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New Scrabble edition aims to make game more inclusive, less intimidating

If you found the original Scrabble (or its die-hard players) a little too intense, you might love the new version.
Posted at 10:01 PM, Apr 10, 2024

Scrabble’s fan base is full of people who take their board games seriously. If you’re intimidated by the classic word game, a new version might be just right for you.

Scrabble Together Mode seeks to make the game more accessible and easier to play. The emphasis in the updated game is on cooperation and collaboration rather than competition. For those who found the original Scrabble a little too intense, the new version could be a breath of fresh air.

Scrabble Together Mode adds a second side to the board that encourages players to work together to complete goal cards. (Finally, you can pair up with that family member who has all the two-letter Scrabble words memorized and win!) It also includes helper cards — shown at left in the image below — and uses a simpler scoring system.

For now, Scrabble Together Mode is only available in Europe. The new version marks the game’s first major change since it was introduced 75 years ago.

“Scrabble has truly stood the test of time as one of the most popular board games in history, and we want to ensure the game continues to be inclusive for all players,” said Ray Adler, global head of games at Mattel, in a statement. “For anyone who’s ever thought, ‘Word games aren’t for me,’ or felt a little intimidated by the classic game, Scrabble Together Mode is an ideal option.”

Mattel launched Scrabble Together Mode after conducting research that showed younger generations aren’t as competitive as their older counterparts.

“We play the original game, but change is inevitable,” Gyles Brandreth, co-host of the language podcast "Something Rhymes With Purple," told BBC’s Radio 4 Today. “The makers of Scrabble found that younger people, Gen Z people, don’t quite like the competitive nature of Scrabble. They want a game where you can simply enjoy language, words, being together and having fun creating words.”

The winner of Scrabble Together Mode is the player who completes 20 challenges. A player loses when they have used up all the helper cards and cannot complete a goal.