Breaking Games


When number one wife (she calls me “husband zero”) got her iPhone a while back one of the first things we got for it was Scrabble. The implementation was slick and it worked a treat. She played a lot.

She doesn’t play as much now. Not because her word powers have diminished, but because the game has “upgraded” itself to the point where it has become a pain to play. Before she can fire up a quick game of digital word wrangling she now has to fight past loads of login screens offering a chance for her to take on players from all over the world. She doesn’t want to do that. She wants to do what she has always done, which is play a quick game of Scrabble against the computer.

I hate it when things upgrade themselves to the point of uselessness. The game also acquired a cheery little sidekick who would tell you after each move the one you should have made and how many points you have lost as a result of not being as clever as it is. This turns out not to be particularly motivating. We managed to turn that off. And avoid all the different new board and tile designs which are now available (and will be for sale soon I have no doubt).

But as for the forced login, that one I’ve been unable to get rid of. The menu system seems to be designed to make you feel unsociable and isolationist, just because you want a quiet game of Scrabble. Ugh.