An Introduction to Scramble with Friends
A guide to the game Scramble with Friends by Zynga, a computerized version of Boggle.
Scramble with Friends is a game for handheld devices from Zynga, the folks who gave us Words with Friends.
Scramble with Friends is based on Boggle, but with a few twists. In Boggle, a bunch of cubes with different letter on each side were in a box. You shook the box, the letters fell into some slots, and you tried to make words by connecting letters. In the usual Boggle game, there were 16 cubes and they fell into slots on a 4×4 grid. Longer words got more points.
Scramble with Friends is similar. There are, again, 16 letters in a 4×4 grid, but there are some differences and complications allowed by the computer. First of all, because it’s on your device and your opponent’s device, each of you can see all the letters correctly aligned. Second, for the same reason, you can play anytime, and your opponent can be anywhere. In Scramble (unlike Boggle) different letters score different numbers of points; rare letters like X and Z score more points than common letters. And there are no arguments over which words are legit!
Scramble with Friends is played in 3 rounds, each is two minutes. In the first round, there are no added bonus tiles. In the second round, there are double-letter and double-word tiles. In the third round, there are triple-letter and triple word tiles. As you might expect, double- and triple-letter tiles count the value of that letter double or triple, while double- and triple-word tiles count the entire word double or triple. This can really rack up the points!
Scramble with Friends also allows you to choose “power ups” “Freeze” adds some time to the clock (or, which comes to the same thing, stops the clock for a bit). I find this the most useful power-up. “Inspiration” highlights a word you haven’t found yet. If you choose this power up, you can use it three times. Finally, “Scramble” rearranges the tiles so you can see new words.
Here are some tips:
Unless you are totally stuck, don’t bother with 2-letter words – they only count 1 point each.
Look for prefixes and suffixes such as RE, ERS, TERS, EST and so on. These can let you make multiple words quickly.
In the latter two rounds, really use those bonus tiles.
Adapt different strategies for different boards. Sometimes you get 16 letters that are just chock full of words. In this case, look for long words and series of words; look for bonus letters and words with high-point tiles, because you will run out of time if you use lots of 3 letter words. Other times, the 16 tiles will yield relatively little – in this case, the 3 letter words will be useful.
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