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Scrabble & Lexulous

Many Scrabble enthusiasts have also taken up Lexulous, previously known as Scrabulous created by Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla. Both games were available through Facebook. Legal wrangling resulted in changes to Scrabulous, including the name switch. Scrabulous had been, as far as I remember, an exact copy of Scrabble, hence the legal skirmish. Scrabulous was also wildly popular. Had it been ignored and relegated to computer game purgatory, the legal skirmishes might not have ensued. Lexulous offers many of the same aspects of Scrabble. However, each dimension has some differences, ranging from board layout to tile count to letter distribution to letter points to scoring. These differences have enabled it to exist.

Lexulous

In Lexulous, players receive 8 tiles on their rack while Scrabble players only get 7. Lexulous also provides two bingo variants: a seven letter play receives a bonus of 40 points while an 8 letter play gets a bonus of 50 points. Lexulous letter typically carry higher point values, ranging up to 12 for both the Q and the Z; however, overall there are fewer tiles with 89 versus Scrabble's 100. Some large differences in tile distribution are that Lexulous has just 3 Ss to Scrabble's 4, Lexulous has one fewer U, but one extra Y. Some other letters also have fewer tiles resulting in the aforementioned 89 tiles. Scrabbles tiles provide a base of 187 points. Lexulous provides a base of 206 making high scores a little easier from this perspective. The board layouts are also different – both use a 15 x 15 grid; however, the configurations of double word, double letter, and triple letter boxes are different. Lexulous has just 8 triple letter boxes compared to Scrabble's 12. There are the same number of double word boxes and double letter boxes, but the layouts are different. The number and layout of triple word score boxes is identical between the two games. Lexulous also offers some statistics, including win streaks, top 100 bingos, and rating. This adds to the competitive atmosphere.

Do you love Scrabble?

A strong Scrabble player should also be good at Lexulous; however, the probabilities of certain letter draws are a little different. This means that there should be differences between common bingos for Scrabble and Lexulous. A Lexulous player should also be very familiar with even longer words since there are 8 tiles on a rack. I find both games to be quite fun and have previous played substantial amounts of Lexulous primarily due to the large user base. Scrabble is also available through Facebook; however, the game, when I last played it, was quite clunky – to the point of being an embarrassment to the Scrabble name – and also lacked a large number of users. Perhaps, the Facebook version is better now. Scrabble and Lexulous are also available through other services. There is no question that network effects are present in online games like these.

 
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