Hasbro’s Scrabble Slam! has received an electronic upgrade that accelerates the frenetic pace of the original while maintaining the basic structure that earned the game a Major Fun Award in the first place.
First, a quick review of the basics. The Scrabble Slam! consists of 55 double-sided letter cards (different letter on each side). A four-letter word is spelled in the center of the table and the remaining cards are split between all players. Players use their cards to change the four-letter word in the middle. First player to use up his or her cards wins.
Turbo Slam! introduces a timer and special cards. During a round, the electronic timer plays an increasingly rapid jingle. When the tune is interrupted by a Turbo sound, the players race to slam the big red button on the top of the timer. This accomplishes two things: a moment of blessed relief from the timer AND the chance to draw one of the 12 special cards. The special cards generally help the players by allowing them to get rid of cards (hand them to other players) but a few actually hurt the winning slammer.
We found that the Slam! button kept things moving rapidly and helped equalize the game a bit for those who were slower at changing the central word. Generally I am not a big fan of new editions that introduce random events, but in this case it works pretty well. The timer also serves as a carrying case for the cards, and the whole thing is remarkably compact (unfortunately the game comes wrapped in a lot of unnecessary packaging which hurts the sleek, efficient design of the game).
All in all, a fun revision of a fast-paced word game.
For 2-4 players, ages 8+
Scrabble: Turbo Slam! © 2011 by Hasbro.