BrettSpiel is a blog about board game design, written by game designer Brett J. Gilbert.

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iPad Scrabble: Just Because You Can…

Unless you’ve been living in a hole — or have had anything better to do — you probably haven’t missed Apple’s latest gee-gaw: the iPad. I don’t have one, and am unlikely to buy one anytime soon, but I’d certainly like to have a chance to play with one! And as has already been reported elsewhere, it’s certainly a much more viable and compelling platform for boardgames than its cousin the iPhone, simply because of its size.

However, the investment needed to play even a two-handed game of EA’s new Scrabble iPad app is a cool $1000, and for that you get to play Scrabble using an app that can’t even save a game mid-way through! [via Engadget]

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Apple-hater (he wrote, typing on an extremely shiny and thoroughly well-engineered Macbook Pro) but I’m not sure that the iPad, or any future touchscreen tablet from Apple or anyone else, is quite ready to replace the cardboard, plastic and wood of our beloved boardgames just yet. Not that I’m some closed-minded reactionary either: I love me my gadgets, and look forward to getting my hands on an iPad, and maybe even to playing boardgames on it.

But the technology can and should deliver something more than simple mimicry of the physical components of familiar boardgames. So just because you can play Scrabble on your iPad, doesn’t mean you should.

2 player Smallworld on the iPad... that's what pulled me in yesterday!

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