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Words With Friends, Draw Something as real board games can’t end well

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about the mega-viral hits that were Draw Something and Word With Friends. After the former blew up sometime in spring, causing Zynga to buy out game developer OMGPOP for $200 million, Draw Something has been on a steady decline and I’m not even sure I know anyone who still actively plays the game. Words With Friends, on the other hand, is still vaguely played but rarely discussed. So explain to me the rationale behind turning these two games, which were clearly inspired by physical versions of the board games Pictionary and Scrabble, into … well, physical board games.

This is not a concept, folks, Draw Something and Words With Friends are officially board games you can pick up at your local toy store. Other Zynga hits, such as FarmVille and CityVille are also getting converted into physical games, with the former playing like Hungry Hungry Hippo (uncomfortably enough, Zynga’s version is called Hungry Hungry Herd) and the latter like Monopoly. Was there no one at Hasbro, the official maker of these toys, who jumped, waved furiously, and attempted to say, “Hey, guys, this might get us sued?”

Well, there are some distinguishable differences between the original game and Zynga’s version. For example, Words With Friends plays on a 15 x 15 square tile board and contain a total of 104 tiles. Scrabble, in comparison, has 100 tiles. WWF’s scoring system for each letter is also slightly different than Scrabble‘s although the point multipliers remain generally the same.

Draw Something, on the other hand, looks relatively original — coining the cartoon pencil as the packaging and paper pads for friends to doodle upon. Unlike Pictionary, players in Draw Something can show their friends letter cards to help them guess the word — just like the mobile app offers. Players win by collecting the most amount of coins, and you can get there sooner by drawing words with higher difficulty levels.

Why anyone would buy these board games over the original versions of what inspired the Zynga mobile games is unbeknownst to me, but if you are interested in pranking someone for Halloween or giving someone the worst Christmas gift ever, the selection of games are available on Amazon or Hasbro starting at $15 per game.