Remember Scattergories? A family favourite for many people, Scattergories has always been crying out for a mobile version, as it seemed very suited to the format, and now it is here for iPhone.
Scattergories asks you to roll a strange-looking die that has all the letters of the alphabet on it, and you must come up with a word that begins with the letter you roll, with the trick being that the word must be within a category randomly selected from a card. It was always good fun, and it does translate very well to the touch screen format of the iPhone and iPad.
For the mobile version, the developer has decided to focus solely on the social aspect of play, with online play really the only option available to players. The game is deeply linked to Facebook, which is great news for fans of the social networking site, but if you don’t use Facebook you can still play as a guest.
Once you have logged in, you can view a pretty good guide on how to play the game, which should be the first place to go for those who are not familiar with the concept, and you can then go online and challenge players from around the world. Simply starting a game will matchmake you with a player and the game begins.
It works just as you would imagine, and everything moves very smoothly and is incredibly easy to use and intuitive. Once you have finished the match you get a results screen that shows you what words the other player used, which can be pretty funny, especially when you both didn’t think of anything and entered something silly instead.
You can dispute words, and each game will also raise your level a little and earn you some coins. Coins are important as you absolutely need them to play any matches at all, and although the game is fairly generous in handing them out you may need to purchase some to keep playing for as long as you want. You can earn some for free by watching videos, etc and you do get a few to start you off free of charge.
I don’t mind the whole coins to play idea, but I really wish there were a free to play single player mode, perhaps against a simple time limit, or at least some kind of pass and play local multiplayer mode. I hope the developer adds something like this to the game in the future, as I feel it needs local options, even as good as the online is.
The game is well presented, with inoffensive music playing throughout and an overall design that has the right feel for Scattergories. If you can convince a few Facebook friends to join in, you are in for a treat but the random matchmaking is still pretty fun.
Overall, I enjoyed Scattergories for its outstanding online play and flawless technical presentation. I do wish there were more offline options, but what is here is sure to keep fans of the game very busy indeed.
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