Scrabble Express game great when you’re short on time

Howie and I found a great new game at Target last night. It’s not brand new, but a variation on Scrabble called Scrabble Express. They market it as being a 20-minute game.

Scrabble isn’t the only express version out there, though. There are several Hasbro express games available, including Monopoly, Clue, Sorry, and Battleship. Howie and I love the idea of having a few quick-to-play games to keep handy for trips to the coffee shop or a game at home.

They’re brief games nice for kids with shorter attention spans — well, shoot, for adults with short attention spans!

We haven’t played the express versions of the other games, but I can tell you about Scrabble Express since we did play it last night. First, let me tell you the main way it differs from a regular Scrabble game.A traditional Scrabble game includes 100 letter tiles and a board consisting of a 15×15 grid.

In the Express game, however, there are 12 dice, each with 6 different letters on them; the Q is actually Qu and there is one blank.The playing board is an 11×11 grid. Also in the snap-lidded plastic game box are a 1-minute timer, black bag for the dice, a small pad of paper, and a pencil. The container is compact and sturdy.

Play is easy. Each player rolls a die and the person with the letter closest to A goes first. This process replaces each person drawing tiles to see who goes first.

Assuming you’re the first one up, you roll seven dice, then make a word on the board out of the letters you get. You score the words like you would in a regular game of Scrabble, only this board has both double and triple word and letter score squares.

When you’re done making your word, you put the remaining letters back in the bag. The next player removes 7 dice from the bag and rolls them. If there are less than 7, the player rolls all of the dice. That person has to make a word which connects with your word at some point.

When that person’s done placing a word on the board and tallying up his score, he removes the previous player’s word from the board, with the exception of the single letter where his word joined the previously-played word. Any leftover dice join the previous word’s dice in the bag for the next player to use.

So, you see, there is only one word on the board at the beginning of each person’s turn. This process continues until someone reaches 200 points or some other pre-determined figure. There is a minute timer you can use if you want to keep the game moving (no word in 1 minute means you get no points for your turn).

I liked the game because people can talk and visit while playing. Since each new turn means new letters, there is no need to ponder your rack of letters and figure out what you’re going to play two or three turns ah

ead. It’s also a nice quick game to play at the coffee shop, which is what we did last night. Our friends Steve and Francie joined us and played a round with us. With the timer in use, a game only takes about 20 minutes; our game went longer than that, but still not as long as a full game of Scrabble would have gone.

If you like playing games, but your friends and family don’t always want to commit to a long drawn-out game, these express games might be just the thing for you!

8 thoughts on “Scrabble Express game great when you’re short on time

  1. That sounds like the perfect game for times when a longer game just isn’t possible.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever played Phase 10 (card game). It’s rather epic, but it’s really worth it as it’s more fun than you can shake a stick at (although I’m not sure why you’d be shaking a stick at a game in the first place). Well, while I was recovering at the nursing home, my friend Sandi brought Phase 10 in and we finished a full game and we wanted to play again even though we knew neither of us would make it through all 10 phases, so we decided to play either evens or odds (phases). Made the game very interesting, with unexpected complications and lots of name calling (hard to explain that one, but it’s something of a tradition and it’s always said with love).

    Anyhow. Uh, where was I? Oh yeah. Scrabble Express sounds fun and I love the idea of adapting other games to shorter versions when you’re limited on time.

  2. I have played Phase 10 a couple of times and know I enjoyed it; I just don’t remember a lick about it! We’ll have to pick up a deck sometime. We used to play Uno, too. Our friends have a version where you keep a running list of all the draw # card type things that have been done and the person who draws such a card must then do ALL of the previous things plus the one he drew. It can get pretty hairy!

  3. We bought my parents a Scattergories To Go game at Target. I hope they will take it along when they go out to eat. They like to play Hangman on sheets of scrap paper.
    Phase 10 is so much fun and you can pick it up fast.

  4. I bet the express version of Scattergories is fun. We love the regular game. We saw a *really* tiny version of Scrabble at another store a couple weeks ago. It came in the form of a carabiner you could clip on a belt loop or purse strap. Of course, you’d look like a nerd, but they made it feasible! And it is TINY. Read the review on its page at Amazon. LOL

  5. I just found a 1999 Scrabble Express in my daughter´s junk drawer. It seems to work fine with new batteries, but I can´t figure out how to play. Do you have any idea or suggestions for finding a manual? My checking on-line came up with your site (great name by the way) and that was about it. Thanks from Ruth in Brasília.

  6. I’m glad you like the dice Scrabble game Scrabble express I was one of the inventors of the game. It just don’t get alot of exposure. In Europe it’s a lot more popular.
    Thanks,
    Keep Playing

  7. Hey, Roy – Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It’s too bad there isn’t more marketing about this game here in the States. I think it’s a good match for the busy lifestyles of so many people, a way to interact with friends without being tied down to hours of gameplay.

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