April 13 is National Scrabble Day, and with word games all the rage right now thanks to the runaway success of Wordle, Hasbro and Mattel have teamed up with game developer Scopely to launch a new web-based version of the game at scrabble.com.
Scrabble.com offers PvP matches against players from around the world, as well as PvE action when you're in the mode to test yourself against the computer. The game will support matchmaking against players of various skills, a blog and forum where players can chat and learn from experts, and of course the official Scrabble Dictionary and an anagram solver that provides instant access to more than four million words and definitions. Down the road, developers also plan to incorporate a Tournaments mode for high-level matches.
Scrabble was officially invented in 1948, although it was rooted in a game called Lexiko invented by Alfred Mosher Butts more than a decade earlier. It didn't really catch fire until a few years later, but it's been a board game staple ever since, and also the subject of a couple of daytime television game shows. A national Scrabble championship tournament has run every year since 1978 (the finals were actually broadcast on US sports network ESPN for a few years), and it was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Game in 2004.
More recently, interest in uncomplicated, easy-to-play word games has surged courtesy of Wordle, the free word game that burst onto the scene in January. Wordle is more Mastermind than Scrabble, but it engenders a similar feeling of being smart in a fun, accessible way: Clever enough to be entertaining, but not so clever as to be off-putting.
"The popularity of word games further validates and demonstrates something we’ve known all along: Word games are beloved experiences and play an important role in the lives of many people globally," said Beth Nations, Scopely's vice president of growth for casual games. "To Scopely, the rise of Wordle just helps to remind people how much they love word games."
The new free-to-play Scrabble is live now at scrabble.com. Take advantage of some pro tips from Scrabble world champion Will Anderson (and a sweet infographic) below.