Scrabble Slam! Card Game Overview
Scrabble Slam! is one of the new editions in Hasbro's card game line. Released in 2008 as part of Hasbro's new card games, it shares the limelight with other newcomers such as "Sorry Revenge" and "Monopoly Deal."
While the game bears the name "Scrabble Slam," it is a distant relation of Scrabble at best. The game play resembles Upwords more closely than traditional Scrabble, and the pace is more akin to Boggle. However, there are some features that to give it that traditional Scrabble feel: The Scrabble Slam cards have been designed to look like wood Scrabble tiles. Secondly, the game does have blank cards, which function in the same way that blank tiles do in traditional Scrabble. And you can't use proper nouns, abbreviations, prefixes, suffixes, hyphenated words or words that contain an apostrophe.
Outside of those rules, Scrabble Slam bears little resemblance to the Scrabble you know and love. Still, though, this game has its charm. If you're quick with a rhyme, you'll do well in Scrabble Slam. You begin the game by choosing a four letter word. Place that word in the middle of the table, and then begin to yell out new words that you can make by using a single card from your hand. For instance, FAST could become PAST, LAST, or EAST. Game play continues until a player runs out of cards or no players are able to make any changes to the current word.
Scrabble Slam! Game Play
Scrabble Slam is a quick game, with matches lasting only about 5 to 15 minutes. All of the cards in the deck are dealt evenly between players. Reading the cards can be tricky at first, because each card has a different letter on both sides. They designed around this well enough–you simply have to look in the top left corner to see what letters are on both sides of the card.
You can play Scrabble Slam with as few as two players and up to four, according to the rules, but over Christmas, I played a six player game that was a lot of fun and extremely fast, since each player had fewer cards. Otherwise, though, gameplay wasn't changed too much, and the game easily accommodated the extra players.
This game is not for the shy. You need to yell out your words before the other players, because the player who yells out an acceptable word first gets to change the word. In this game, it pays to be loud and somewhat pushy, which reminded me of the old commodity trading game, Pit.
Overall this game was worth the six bucks it cost. The game-play is fast and livens up the room. When I played in a group, people were loud, and we all had a good time. It was still fun with two players, although it is not as fast, nor as fun as when I played in a large group. The most difficult thing to grasp about the game was the double-sided cards, but once you get used to identifying your letters by the small images in the corner of the cards, that aspect of game-play was manageable.
Because game-play is so fast, you can knock out a handful of games in less than thirty-minutes, making Scrabble Slam a great filler between activities or more substantive games. But don't expect to have a three-hour Scrabble Slam session. The game is fun, but it is more of an appetizer than a main dish. If I were playing it with friends on a game night, I would want to make sure that I had games with more depth lined up as well.
Still though, you don't knock shrimp cocktail just because it isn't a steak. I recommend this game if you like fast word games. It is enjoyable and easy enough to play a few minutes out of the box. If you like the game type, you can't go too wrong with this one.