New version of Scrabble from Mattel is collaborative, faster and less ‘intimidating’

Scrabble, the iconic word-building board game, has been reinvented for the first time in 75 years. 

A collaborative, faster-paced version of the game is available now, though only across Europe. The idea behind the alternative version is to make gameplay more accessible for anyone who finds word games intimidating, Mattel said. 


Image: Mattel

The new game comes with a double-sided board, with the original version still available on one side. 

Scrabble Together allows players to work as a team to complete goal cards at their chosen challenge level, with helper cards to aid players throughout the game, and a quicker game with simple scoring, Mattel said. 

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Image: Mattel

Some examples of goal cards include playing a word containing two of the same consonant; playing a word containing at least two different vowels; or playing a vertical word. 

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Mattel owns the Scrabble license globally, but not in North America, which is why this new version isn’t available here. 

A spokesperson for Hasbro, which licenses the game in the U.S., confirmed to The Associated Press via email Tuesday that the company currently has no plans for a U.S. update — but added that the brand "love(s) the idea of different ways to play Scrabble and continue to attract new players to the game around the world."

Scrabble’s origins date back to 1931, when American architect Alfred Mosher Butts invented the game’s forerunner. Scrabble’s original name was "Lexiko," according to a Mattel factsheet, and before officially getting the Scrabble title and trademark in 1948, Butts’ creation was also called "Criss-Crosswords," "It" and "Alph."

Seeking to expand their reach, toy companies have rolled out alternative or simplified ways to play board games for years, ranging from "junior" editions made for younger children to multiple sets of instructions that players can opt into for increasing difficulty.

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.