Hasbro Interactive has been bringing board games and Atari titles to the PlayStation for a couple of years now, and with a library in both categories that is interminably deep, it's no surprise that another one has just launched from the gate. Enter Scrabble, the game you used to play on your kitchen table; it's now on your TV screen, and that's probably telling enough.
Perhaps more versatile than the board game itself, this version has three modes of play: normal, solitaire, and tournament.
In the normal mode, you play against another human or a computer opponent in a single match. If you select the computer player, you'll be able to select its intelligence level. These levels include novice, beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert, champion, master, and grand master.
The solitaire mode is pretty self-explanatory: You play a round against yourself, aiming to earn as many points as possible.
The tournament mode is a single-player game in which you play your way through the ranks of computer opponents - beginning with the dimmest and working your way up to the grand masters in an attempt to become the Scrabble champ yourself.
And it's not too tough. One of the only downsides is that you can't manipulate the CPU into believing some stupid word you heard once in a foreign film you didn't understand and misspelled wrong in the first place is actually a word you should receive points for. The interface is 2D, allowing you all the traditional board-game Scrabble functions, from rearranging your letters on the rack before placing them on the "board" to trading in the sour letters at the cost of a turn. And you can't keep your pals from cheating in two-player mode as any idiot can figure out, because you're looking at the same screen. But "Turn around before I kick you out of my house" is one way to deal with it. The Scrabble hard sell? It does the math for you. The worst thing? You can't cheat by stowing illicit tiles in your lap.
Scrabble on the PlayStation appears to be exactly what you expect from Scrabble at your mom's house - minus the little wooden letters that look like bouillon cubes. It's slow, there aren't any power-ups, no one jumps out of the ceiling to shoot you in midturn, and you can't apply stealth in any way whatsoever. If you're the card playing, board-game digging type, this'll probably be right up your alley - or you could buy one of those jazzy lazy-Susan Scrabble boards for about the same price. But don't go into it expecting Scrabble on the PlayStation to be anything but Scrabble with a cathode-ray glow.