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Super Scrabble

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Faithful to the letter, if not the congenial spirit, of the Scrabble board game, the computerized opponent in Super Scrabble lets you know right away that it’s no patsy. In our very first match, after my opening word, if, the computer countered with yip. I was still puzzling out that one when it chose, for its second turn, re. Over the next half hour, whenever I thought I had the game, well, in hand, strange two-letter words poured forth in profusion: em, mi, el, li, ut, oy, ye, and od. At first I thought my Game Boy had popped a microchip, but after checking a dictionary I realized: This computer is out for the K-I- L-L. Even at its easiest level, it hauls out words William F. Buckley would never use in ordinary conversation. The game is a bit slow, however: It can take the computer anywhere from one to three minutes to make a move, depending on the difficulty level. (Two people can also compete against each other by passing one Game Boy unit back and forth or by hooking up two separate units with Game Boy’s link option.) A-

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