Upon starting the app, you can choose to play with random opponents online, with friends, or a pass and play mode. In order to play with friends, you have to have an Origin account, which is kind of like EA’s version of Xbox Live. Pass N’ Play mode is self explanatory. If you want to better understand the rules of scrabble, they are featured in their entirety in the options. I like little additions like that. Anyway, I played only with random people online, so let’s get to the actual game.

All the standard options are here. Shuffle your tiles up, exchange them for new ones, or just pass on your turn entirely. There are a few features that set this one ahead of its competitors though. There is a dictionary which allows you to look up any word you may be thinking, even if it isn’t necessarily your turn. Also, immediately after you lock in your move, one of the buttons morphs into a “teacher” button. Pressing this button will show you what word you could have placed to receive the highest possible score, after it’s too late. It’s good to help you build your internal word bank, and it makes you feel good when your word matches the computer’s. Something nice is that you can play with up to 50 people at the same time. This is especially useful when your opponents never ever take their turns…while you’re trying to film a review… for like, half an hour!

Well, as the title and name of the app annoyingly give away, this is a completely free game, but it does have several drawbacks. One thing is the ads. This isn’t like most games, where an ad bar sits quietly in the corner. Oh no. You’ll have that AND the extremely obtrusive and annoying full page ads for other EA games that pop up after every single turn you take. It’s best to handle them with the back button; otherwise you’ll constantly enter their market place pages on accident. Also, when you try to exit the app, it asks for confirmation. Why? That’s so unnecessary, and it gets annoying. It’s the little things that can really kill a good app. Regardless, I love the new features that have been brought to the table with this one, but I honestly wish there was a paid version for me to buy to get rid of these horrible ads!

[appbox googleplay com.ea.scrabblefree_na]