I have always enjoyed participating in board games and have extremely happy childhood memories of playing those such as Ludo, Snakes and Ladders and Frustration. A game that always seems to be pulled from the back of the wardrobe when friends and family come to visit is Scrabble and whilst I owned the original version during my teenage years it seemed to vanish into thin air. Approximately ten years ago my sister presented me with Mattel's Disney Scrabble, which is absolutely adorable and this review discusses the entertaining and educational family game.
~~ About Disney Scrabble ~~
I do not intend patronising anyone by talking about how to play Scrabble, as I'm sure that most people are aware of the concept whereby each player receives seven letters; all of which are worth different points and they need to place them on the board to make words. Instead I will discuss the Disney version, which is absolutely adorable and offers a little more than the original version.
Accompanying the game is a 25 page glossy colour instruction booklet, which firstly discusses the familiar rules of Scrabble where the sturdy blue tile racks are referred to as "Pixie-Dusted Racks" and the draw string cloth bag that holds all of the letters is referred to as "Mickey's Tile Bag". I feel these references are rather cute and could possibly assist in holding children's attention for longer than the original game. On first glance the 15 x 15 squares on the board seem similar to that of the earlier version. However, on closer examination the outline of Mickey Mouse's head can be seen with his entire face appearing in the central square, which is known as the "Mickey Square" for that all important first player to obtain a double word score.
Anyone familiar with the original version of Scrabble will be aware that words contained within the English dictionary are permitted with a few exceptions such as abbreviated words, prefixes and suffixes. However, this where Disney Scrabble offers a difference as players are encouraged to break the rules! This initially took a bit of getting used to, particularly as I was experienced with playing the original version and it was difficult to grasp the fact that I needed to break the rules in order to get ahead in the game.
Contained within the last section of the instruction booklet are the rule breaking words whereby any words associated with Disney can be used. Consequently, players are permitted to use words such as Cinderella, Doc (from Snowhite and the Seven Dwarfs) or Lon (from Pocahontas). The instruction booklet even states that the name "Manto the Magnificient" (from A Bug's Life) can be used although I'm doubtful whether any player would ever be able to achieve such a word. However, the rules are a little confusing at times as players are not permitted to earn any points for the word "the" when used with other words as per A Bug's Life example.
The booklet contains a score sheet, which simply needs to be photocopied, but as most people probably do, we simply use a sheet of paper. The tiles are absolutely adorable as whilst their surface is flush in the original version, the Disney version displays an outline of Mickey's head and ears on each and every one of them. The board is extremely sturdy and folds in half to be stored inside the box and despite a considerable amount of use it is not showing any signs of wear and tear. The lower section of the board displays coloured images of a large number of Disney characters although my husband who is a keen collector of Stitch was disappointed that he has been omitted. The game is suitable for age 10 years upwards and is for 2 - 4 players.
I have always enjoyed a game of Scrabble although it's not much fun with my husband who will constantly refer to a dictionary before playing his letters, which as everyone knows is cheating! As well as being a fun game, which promotes team playing, Scrabble is also extremely educational and is a fun way for children to play and learn at the same time. I wouldn't normally discuss a box, but in the case of Disney Scrabble it is extremely appealing with images of famous characters from various Disney films. I cannot recommend this game highly enough, which is perfect for lovers of Scrabble and/or Disney and as a result, it receives 5 stars from me.
~~ Price and Availability ~~
I have looked online for prices and at the time of writing, a second hand version can be obtained from Amazon with prices starting at £10 plus postage and packing. There are also several listings on ebay and whilst I have never used the UK site before I would advise that The Board Game Club is selling this brand new for £30.66 yet they are stating that the RRP is £25.49!
I hope you found my review useful and thank you for reading.
This review also appears on Ciao under the same user name.