Words with Friends was originally launched by the gamemaker Zynga on Facebook. What made it really successful was the fluidity of social interaction in a virtual world. Hasbro signed a licensing deal to produce real-world versions of the game.
Without the online connection, though, Words with Friends Luxe is just a version of Scrabble. There are some differences with the letter distribution, and the arrangement of the bonus squares on the board are different, both of which may change your strategy a bit from Scrabble. Beyond that, the object is to score as many points as you can by building words with letters you draw. The Luxe version has a two-piece board that fits together and rolls on casters, so you can always be playing with the board facing you right-side up. The tile spaces have raised edges to keep the letter tiles in place.
Words with Friends Luxe comes with 104 letter tiles, a tile bag, and four curved tile trays, each featuring a spot for a mobile device. The game is for two to four players.
If you are a Words with Friends fan and you have some real friends to gather around the board, this might be the game for you. If you already own a Scrabble set, pull it out and go to town. We're pretty sure you won't notice the difference between the two games. Either way, we're big proponents of Words with Friends and Scrabble for a terrific social experience and a great game that balances luck, strategy, and knowledge. If you like word games, you should be playing one of these, and the Luxe version offers a nice upgrade from a basic game set.
Words with Friends Luxe is for ages 13 and up.
When you purchase Words with Friends Luxe, you also get a bundle of digital features to enhance the Words with Friends online or mobile game experience, including Word-O-Meter, The Count, and Tile Pile.
The age grading of 13 seems a little high, as many younger kids have graduated from Scrabble Junior to the adult version by age 10, though, of course, the game will vary by the players' vocabulary skills.
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