eldavojohn writes "Sometime this morning, Facebook shut down Scrabulous to American and Canadian users. Scrabulous, we hardly knew ye." This is sadly unsurprising, now that Hasbro's finally taken legal action against the developers, after quite a few months of letting it go unmolested. Seems like they waited until there was an official Scrabble client available (also on Facebook), while the snappy and fuller-featured Scrabulous kept people interested in a 60-year-old board game. The official client, which is at least labeled a beta, is a disappointment. This is not a Google-style beta release, note: it's slow to load, confusing, and doesn't even offer the SOWPODS word list as an option, only the Tournament Word List and a list based on the Merriam-Webster dictionary. (Too bad that SOWPODS is the word list used in most of the world's English-speaking countries.) It also took several minutes to open a game, rather than the few seconds (at most) that Scrabulous took — it's pretty impressive, but not in a good way, that the programmers could extract that sort of performance from the combination of Facebook's servers and my dual-core, 2GHz+ laptop. The new Scrabble client has doodads like 3D flipping-tile animations, too, but no clear way to actually initiate the sample game that jamie and I have attempted to start. I hope that once we get past that obvious hurdle, we'll find there's a chat interface and game notebook as in Scrabulous, but my hopes are low.
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