As we reported earlier this week, Scrabulous is no longer on Facebook. If you’re going through withdrawals from not being able to play the popular Scrabble clone with your
Facebook friends, you could always try Wordscraper instead.

Made by the same people who created Scrabulous, Indian brothers Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla, Wordscraper is similar to Scrabulous but apparently different enough to skirt some of the copyright infringement issues that got Scrabulous in hot water with Hasbro and Mattel.

Wordscraper is still a word game where the goal is to place letter tiles on a 15×15 board to form words for points. Like Scrabulous, you can challenge up to three of your Facebook friends and you take turns making moves until all the tiles are used up, and the first player has to start by making a word in the star space in the center of the board.

In Regular mode, the computer prevents you from making invalid words that aren’t in the dictionary, while in Challenge mode, you can play a bogus word and it’s up to the other players to call you on it – if they do and it’s found to be invalid, you lose a turn.

There are some aesthetic changes, though: the board is made of up circles instead o fsquares, the letter tiles are circular, and the color scheme is blue and green instead of red and blue. Instead of 100 tiles, there are 84 tiles to work with.

One of the coolest new features of Wordscraper is that players now have the ability to create their own board layouts by dragging and dropping word and letter multipliers (which range from 1x to 5x) onto the board and rearranging them into any pattern they choose.

For players who are looking for a quick, immediate fix can play Blitz mode, which functions closer to a typical online multiplayer experience rather than the more leisurely back-and-forth Facebook games that can take days or even weeks to complete. The way it works is, you join a round which consists of players who are online at that exact moment. All players get the same board and tiles, and they all have four minutes to place as many tiles on the board as possible for the highest score.

First impressions: although Wordscraper still has some kinks to be worked out (the 1x multipliers, for example, seem to be useless), it does introduce some new gameplay twists that help distance it from Scrabble while retaining the fun multiplayer elements of Scrabulous.

Next Saturday we’ll take a look at Hasbro and EA’s official version of online Scrabble, which is currently available on Pogo.com and Facebook.