All About Lexulous

A Popular Free Online Scrabble Game

A rose by any other name smells just as sweet, and it would seem that a game of Scrabble called by any other name is still hugely popular.

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Of course Lexulous isn't really Scrabble, but it comes pretty darn close when you consider the grid is the same size, the rules of play are exactly the same, and the original name for Lexulous was Scrabulous.

In fact, under the name Scrabulous, Lexulous became the most popular game on Facebook in 2008, and was actually referred to as the Internet version of Scrabble.

The originators of Scrabulous, the predecessor of Lexulous, are Rajat and Jayent Agauvella of India, two scrabble enthusiasts who wanted to be able to play challenging games online.

Since no online Scrabble game was available at that time, they made a few revisions and launched their own version of the game. The Scrabulous site opened in 2005 and in 2007 it became a Facebook application, which was an instant hit.

In fact, it was due to this game's Facebook popularity that the originators faced a series of lawsuits brought about by Mattel and Hasbro for copyright infringements of the game Scrabble. The result of these lawsuits was that Scrabulous got pulled from the Internet.

In the end, the Delhi high court ruled that Rajat and Jayent could post their game online, but forbade them from using the Scrabulous name or any name that was closely related to "Scrabble." So the game was reintroduced to the Internet under the name Lexulous and is once again a Facebook App.

Differences Between Scrabble and Lexulous

Although anyone who is familiar with Scrabble will immediately see the major similarities in the two games, and will certainly understand why the originators of this game came under fire by the owners of Scrabble, there are some important differences.

For starters, players of Lexulous draw 8 letter tiles instead of 7. While this seems like a minor change, it actually makes the game considerably more challenging. It is often said that our minds are well-suited for processing up to 7 pieces of information at a time, but beyond 7 it becomes significantly harder. So we really struggle to form words using that extra letter.

Having recently acquainted myself with the game, I found the additional tile somewhat difficult to work into the whole mental processing and made playing Lexulous far more challenging than I expected.

Another big difference between Lexulous and Scrabble is the value of individual letters. In Lexulous the Q and the Z are both worth 12 points instead of 10, and the T is worth 2 points rather than one. Also, some letters that are worth 4 points in Scrabble have been upped to 5 points in Lexulous, which means that it is possible to get higher scores (once you learn to deal with the that pesky 8th tile!).

The third difference of note is that the premium squares, while the same as in Scrabble, are located in different places on the board.

Where To Find Lexulous

There are numerous sites where you can play Lexulous, including their own official site, Lexulous.com. On the official site you have the option of playing with friends, playing with strangers from all over the world, playing or practicing with robots, or playing the game by email.

The game can also be played on Facebook, a number of games sites, as well as on mobile phones.

How To Play Lexulous

Later I will be covering how to play Lexulous, both on the official website and on Facebook, but first I wanted to give you a general overview of how the game is played.

Object Of The Game

Lexulous is an online game designed for 2 to 4 players. The object of the game is to make words using the letter tiles that are drawn. The object is twofold as you want to try and be the first player to use all your tiles and you also want to score the most points. However, regardless of who goes out first, the person with highest score wins.

Game Set Up

  • At the beginning of each game each player is given 8 letter tiles. The person who is "chosen" to play first must form a word with one of his letters on the star in the center of the 15 by 15 grid board. The first player gets double the score for the word he has played.
  • The next player in line must then play a word using one of the letters from the previous players word. Play continues with each player using a free letter in one of the previous players words to form their own word.
  • After each play the player will be given additional tiles to keep the total tiles he is holding at 8 until all the available tiles are gone.
  • If a person cannot play on his turn he can pass. However, if a player passes two turns in a row the game ends. The player also has the option of replacing one or more of his tiles back and getting new tiles during his turn. If you exchange tiles, your turn ends and you have to wait until your next turn to play a word.
  • Scattered about the board are special tiles that are called multiples. The first person who places a letter on one of these tiles gets extra points according to what the grid indicates. These extra points are double and triple letter scores, and double and triple word scores.
  • An extra bonus is given to any player using all 8 tiles in one word. The first person to use all his game tiles also scores a bonus of all the accumulated tile points still being held by the other players.

Now that we have the basics out of the way you are ready to learn what playing on Facebook and the official Lexulous site is like.

While there are a wide variety of sites where you can play this game I am going to tell you what you need to set yourself up for playing on two sites. The official Lexulous site and Facebook. Both of these sites offer free play so you can enjoy hour after hour of word fun.

Becoming A Player On The Official Lexulous Site

Playing Lexulous on the official site gives a player a host of playing options. You can play with other friends who have joined the site, play with random players (you can choose experience levels) play with friends through the email option or if your friends are simply not into word games you can choose the practice option and play with robots.

To become a player on the official site you simply type in www.Lexulous.com and choose a name and password. The site will then send you an activation email which you will need to click on a link and then you are ready to play.

I recently checked out the Robot option and found it incredibly fun. For starters you get to choose the Robots skill level so if you need to boost your self esteem then choose skill level one. However, if you are like me then choosing a skill level for the Robot player a bit higher than your own is going to help you improve your game. Since I consider myself to be a fairly good scrabble player I decided to start my Robot competition at skill level 5. Little Mr. Bot blew me out of the water.

Next I decided to start at level 1 and work my way up. It seems that when it comes to playing Lexulous my skills need a bit of sharpening as skill level 3 gives me quite a challenge. One thing about the robot or practice play that is a little bit unnerving is that the moment you post your word the computers word appears immediately after. Almost too quickly for you to realize what has happened.

Though I haven't actually tried the other methods of play on the official site yet, they look easy to get into. To play live you simply choose a room and enter and you will be matched with players. Or you can use a special code that the site gives you to invite friends on Twitter or other sites to play by email.

It really is that simple. However, it does take a couple of games to get used to the board and really get into the swing of things but, once you do you will find the game increasingly addicting.

How To Play Lexulous On Facebook

The fastest way to access Lexulous on Facebook is simply type the name of the game into your search engine and then click on the entry that says "Play Lexulous on facebook"

Once on the facebook site you need to log in. (If you don't already have a facebook account you will need to create one.)

On the next screen you are going to want to click on "Go to Application" Here you can choose to play by yourself for practice or play live with other players. When playing with others you can join a public table, create a private table or start a private game with a friend. While some games can go quite quickly other games can take a week or more as players take a turn whenever they happen to be online.

Strategies

Of course it is only natural that we all want to learn a few strategies to help make us better players, so here are a few tips that will help you master Lexulous a little bit faster.

  • During the first few games familiarize yourself with the letter values, as many are different than Scrabble. Then during play try to use the high value letters on multiple grids so you can get a huge jump in your score. Imagine the advantage of being able to use the 12 point Z and the 5 or 6 point K in a triple word score!
  • If you can't reach a double or triple word score grid then try and use a shorter word that your opponent can't add to in order to keep them from using the grid.
  • Remember to try and save an S, I, or A or for the end of the game to fit into a small place and allow you to score.
  • If you are really committed to this game, try finding some words in the dictionary that use a combination of large scoring letters. This may just help to raise your score and win the game.
  • Mind your P's and Q's and other large value letters and get them played near the start of the game. Leaving them to the game's end could give your opponent a big advantage.

While there are several sites where discussion of this game is popular, your Facebook page is a great place to join in the chatter. Simply post the status of your latest game and see how many secret Lexulous players comment on your post.

In reality, Lexulous really isn't that different from Scrabble, and if you are a die-hard Scrabble fan, chances are you may see this game as a poor imitation.

However, if you love Scrabble and Scrabble type games and those around you don't, this games gives you a wider variety of play choices online than you get with scrabble allowing you to play almost any time of the day or night.

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