Scramble With Friends

Common Sense Media says

Addictive word game safer to play with your own friends.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The game is very easy to grasp. The difficulty comes in forcing your mind to look in nontraditional places to find words.

Violence

Players may choose to play words relating to violence, but there is no violence in the app itself.

Sex

Players may choose to play words relating to sex, but there is no sexual content in the app itself.

Language

Some of the words allowed in the game are surprisingly iffy. "S--t" is acceptable, for example. Also, chat is unmoderated and can't be turned off, so it is possible to be exposed to offensive language from an opponent.

Consumerism

The free version of the game includes ads and encourages (but doesn't force) players to purchase additional tokens, which are used to pay for each turn or buy additional power-ups (one is free). It's possible to play without buying them, but it can be frustrating. The paid version replenishes tokens faster, but still offers an option to buy more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Players may choose to play words relating to drinking, drugs, or smoking, but there is none of this content in the app itself.

Privacy & safety

Some safety concerns. The game can match players with random opponents, who are usually strangers. Either party can send a message to the other, and there is no way to block this function or filter the language. The game asks you to log in via Facebook or post to Twitter to find an opponent from your friends or followers list. You can also choose a friend from your contact list.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Scramble With Friends is a word puzzle game in the tradition of Boggle. Players must find words from a collection of 16 onscreen letters; some iffy words are accepted in the game. You can play against random opponents, and messaging between two players is unmoderated. You can also play against Facebook friends, Twitter followers, or people in your contacts. The game comes in both a free and paid version. The paid version replenishes tokens, which are required for games and bonuses, much quicker.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • vocabulary

Hobbies

  • board games

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions

Self-Direction

  • time management

Tech Skills

  • social media

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This spelling game is addictive, entertaining, and wonderfully social. It can also be tricky if kids have trouble making order out of chaos. Playing with friends from Facebook or Twitter adds to the fun.

Learning Approach

While the app can help improve spelling, it'd not a big help in building a vocabulary, since the words are completely out of context. After each round, though, players see lists of the words from the round, offering exposure to new words.

Support

Kids can play against random opponents, with messaging between players. Kids can also play against Facebook friends, Twitter followers, or people in their contacts lists.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • reading
  • vocabulary

Hobbies

  • board games

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Creativity

  • developing novel solutions

Self-Direction

  • time management

Tech Skills

  • social media

Kids can learn to process chaotic information, finding words in a series of 16 random letters as they race through rounds in Scramble With Friends. The app can also help improve spelling and build vocabulary, but since the words are completely out of context and you can't look up meanings in the app, the app's ability to help build vocab is limited. Kids also engage in social activity via the "With Friends" aspect of the app -- they can connect with Facebook friends and other contacts to play. Scramble With Friends is fast-paced fun with lots of spelling practice, a dash of vocab, and plenty of socializing.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Taking turns with another player (online friends or random opponents), kids string together adjoining letters to create words on the Boggle-like board in Scramble With Friends. While kids might find a few words that are spelled out left to right, they'll also have to search diagonally and in a grid pattern, zigzagging across the screen to produce words. They can use word length and each letter's point value to maximize scores. Rounds are two minutes, and after three rounds the player with the higher score wins.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Picking up SCRAMBLE WITH FRIENDS can be really bad for your productivity. And we say that in the nicest way possible. Taking a page from the classic board game Boggle and another from Words With Friends, this spelling game is addictive, entertaining, and wonderfully social. It can also be tricky if you have trouble making order out of chaos. The 16 letters on screen can taunt you as you search for words -- especially those that are more than three or four letters. Playing the game with friends from your Facebook or Twitter adds a degree of fun, since you're playing with friends, not strangers (it also adds a degree of safety). The free version is as fun as the paid version, but if you're planning to have several games going at once -- and you likely will before too long -- cough up the money for the paid version. It will save you money in the long run. 

Families can talk about...

  • Play the game with your kids, since it is, by design, a two-player title.

  • After playing rounds with your kid, look at the word lists. Did either of you learn new words? Encourage kids to look up words they spelled out but don't know the meaning of.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$.99
Release date:January 12, 2012
Category:Puzzle Games
Size:15.30 MB
Publisher:Zynga
Version:1.1.4.12
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Scramble With Friends was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written bytmarie197 April 12, 2012
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

RIP OFF!!!

I love the game, but they rip you off. I paid for the ad free version, and it locked up on me so I removed it from my phone and when I went to put it back on, they tried to charge me again!! I refuse to pay for something I have already paid for and now I run out of coins constantly or have to pay for those!! They get you any way they can! They basically stole my money and are now trying to get more. I also emailed them and they are choosing to ignore this issue!
Teen, 14 years old Written bypinktea4 February 20, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Great

Great game nothing bad unless your childs choose bad words.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written byOGORMAN February 25, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Fun brain game mixes good time with self-education!

This game allows children and adults alike to think outside the box when brainstorming words to play. It is easily accessible and helps educate people in finding words they would not normally think of. You can play with friends as many times as you want! :)
What other families should know
Educational value

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