO, and even some scammers. Any social media platform is going to have such trolls. So it seemed boring to me, but in fact, it’s much worse than that.

Want an actual experience worth having? Try WordMaster

Is there an app with the same board layout and tile distribution as Scrabble that you can play yourself? There is. It’s called Word Master. And I like it a lot.

On Word Master, your opponent is the machine. The machine is very good and lightning fast. Here’s what’s different from the original EA app:

  • You can install a free version with ads or an ad-free “Pro” version for $3.99.
  • There are two English dictionaries. Use the one called ENABLE (US) — it has a smaller word list that still includes Scrabble must-haves like OE and QI. (It lacks the recently added OK.) The alternate English (International) dictionary has all sorts of questionable additional words, like CH and ZO. There are also dictionaries for other languages like Spanish, French, Catalan, and Greek.
  • You can try a bunch of different board layouts, including one with no bonus squares at all. I stick with the old traditional one.
  • After each turn, you can see a list of the highest-scoring words you could have made (like the EA Scrabble “Teacher”).
  • The developer has added several innovations that I found excellent. You can play with the board revealing which words are legal as you put the tiles down (as Scrabble GO does), or without that feature. You can restrict the computer to not play any rare/unknown words, which greatly improves the game. You can even tell it not to give you a rack of all vowels or all consonants.
  • Right now, it only plays in a vertical mode. If you turn your iPad or phone, the board does not rotate.

I spoke with the developer, a guy named Luis Galandi in Brazil. He’s fixing the rotation problem and developing a multiplayer version. Luis has already created a wonderful version and he deserves our support.

So download Word Master Pro and give it a try. And let’s hope the revenue-hounds at Hasbro and Scopely don’t get in Luis’ way. At least he’s trying to create an experience that will entertain us word nerds as we ride out the viral apocalypse.

133 responses to “The Scrabble GO experience, and how to avoid it (including a review of Word Master Pro)

    1. I’ll be honest, I was in a bit of a panic after seeing the new app, I play every night to send myself off to sleep and when I wake in the night & cant sleep… so following your tip I just downloaded Word Master pro, created a scrabble board and played my first game.
      So far so good! No glitches, no ads, no daft graphics. I only play against the computer so that aspect’s fine for me, I am so relieved as this seems to be a real alternative. Thanks!

          1. They are so obvious if you turn off chat, when they challenge you and you accept they never have another go if you dont chat

    2. Yes. I thought the world at least could go on. I know lots of really old people that live by Scrabble. Scrabble Go is total crap. Thank you. I hope that guy gets that Master Pro going to multiple players soon

        1. Well, you were lucky, I guess!
          When playing the old game we all enjoyed, I always made sure I was playing against a woman. Why?
          So often a male opponent would be scoring 12, 8, then 14 points before trying to engage in some conversation. I tried to avoid that by playing against feminine opponent.
          A strategy I can’t display now that I am playing Wordfeud, a somewhat valid replacement for EA Scrabble, because they pick the opponent for you, and you have to play, otherwise you loose! I have had some of those games, you know, where you win 530- 124….

        2. Exactly ! it’s easy to tell if somebody’s catfishing because they want to put you in the hangout room or actually interested in you. When that happens, I tell them I know your catfishing and I’m out of here!I wish somebody would bring back the old edition of Scrabble it’s much more challenging. This scopely version is for crap if you ask me.

          1. You can switch off the chat function. They soon get the message
            I’ve also just changed my picture to my cat and won’t accept games with low average scores as they are not really interested in the actual game

    3. Scrabble Go is a million times better. More contact with other players. More shorter word games. Much more user friendly. Scrabble EA was tired and tedious. Sorry but your review gets it all wrong. I say this as a 57 year old lifelong Scrabble addict.

      1. If you like dying against bots with learning disabilities, Scrsbbke Go is great. The boys medieval you feel so brilliant because they always set you up for triple word scoring. I don’t need affirmation from
        A machine

      2. The draws are dishonest. I play against Zoey at grand master level and cancel games at the start until I hav a bingo. It the only way I can be competitive. My usual punishment for the bingo is to draw all vowels or all consonants while Zoey comes up worth a perfect draw. Usually I’m looking at one point letters although sometimes I draw a Q without a U or an I with no letters that spell anything. I finally quit the game when a T was available for a spectacular play that might have involved both triple word scores. I couldn’t even cover one triple score with my one vowel rack with a couple UUs and no other plays on that T. Her play was JATO for 66 points. So you say it just happens? No, it happens frequently. Also I’ve been playing with someone named Brooke E. I’ve asked her if she’s real but no response. I think all the players are computers. Their avatars look so fake! Im deleting this game for these reasons and for many other reasons that I won’t go into.

    4. Scrabble Go is awful indeed, but if you want an uninterrupted game with your old Scrabble friends, try Lexulous. For copyright reasons the board has high scoring squares in a slightly different position and you get 8 tiles (bingo with 7 or 8).
      It’s excellent: No ads for a small one off fee; a green tick tells you if the word you’re trying exists; the computer opponent is a worthy challenger. An extra feature is that it picks up on which direction your word is heading, and once you’ve dragged two or three into place, you just have to tap the rest in sequence and they automatically move. It takes a little while to get used to this, but it’s great for long words. (Not sure if you can turn this off, as I’ve never wanted to!)
      I’m in Australia, and play with friends from here plus the UK and US. The UK/Aus dictionary used by Lexulous is Chambers, which, btw, is the official Scrabble (board game) dictionary outside the US, and the one used by the ‘real’ online Scrabble, as well as by Scrabble Go-away.

    5. Many of the people are not real either. When on the chat and I refuse to go to another chat platform, many resign. Also there are romance scams. If you play long enough you can see patterns. 6 common queries before they request alternate chat sites. Or just mute the chat. Females rarely chat with me. The guys who do? Beware of social engineering and phishing!

    6. Why don’t you guys play Wordfeud? It’s no frills. You play humans if you want. It’s got a great UI. I’ve been playing one person on here for at least 7 years! I used to put in request for random opponents and play normal games, I’m not the best player but it was fun. Now I like to play slow games, like really slow as in one move a day, LOL! And my game partner I’ve been playing with for the longest time also enjoys it as well. We live on a opposite sides of the globe and we have an interaction via a game that we look forward to doing every day. We are very evenly matched, so it doesn’t matter to us who wins or loses.

    7. I couldn’t agree with you more! Recently a tournament had a challenger with 60,000 points. There is NO WAY you could earn that honestly without purchasing several hundred gems. The company’s entire goal is to SELL gems. Never mind skill level. I refused to join the “CLUB” for several reasons. 1) screen freezes that lose gems, tournaments, status, etc.
      2) BOTS, FAKE PLAYERS, etc.
      The above clearly states my frustration with what should be a fun and challenging game…….. how sad they have ruined it☹️

    1. Echoing John Goff and Margery: You are a hero, Josh, for fighting the good fight against the travesty that is ScrabbleGo. Thank you for discovering Word Master Pro, I will definitely give it a look.

      1. Scrabble is a wonderful game, delightfully challenging. ScrabbleGo is mind numbingly infantile and a sorry bastardization of an already perfect game. Please let ScrabbleGo die an easy death and let Scrabble out of the cage.

        1. Oh I so agree with everything you have said. This scrabble Go is ugly and makes me ill just Trying to play it. Die ScrableGo..Just die. I do not need bells and whistles etc. to enjoy a game. I do not play Scrabble for bells and whistles or coins etc. I am 7still 0 yrs. old and trying to keep my brain sharp. . . . ScrabbleGo is not the right road. PLEASE BRING BACK OUR SCRABBLE GAME AS IT WAS. There is a reason it has lasted so many years. . . . . Think about it.
          Than you Carolyne for your “spot on” comments.

          Martha

          1. You can still play the old Scrabble game against the computer if you turn off refresh in settings (or turn off internet)

    2. I play Go with several of the same people I played EA scrabble. We just play and pay no attention to anything else. I have no clue what 95% of the garbage on the site is.

    1. I HATE Scrabble Go with a passion. Will be deleting it. So the original real deal game Is gone forever? They had the audacity to delete during a pandemic yet! I will hate Hasbro and rotten Apple forever and ever because of that. They should just go stuff it.

  1. Well written…Thanks for the recommendation…SCRABBLE has been our favorite multi-player game for years and kept us “in touch” when apart… We’ve been searching for another but with no luck… We’re going to try WordMaster and maybe, someday, it will be multi-player.

  2. Thanks for the tip – I’ve been dreading The demise of Scrabble (though it will probably be good for my daily productivity).

    1. I have downloaded WordMaster and it more closely resembles EA Scrabble. However, I can’t seem to find a board layout that is identical to classic scrabble in terms of the location of double and triple word and lettter scores. Am I missing something? Can anyone help?

      1. I think you can change the board to anything you like in the options which includes making it the same as the old Scrabble. Plus you can change the points for individual letters also, I am pretty sure.

  3. lexulous also seems an option for my friends and I…word master, I tried but didn’t love…
    have also written reviews for Go, and written to Hasbro…used real words and didn’t throw any jewels at them!! or cupcakes, or anything! (insert eye roll here!!)

    1. I love Lexulous and have been playing it since 2007 when it was called Scrabulous, it was exactly like Scrabble, but apparently Hasboro wasn’t happy and made them change a couple things. And change the name.

  4. Just purchased Word Master Pro. Best $3.99 I ever spent! Now, hopefully we will have a game soon where you can play with friends. Sure hope that is on the developer’s agenda. Deleted the horrifying Scrabble Go, and what a feeling!!!!!

    1. Which wordmaster? I don’t see wordmaster pro on App Store??! Help! I’m desperate as I can’t deal with losing my beloved Scrabble!! I’m truly so sad!!

  5. I also bought Word Master Pro and it’s like the sun has risen on clear skies after a long and stormy night full of despair and agony. There is hope at last.

  6. Thanks for the Word Masters recommendation. I found another similar game called Lexulous. You can play the computer as well as invite and play friends. Interface is a bit wonky but overall not too bad

    1. Thanks for the heads-up about Lexulous. My brothers and sisters and I are checking it out, now. It looks promising!

      1. Word Feud is another good option. The Board is better to see for those of us with myopia 🤓 I did elect topay the $4.99 ad free You can invite and play friends

        1. Thx. We are all in our sixties and early seventies and love playing Scrabble together. We’ll see if one of these two works for us!

  7. I completely agree with these comments
    This new scrabble app is putrid
    Compared to the previous app
    Scrabble is enjoyed by so many people because it’s about a serious challenge
    Gamifying this is ridiculous and annoying with so many silly incentives and sales happening

    1. Thanks for writing this. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, losing the old Scrabble game has been devastating, and trying to find an even somewhat adequate replacement has been exceedingly frustrating bordering on completely maddening.

      Scrabble Go sucks for a multitude of reasons that others have already mentioned. Besides the obvious, here are my other complaints. I don’t like being pulled into playing against what appear to be “real” people to find out that they are “bots”. If I wanted to play against the computer, I would have selected that option. I don’t know what percentage of the “players” that are actually bots, but it seems to be large. Also, the average skill level seems to be lower on Scrabble Go than it was on the old game.

      I tried ISC, but for it to work properly you have to install Java and apparently Java isn’t supported on most browsers including mine, so even though it seemed promising it’s not going to work because I don’t have the tech savvy to figure out a way around that (though I’m sure it exists). Lexulous also seems to attract skilled players, but I couldn’t even get the tiles to move correctly which led to me running out of time to make words and losing games due to that glitch (the app might solve that issue). Also it appeared to me from watching matches that most people were using word scramblers as I’ve never seen people make moves so quickly with such obscure words in the old beloved Scrabble. The time crunch factor seemed to hinder my game. I liked the 2 or 5 minute per turn options in the old Scrabble game, but anything less than that is too much pressure for me.

      Anyways I will try your recommendation next, although I really prefer to play with other people.

  8. My husband & I loved the old EA app & played for years. Especially loved was the Teacher button,
    which was not on Words with Friends etc.
    We loved your blog about the app being stripped away & couldn’t agree with you more that this is the last thing we need at the height of the pandemic! Almost enough to send us all over the edge!
    Thanks for the link to the petition, which I signed, & the suggestion for the substitute app Word Master. Can’t wait to try it! It might just save the sanity of many of us!

  9. Money money money it’s a rich mans world. As the song goes. As fare as the rest of us are concerned we can get lost !

  10. Thanks for your write ups on this Josh. Over here in the UK we thoroughly agree that this is outrageous. In addition to leaving a 1 star rating, signing the petition, writing to the CEOs of Scopely, I also reached out to a couple of media outlets here in the UK. Here is the resulting article from the BBC – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52633088. Let’s spread the word about this outrage!

  11. It is a gambling addict’s grooming ground, releasing reward endorphins for “accomplishments” without ever getting off the couch. A millenial’s dream.

    I’ve had the “online dating” lurkers (block) and the scammer who couldn’t keep his story straight but he’s still ahead of me in the leaderboard (because that appears to be about how often you play, and not your actual score).

    Being able to exchange letters and not lose a turn is BS. And there is no rhyme or reason for when you have to pay gems or just watch the same inane ad.

    Thanks for the thorough review.

  12. After trying to play the travesty that is ScrabbleGo I am so very glad i found this post. Thank you very much for the information and research. i will try Word Master when Scrabble goes away June 1. So very sad!

  13. Great option.

    However , letting you know, CH and ZO have been words since I started national and occasionally international tournament for 27 years . That is currently from OSW19 lists .

  14. “Want an actual experience worth having?” “The developer has added several innovations that I found excellent” – and I thought I was bad at English. So this is a pseudo-review piece promoting a most likely illegal copy of Scrabble called Word Master Pro. Which is like GO, only without the proper dictionaries, without the player base, without the high production quality graphics & sound and without all the side-games – but either free version comes with ads.

    Also note that GO is evolving with each new version. With 1.23 fully enabled you can play without the fripperies if that’s not your bag. New versions are coming out regularly with upgrades and I look forward to them. I suggest people keep checking it out as new versions are released. If you don’t like it that’s fine, most people do. Trying to promote a competing app off the back of a hit piece is pretty desperate.

    1. Why are you posting bullshit on WithoutBullshit? Yes, wordmaster lacks some features like multiplayer and dictionaries. But the without ads feature of Scrabble Go costs several dollars per month, a subscription model, whereas the EA app and wordmaster charge a one-time fee.

      Was the one-time fee too low to support the service? There would have been many ways to raise the cost without selling the exclusive rights to Scopely, the Martin Shkrely of online games.

  15. Thanks for the above overview; very good points raised.

    I have a different issue with the Scopley Scrabble Go in that my icon on my iPhone has been stuck for the last two days and I am unable to continue my Scrabble games. I still get the notifications, but cannot enter into the actual games (and I have shut down and restarted my phone as well).

    I had contacted Scopley and got one acknowledgement yesterday, but no fix has been offered as yet, which is incredibly frustrating, as I do not want to lose my history, gems, etc. by deleting and re-loading the App.

    I feel I have been a good ambassador for the App, having introduced several people to it, so I am disappointed with the timing of the service response.

    I must add that I am on the ‘free’ version of the App, so am beginning to wonder whether this is a ploy to get me to be a paying subscriber – if so, why not just say one way or the other, rather than keeping me hanging?!

    I am very much warming to your recommendation of WordMaster…….

    1. Hi All,

      Following my earlier ‘rant’ I am delighted to report that Scopely has since contacted me and has sorted out my connection issues I have had with Scrabble Go.

      The engagement with me has been excellent (once they got moving) and I feel that I at least owe them the courtesy of letting this group know of that fact.

      Thank you all for your patient ‘ear’ and thank you Scopely.

      Stay well.

      Best regards,

      JJ.

  16. I feel better knowing that there are others that loved the EA app and hate the foolishness of ScrabbleGo. One other thing that I liked about the EA app is that it kept track of wins and losses. I’m kind of a statistics nerd and while my 4533-1510 record over 8 some years isn’t impressive, I enjoyed trying to nudge my win percentage up. Does anyone know if ScrabbleGo keeps track of wins and losses? Or do I have to win a cape or some shit first?

  17. Any lawyers here? Are there grounds for a class-action suit here (at least for those who paid for the ad-free version of the old Scrabble)?

  18. Many thanks for posting about Word Master Pro, a wonderful app. I have been trying Scrabble Go and it is a truly awful experience. Their support is also a joke (despite earlier comment about it being good). I contacted them and all I got back was a survey after 3 days to ask how well they had answered my question, which they still haven’t after a fortnight.

  19. Thanks for this, I was very ha[[y with my old version of Scrabble, and loathe the new version. £5.99 per month to go ad free? For a simple game? I also now realise that I have been playing against bots for the last month, without knowing it! And they aren’t even any good, FFS! There is almost nothing to like about the game and much to hate, for example, all the fuss about winning new types of tiles! The game is about WORDS! I don’t give a hoot what my scrabble tiles look like, and some of the options are so awful I have no idea why anyone apart from a demented monster would want to have them anyway? Thanks for the Word Master tip, I installed it and breathed a sigh of relief when I opened it. I mean, would anyone take a chessboard and gamify it? No, they wouldn’t, because it would be a travesty to do so. So why do it to Scrabble? Why?

  20. Try http://www.isc.ro for a great scrabble experience. The games are live, so you need to play straight through, but you can choose the maximum length of time for each turn when you set up each game.

  21. Thanks for the info about word master, but is there ANY multi-player games besides words with friends out there anymore?

    1. http://WWW.isc.ro is real scrabble with real opponents. Check it out. The only hitch is that I think you need to play the games straight through. You can set the amount of time max that each turn can take though.

    2. Yes, check out Lexulous. I have been playing it with friends for years. It is slightly different rules than Scrabble, but not hard to get used to.

  22. If anyone is interested, we have an email based game of pure Scrabble that has been online since 1998 listed below. We have ten Official Scrabble dictionaries and the 21 x 21 Super Scrabble game. There is an annual subscription of $15 USD per player required, but for that you get an advert free site where you can play as many games as you wish to.

  23. Scrabble GO is a scam!

    I’ll leave aside the many complaints we all have about the user interface, stupid Zoey, etc. and get to the meat of the problem.

    Scopely has made Scrabble GO for one reason and one reason only: to pelt users with obnoxious ads for crap that no one could possibly want. See, these aren’t really ads. Ads are supposed to advertise a product that someone would conceivably want to buy. Scopely’s loud and obnoxious ads for other moronic games are not meant to sell these games. Nobody could possibly want them. No, the purpose of these ads is to sell you something else: their ad-free version at $4.99 a month. For sixty bucks a year, they’ll stop bothering you. In other words Scopely is running a protection racket. Pay me to protect yourself from me.

    What can be done about it. I suggest the following strategy:
    Everyone reading this should complain to the Apple AppStore or Google App Store about this app. Do not complain about technical glitches, things for the developer to resolve. No, attack the game as the FRAUD, the protection racket that it is. Say that their ads are fake, that they’re really trying to sell not the advertised product but making the ads go away. This is NOT a legitimate business practice and Apple or Google should kick them out of their store if they don’t clean it up. Say you’d be willing to be a reasonable subscription fee ($5 a year?) for a clean app but this is not it.

    Apple: https://reportaproblem.apple.com/
    I am not sure what the correct place for android users to file such a complaint is. Maybe someone can help

    If all the bile that has been released on this site were pushed onto Apple and Google, maybe something could be done.

    1. I tried clicking the link, but could not find a way to actually file a complaint? Can you provide more details?

      1. 1. Click the Link.

        2. Enter your Apple ID and Password. If you don’t know it, there is an option for recovering it. You may have to also enter a “Two-Factor Identification Code” which will come to you by text or email depending on how you set that up.

        3. You will come to a screen showing the apps you’ve installed. Find Scrabble GO and write down the order number on the right.

        4. Then go back to the top of the screen where it says “What can we help you with” and select “Report Suspicious Activity”. That’s the correct choice, remember we are complaining about Scopely’s abusive behavior and that’s the closest.

        5.Click Next and then Contact Us.

        6. On the next screen I chose Email. You enter your name, email address, Scrabble GO for the Item Title and Type in the order number you wrote down previously. Then enter under Additional Details something like this (you only have 250 characters).

        “Scrabble GO is a scam. It throws obnoxious ads at users for things no one would want to buy, then offers you (for $4.99 a month) the option to tune these “ads” off. In other words, it’s a protection racket: Pay me to stop me from bothering you.”

        Submit this and they will get back to you with a boilerplate email asking your for purchase receipt, etc. Ignore all that and pour out your passionate feelings in the reply, but be sure to mention the fact that the “ads” they are throwing at you are fake, junk that no one would want to buy, their real purpose is to get you to buy the ad-free version for 60 bucks a year.

  24. Mostly accurate analysis, although anyone can see that Scrabble GO is aimed at children and the bottom line. I’m confused though by the implication that GO introduced “just try again” if you play a bum word. EA Scrabble has always been like that too, and is I believe the main reason that serious across-the-board players refuse to play it. Perhaps EA works differently if you play against the computer; I’ve never tried, that kind of self-gratification holds no interest for me. For the same reason I can’t summon up any enthusiasm for Word Master Pro until it’s multiplayer. By then, though, the suits will almost certainly have closed it down or forced it to be changed into a different game – remember what happened with Scrabulous/Lexulous?!

    So, what to do? Yes, I’ve tried the IUC but it’s live only – not so useful for many. And its UI is pretty awful, to be honest. Lexulous is too far from Scrabble now to appeal to me. I will probably give up the game altogether, and play more chess.

    Finally, to the OP, please note that just about every country in the world – and, I believe, every international tournament – uses the English dictionary, not the American one. CH, for example, is a fine word; drawing a C is enough of a handicap as it is.

  25. Ugh. Thank you for calling out the Scrabble Go BS for what it is, especially with the insight into the corporate mega-BS. Truly horrendous. Also, thanks for the recommendation for WordMaster.

  26. Personally I much prefer CrossCraze for playing against a computer. And WordFeud is a decent option for internet play.

  27. Fisher Price interface is horrendous. I am not a toddler,

    I’ve just found Classic Mode, though, that does at least disable some of the bells and whistles.

    How to access Scrabble Classic Mode
    You can easily swap from one mode to the other following these steps:
    Tap on the Profile Picture in the top-left corner of the Home Lobby.
    Tap on the Settings cog icon in the top-right corner to open Profile Settings
    Tap on Mode Settings toward the bottom right and select the mode you prefer.
    Warning: Changing from Scrabble GO to Scrabble Classic will automatically resign all your non-classic games.

    If you don’t see the Mode Settings option, please write to contact customer support to request having your account switched to Classic Mode. Here’s how to contact us:
    For iOS users, tap on the “Contact Us” link in the top right corner of this screen.
    For Android users, click the text icon in the top right corner of this screen.

    1. Will never play Scrabble Go…Will boycott all Hasbro related products for the rest of my life. Already using scopelyied as a verb the definition of which means taking something really beautiful or interesting and turning it into crap. It’s already legal in our family Scrabble board games. Thinking about adding the word to Wikipedia. Slang word that will be my lifelong goal to get into the Merriam-Webster dictionary . Into the Scrabble dictionary before I die would be poetic justice.

  28. My siblings and I have played Scrabble online for years and are dreading the demise our our classic game. It is June 6th (the 5th being touted as the end date) and curiously, our games are still going… one can only hope! In the meantime we have started playing Wordfeud which is a far better alternative to the garish and annoying Scrabble Go.

  29. Thank you for this excellent, very well written post!
    At least I now know what really happened!
    Let us hope Scopely is on a crash course with their million dollar babybot!

  30. The Scrabble EA app still seems to be working on my iPad, even though it’s past the doomsday date of June 5…has Scopely had a change of heart?

    1. I think they are phasing it out. Have a bunch of incomplete games and the plays are usually quick to respond. My guess when it’s my turn for the app to update it will disappear.

    2. It still works if you just want to play against the computer or in pass-around mode. EA even sent me a response when I asked:

      “After June 5, if you have downloaded the free version of the game on iOS or Android, SCRABBLE will no longer be available for play as our partnership has come to end. However, if you have downloaded the premium version of the game on iOS or Amazon, you’ll still be able to play Single Player and Pass n Play modes if the game is installed on your device, but if you delete it or get a new device, you won’t be able to install the game.”

  31. My online games disappeared but so far I seem to be able to play the computer. Will check out the alternatives mentioned.

  32. Thank you for articulating the travesty that is ScrabbleGo. Words With Friends is only marginally better. I tried to download Word Master to my computer but apparently it can only be downloaded to a “device.” Do you have any insights on this? Thank you!

  33. I think a lot of people are unaware that the game does come with a “Classic Mode.” To find it you have to click “Start New Game” and then scroll to “Classic Mode.”

    I play all my games in Classic Mode now that I discovered it, and there’s none of the BS. No gems, no sparkles or flashing. No “power ups” that let you do ridiculous stuff like exchange tiles without passing a turn. It works fine and is perfectly enjoyable.

    I agree that the “normal version” of the game is incredibly annoying and not worth it for avid Scrabblers.

  34. John

    I tried classic mode, but I get a pop-up after every move that asks if I want to try another game (why would I in the middle of one I am already playing?) And after a few moves it takes me to a reward of some sort that is difficult to get out and back to the game. I can’t play like that.

    1. Hi Margery,

      Upon reading your comment I had to go back and do a move in one of my games to see for myself, because I couldn’t remember that happening. But you’re right, it does.

      I realized that I’ve been able to zone this annoyance out because, while ads for other games do appear after you make your move, they only last 3-4 seconds before an X pops up allowing you to exit out of them before the ad finishes. This has proved sufficient for me to be able to gain a net positive when using the app, though I get that for some this wouldn’t be possible.

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you for the recommendation! I’ve never heard of thepixiepit, this looks like a great way to play Scrabble in a non-real-time setting from your desktop, similar to the way the app works.

      If I’m going to be playing from my desktop though, I’ve always preferred the Internet Scrabble Club (isc.ro) since its a real-time game, with a clock, etc. Plus, you can enable the playing of “phonies” which could then get challenged off the board (or not). To me, all of this combines to create a game that much more directly mimics a real-life game of Scrabble.

      However, I didn’t fully examine thepixiepit, perhaps all this is possible there as well.

      John

  35. They now have classic mode.
    All the bling is gone.
    No tile swap for diamonds or videos, etc.
    If you are in no games, it is a setting.
    If you are in any Go games, you need to quit them or finish them, then the mode change appears in settings. If not, read how to change it in help menus, say it didn’t help, then it gives you messaging to customer service, who upon request can switch you to Classic.

  36. Oh my gosh, thank you!!! I was beyond frustrated losing the beloved Scrabble by EA. I love Word Master. Purchased without even trying it first. Works perfectly and seamlessly.

  37. Thank you for introducing me to Word Master Pro. I am delighted with it. You are wrong about one thing, though. You couldn’t pay for an ad-free Scrabble before and it was exceptionally annoying with the 30 second ads that you couldn’t interrupt. And if having ads at the end of every turn wasn’t annoying enough, they sometimes popped up in the middle of a go. Plus you could not play it if you weren’t connected to the internet, because they didn’t want people avoiding ads by going offline. So I am now very pleased to have ad-free Word Master, though I am a bit nostalgic about the traditional Scrabble board! Anyway, thanks for the recommendation.

  38. I was horrified when I first saw Scrabble Go and complained vociferously to anyone who would listen (and I guess some who wouldn’t), but apart from the garish board & background and the poor chat facility, the Classic mode is OK. It cuts out a lot of the puerile rubbish and let’s you play Scrabble. It’s not easy to find for everyone, and I did as they suggest and contacted the makers. They sorted it out for me within an hour and I’m up and running. One or two of my previous opponents have decided to drop out, but mostly, I’m still playing everyone I’ve played for years. Scopely I think have recognised a lot of the issues and have been making changes to help we traditionalists. but don’t blame them for trying to make more money!!!!! They’re in business to make money and for most of us, we get a free game for the slight inconvenience of having to wait for the ads to finish – I never look at them, just wait for them to end.

  39. I agree with everything you say about the horror that is scrabble go – Zooey was crap ! I am going to try wordmaster. It sounds like a great alternative. I tried complaining when I first read about the demise of EAscrabble – thanks for finding another option 🙂

  40. Got chased out of Words With Friends with an upgrade I couldn’t stand. Downloaded and played one game of Scrabble Go. What a joke. Found your review. Now I’m going to try Wordmaster. Thanks for your insight

    Kevin

  41. Word Master also has the advantage of working on old iPads, unlike Scrabble GO.

    Thanks for the tip.

  42. Great post, thank you! The only good thing to come out of Scrabble Go is that it inspired me to write a parody of TLC’s “No Scrubs”, lamenting the frighteningly large number of sketchy men using Scrabble Go’s chat feature to schmooze women and/or sell bitcoin. I’m hoping to become a YouTube sensation with it, but if not, it’s provided me with hours of entertainment, which is more than I can say for Scrabble Go itself. I’ll have to check out Word Master.

    1. Yes! What brought me here was because every single game that comes up is with a man, half of whom appear to be in military uniform. And I was seriously wondering whether any women play Classic Scrabble GO…

  43. I am a woman. I had to change my name to a male name and change my profile picture to my dog to make men stop messaging me and hitting on me. That is bull. If I want to chat with randos I can just install Tinder. What I want is a great game and I really miss the old app.

    1. Lady, I am with 100%. All my choices were pretty much grey-haired older men. I’m 76, I’m not looking to chat with lonely old men. Then I found out I could turn chat off. Three men quit immediately. It’s much better but now the problem is that several of the women I now see and start games with won’t play. Maybe they like the old men. Who knows. I only play the classic version.
      My husband and I play every day. I miss the old game. I paid 12.99 for it.
      We’ll try Word Master.

  44. I actually really like Scrabble Go, genuinely. I also pay about 4.50 to them each month to remove the ads.

    Sorry! 😂

    1. Better check that monthly fee amount each time your account is charged if you haven’t already. I also paid $4.50 to start then it increased to $7.99 with no notice of increase. Found they changed from “no ads” option making it a package saying with this monthly fee not only do you block ads (except you have to open/view ads to get the final reward when opening a chest) to a VERY false statement about more/better rewards for example to which I found the higher you go in levels, majority of rewards are those juevinlle tiles or specialty tiles you are forced to take because they are attached to every reward chest.
      Your comment was in August….based on the timeframe I experienced, you will see the INCREASE in the monthly fee and the DECREASE in rewards an adult player would be interested in as well as a DECREASE in gems rewarded.

  45. Agree whole heartedly with the flaming review of Scrabble Go, but Word Master Pro still isn’t setup to play in landscape mode…so didn’t appreciate the suggestion.

    1. I agree! I am waiting for a landscape board on Master, and eventually real opponents, not a Master who shoots his replies half a second after yours!)
      In the meantime I am playing scrabble on Wordfeud, despite their weird board.
      And still playing a game on Scrabble go against the same opponent I don’t want to lose contact with!
      But I still hate their dull/small board/graphics… everything really!

  46. I’m a little worried that Word Master may have been taken over by Scrabble Go. I use the free version, and was getting pretty exclusively animated ads for Scrabble Go. And these were the kind of ads that you can’t stop or pause. Very distracting. I deinstalled WM and am using Classic Words. We’ll see how long that lasts. ;^(

  47. Unfortunately I just want to play my friends online, and with Wordmaster you can’t do that. I agree with every word you say about S. Go. It is utterly, indescribably horrible. I’ve played enough games make it very unlikely that the stats are wrong, namely my win rate over a few hundred games with exactly the same people I used to play on EA has dropped 20% and my bingo rate has also dropped drastically. I keep getting either no vowels or no consonants, FAR more frequently than that ever occurred on EA. It is bizarre… Should be the same for everyone but I am starting to believe the app has it in for me.

  48. I have had constant issues with ScrabbleGO for the past 2+ months with app freezing random times, often when selecting “get prize”. Customer service wouldn’t acknowledge at first, tried to recommend steps to resolve “my phone issue” only to keep inboxing Customer Support where after 2 weeks they admit they are trying to resolve the issue. No effort to compensate users losing prizes valuable to play that were truly earned (gems & tickets). They could at least doe something for users based on 1) do they pay the monthly fee for no adds and Scrabble Club benefits 2) how much does the user spend on in app purchases.

    I average 3 to 5 lost rewards (get prizes) each day and today I purchased a package special only to get shorted one of the 5 chests included in the purchase. I inboxed Customer Service only for them to return with the standard “it’s your phone issue” and “we looked at your inbox and you have several chests not opened” (note: previously explained in my message that I was shorted 4 chests (paid for 5), then within 30 minutes received 3 chests as “unclaimed rewards” but still missing one. Inboxed Customer Service again 5 HOURS LATER AFTER NO RESPONSE, it is now over 2 hours later with still no response.

    Watch the XP Bar, I have found it is inconsistent when receiving points for tournament play, sometimes not even issued (I inboxed Customer Support when 2000XP rewarded on multiple tournament rewards barely moved the bar and they said they checked and all XP were posted to my account). Also watch your rewards as related to the chests – I have been in 2nd place and received a top tier 1 chest, I won 4 gems (yep, 4 total) and the rest in those stupid tiles.

    I receive 3 to 5 game requests every 2 to 3 days from men trolling like it’s a dating site, when you don’t respond and block messaging they abandon the game after 2 to 4 plays. Yet another tournament, I was in 17th place (top 30 received different XP and Trophies but same chest) and received 22 gems and a ticket (for 17th place….yet 2nd place and a higher tier chest was only 4 gems).

    The past 3 to 4 days, 90% of chests earned as a reward contain 95% tiles (promoting new ones they are doing) so if you are playing to earn points, tickets, etc. you are wasting your time (and money if you purchase tickets or gems) as it has been ridiculous what they are rewarding in the chests.

    ScrabbleGO is nothling like it was back in April and the fact that Customer Service just blows off your issue or doesn’t even read it to understand, only to respond is a joke. The fact that Customer Service and the app in general is basically ripping people off by not rewarding correct amounts of XP to your account, losing prizes due to app freezing, not receiving items purchased – it should be removed from Google Play and other sites until it operates efficiently.

  49. Can’t believe they pulled this crap on scrabble fans right when covid started keeping people at home. It’s shameful.

  50. YOU JUST SAVED MY SOUL which was perishing under the Scrab Go tyranny. WM Pro is my COVID balm, the eye in this sh**storm right now. Stay safe and well-verbiaged everyone.

  51. What can be done about the fact that my 85 year old mother playing Scrabble GO is constantly messaged by younger MALE players who are trying to hook up with her. Soooooo annoying. Also she only has MALE players on the bottom row, (besides her actual facebook friends and contacts that she plays with) I looked in the preferences and I see no way of addressing that. Any ideas?

  52. Yes, there is a simple solution. Just turn off chat. I can’t remember how I did it, but since I chose this option there are no other players appearing below apart from my genuine opponents. If you can’t find the method post here again and I’ll check how I did it.

    1. I leave the chat turned on because unlike the bots, human players will actually respond to you if you say something to them.

      A few of my opponents have discussed all sorts of things – her family’s Covid travails, politics, shopping, food, exercise, our pets, gameplay, etc. We have a lovely continuing conversation going. I enjoy the banter as much as I enjoy playing her.

  53. I really miss the old Scrabble, and agree that the stupid hoopla animation every damn time I “power up” or win a “treasure chest” is annoying beyond belief. Why can’t they give an option to skip the repetitive fireworks after a while? And the amount of men on the prowl is just pathetic. However, I’m resigned to playing the bots (with the occasional FB friend sometimes available) for nothing else than “wow, never seen that word before.” As long as they’re not trying to get my personal info. I do like the other games, like Word Drop and Tumbler. I absolutely refuse, however, to pay a dime for Scrabble Go.

  54. Wow, thank you so much for this article…I stumbled upon it when I tried to Google whether “Kevin” was a real person or not in Scrabble Go, lol… That app was so frustrating with all of the ridiculous extras, but I stuck with it for a bit since none of my Scrabble app attempts have been good so far and I love Scrabble! Word Master is perfect!! Thank you so much again 🙂

    1. If you are still using Scrabble Go, what is your handle there? Mine is Xelor Y. I’m looking for other humans with whom to play.

  55. I wish I had found your blog b4 installing Scrabble Go.

    FWIW, they have added a high-level bot player, Kevin (he uses Kevin Hart’s image). It routinely scores 450+ against me. (On SG, I’m a 44 PPP player, due to the “mess about” feature you noted.) I know that character was created in partnership with that real K. Hart. IDK whether the Kevin bot is designed to play in par with its human opponent. The 1st 3 games I had against it, it hit high 300a, but then in game 4, like a light switch flipped, it started playing comparably to me. (I usually score 450-550, opponent notwithstanding.)

    The lesser bot players seem more geared to screwing up the best place you can play your next word than to playing the best word of their own, given the playing level to which they’re set.

    I don’t mind playing a bot. I mind not knowing I’m playing a bot, & I didn’t, until 6 months in of playing, aka today, figure out that all but about 6 of my opponents are bots.

    1. My mom is an excellent serious player. Alice C. Is her name on Scrabble Go. IF you would like to play a real person

  56. I coudnt agree more with everything you say about the scrabble go avatar– Zooey was just average ! I am going to try alternate wordgame as you suggested. It looks like a great alternative. I tried complaining when I first read about the demise of EAscrabble – thanks for finding an alternate. All happens because of money.

  57. Scrabble Go definitely has its issues (e.g. tons of bot players masquerading as humans, Zoey’s questionable playing). But I have had respectful, genuine and friendly chats (esp. during lockdown) with a few different people since April this year. To this day I still chat with a player (female) on the other side of the world while playing and I have not experienced a single disrespectful word or conversation from either of us after 6 months of playing on and off.

    The point being that not all people that communicate on this platform descend into money scams or romance scams – at least I haven’t experienced that up to this point.

  58. The last two nights I have been playing ScrabbleGo, my screen just goes blank. I get notices that people are waiting on me to play, but I can’t get off the blank screen to return to the game. This is the pits. I prefer the original Scrabble game. There is an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  59. Black screen: Usually I back out and reload. Sometimes you can swipe down at the bottom of the page and the options show up. If you play long enough, a comment box shows up periodically asking you to rate the game and asking for suggestions. That’s a good place to comment. Also the little icon for settings has an option to contact them.

  60. I am a relative newcomer, but have been playing for a month or so. Now reached the end of my patience, as continual ‘crashes’ make the process just too painful – along with all the fluff that surrounds the actual game and which I have no interest in. Byebye Scopely

  61. Many thanks for this blog about scrabble.

    I think the absence of a free or really cheap online scrabble is an obscene case of clever lawyering to wring money out of a game invented in the 1930s whose intellectual property rights should have expired long ago.

    Scrabble is popular among old folks like myself without much money and can give hours of pleasure. It should be available either free or very cheap., and not be a money maker for a bunch of obscene chiselers.

    I paid $7 per month for Electronic Arts scrabble and cancelled after one month because the interface was so horrible.

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