inessential by Brent Simmons

No Stars

I’ve never seen an app go so dramatically bad as the latest update of Scrabble for iPhone. (Don’t get it; don’t update if you have an earlier version.)

It had an average four-star rating across all versions. But look at the ratings for the current release.

1,132 one-star ratings for Scrabble 3.0

The new version feels like a UIWebView app — that is, I think it’s mostly HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The old version — which wasn’t perfect, but was playable and fun — felt like a native iPhone app.

I’m tempted to say that there’s a truth here, that UIWebView-based apps always suck. But I’m not sure that that’s really the problem — the problem is that it’s a really, really sucky UIWebView-based app.

The biggest issue is that the main game play is super-difficult. It’s hard to read and hard to manipulate.

I would love to write a Scrabble game for people who love Scrabble. Get a great designer who loves words (Neven Mrgan would be choice one). Imagine how awesome it could be! But I’m not going to write that game, or any other.

In the meantime, I wish I could give this version zero stars.

It’s the only iPhone game I play.

(Commence the sighing.)