I'm sure the traditional game of Scrabble needs no introduction from me - who has never sat down and played a game of Scrabble at some point in their life ?! - but I was keen to see what the Madhouse Mini-testers would make of the Junior version.
Well, it's actually two Junior versions because the board is double-sided and offers two games for the price of one. The first side is for younger children aged roughly 5-8 and has colourful pictures to help show which words need to be placed where, with key letters to help keep them on track. Only some letters are given though so they still have to think hard about sounds and spelling to complete the words. This side is perfect for 7-year-old Juliette to practise her spelling on and she actually enjoys playing all by herself, at her own pace, with no competitive element whatsoever, rather like a jigsaw. If you do want to go head-to-head, you play with five letters, get to place two letters at a time and win a counter for each word you manage to complete.
Once you flip the board over, you get a plain board with no pictures and prompts, allowing you to come up with your own words. This is more like the adult version but there is no complicated scoring system to worry about. Letters don't have different numbers of points, you score points for the number of letters you play, with bonus points if your word covers a red or blue square. This is a great introduction to the proper grown-up game and 11-year-old Sophie loves it.
The only thing we would have liked extra is the little stands to keep your tiles on that you get in the grown-up game because Sophie didn't like the fact that I could see her letters when we were playing together !
It's a great 2-in-1 game to buy if you have several children of different ages - that would make it ideal for grandparents and childminders - but even if you only have one child, it's still brilliant because you have an educational but fun game that will grow with your child. It's good practice of important literary skills and helps younger children grow in confidence for reading and spelling.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £24.99
Disclosure : I received a selection of games from Mattel in order to write honest reviews.
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