grabl Review

By , on September 11, 2009

Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Official Scrabble dictionaries used.
  • Online scoreboard.


  • Little variation in game modes.


grabl does feel somewhat like a single player version of Scrabble with no opponents, but with a scholar constantly waving their finger at you for trying to spell words that don't exist. It's a great learning tool for those looking to adopt Scrabble more seriously, but otherwise it's nothing special.

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What would happen if you took a popular word based board game, paired it with an arcade style and a time limit to keep you on your mental toes? Ok to be honest that does cover most of the word-based games on the iPhone, but grabl by Rocketmaker Productions is all about making the largest word web your mind can conjure and showing it off to your friends.

A lot of the standard board game controls are used here; pinch controls the board zoom, single touch swipes let you move the play field and tiles are dragged on to the board's grid to create words. Players are given an initial 14 tiles to start their word web and can add tiles to their pool one at a time. This becomes important as any left over tiles and unconnected words at time out will penalize your score. Thankfully the game is lenient and allows you to swap around the tiles already played.

Taking much of its cues from Scrabble, the visuals are fairly standard with a grid background and wooden tiles engraved with the letters of the alphabet. The interface itself is fairly clean but oddly quite fiddly to select options. Players can choose between different time limits and even select their preferred dictionary with SOWPODS and TWL both available.

grabl feels like a great mix between a standard arcade/puzzle version of Scrabble and a training ground for people who enjoy word games. It may not be exciting or new, but it will grabl you.


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