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Scrabble

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If you’re going to take away Scrabulous, the drug of choice for a nation of cubicle monkeys who’ve made the wildly popular Facebook application a daily — if not hourly — obsession, you better come up with a pretty sweet replacement. Alas, Scrabble the beta version EA and Hasbro are offering doesn’t provide nearly the same high as the original; think of it as the methadone of online word games. Our issues? The sluggish gameplay is maddening and the busy graphics are overwhelming (though Hasbro promises a more stripped-down version soon). In addition, the colored squares for triple-word, double-letter, and other bonus spaces don’t correspond with the original board game’s colors, as Scrabulous did, making for a weird cognitive dissonance. Scrab addicts itching for their next 48-point fix will no doubt make do — and some will just migrate to Scrabulous.com — but so far it’s a sorry substitute for the (un)real thing. C

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