Scrabble forced to redesign 'neon' app after purists criticized it for being too futuristic

Max Stephens
Scrabble - Heathcliff O'Mailley

Scrabble purists have forced the smartphone version of the 70-year-old board game to be redesigned after lambasting its makers for the ‘neon’ design of the app and its futuristic appearance.

Enthusiasts vented their annoyance at the recently released Scrabble Go app, describing it as a “noisy cacophony of interruptions and a “jumbled social media mess”, the Sunday Times reported. 

Scopely, a Los Angeles software company released the newly designed app on March 5 in over 150 countries and currently boasts over 2.5 million daily users. 

The app’s arrival was met with an outpouring of complaints over its neon visuals, and constant reminders to invite fellow users to play. 

A member of the Scrabble International Facebook group compared its appearance to ‘a slot machine exploding on screen’ and that its ‘confusing interface’  and ‘garish colours’ swiftly prompted him to delete it in ‘horror.’ 

A few weeks prior Scopely’s chief executive Javier Ferreira had lauded the app’s release as the opportunity to bring the ‘biggest game in the world’ to a bigger audience. We’re happy with the work that we’ve done and it shows we’re serving the core fanbase".  

The company appears to have bowed under the barrage of criticism as it confirmed it had changed the format of the game to offer a slightly toned down version. 

“While we’ve had a classic option since launch, it said, “this updated mode is re-imagined to reflect the ask for a streamlined experience. Features such as boosts, rewards, and all other game modes are disabled.” 

This is a move which has been welcomed by former Scrabble world champion Brett Smitheram who told the Sunday Times; 'it was ‘good the company responded and ‘it shows they do listen’ 

Previous smartphone versions of Scrabble had  enjoyed far warmer receptions, video game company Electronic Arts (EA) had released the original Scrabble App to a circulation of millions of users and was positively reviewed for its simplicity and ease of use. 

The EA version of the game will no longer be available after June 5.