I spent a good chunk of my evening yesterday playing SCRABBLE Pics, an officially-sanctioned take on the seventy-seven year-old board game that’s currently in a Canadian soft-launch.¬†Though in all honesty, SCRABBLE Pics has more in common with a traditional crossword puzzle than it does SCRABBLE.

Published by Backflip Studios (of DragonVale, Dwarven Den and Plundernauts fame), the whole game revolves around players using an image to help them solve a puzzle. A set of pictures are displayed around the perimeter of the puzzle, and players must utilize the seemingly random selection of letters in order to spell out the answers to the puzzle.

scrabble pics

So, for example, say one row has an image of a hat with three spaces open. The answer is obviously “hat”, so you sort the letter tiles in, they light up blue, and now you have three letters locked in that will also help you solve the words that intersect into “hat” vertically. Just like a crossword.

As you progress through the game, the words get longer and the solutions more cryptic. One image was of a man holding a baby, and the solution was “papa.” I only figured it out by trial-and-error …which kind of feels like cheating. But SCRABBLE Pics did nothing to impede my approach.

Because each level features a set amount of letter tiles, it is entirely possible (and irresistibly easy) to just complete each level through trial-and-error. There is no penalty for guessing, and the more words you complete, the less excess letter titles you have to work with, making each puzzle easier the closer you are to completion.

If you are really desperate, you can utilize the “hint” button, but you only get so many for a set period of time, so use them wisely.

Scrabble Pics is available now in select regions in the iOS App Store.