Shelagh Robinson Mirror Read Blog 53: Backword Scramble – Semi- Professional Status

Not everyone is equal when it comes to reverse Scramble skills.

What does it take to be a great Backword gamer?  Not necessarily the abilities you’d think.
Just ask Bee.

In the year since the Mirror Read App was introduced, I’ve been able to watch lots of people play. I’ve been consistently impressed at the strategies that individuals of different ages employ, and the varied skill levels emerging.

There are very noticeable methods that naturals have in common, completely unlike the aptitudes required for other other word games. By observing, I’ve been able to pick up some good tips.

Being adept at Boggle and Scrabble doesn’t guarantee high scores on Backword Scramble. A large vocabulary helps, as do smooth screen skills, but these will only take you so far. The mental rotation aspect changes more than perspective- it stretches our brains to respond – fast – to stimuli we are not familiar with.

Top scorers use elaborative strategies. They can spot reversed letters on the board to make simple words like CAN and quickly add endings for extra points – like CANDLE or CANOPY or CANDY. Really good players will find CANTOLOUPE and CANTANKEROUS. 

As well, Semi- pros  also have a knack for utilizing Xs, Ys and Qs when they appear on the board – which are worth more. Visualize YEARLING, BORAX or QUINTESSENCE in reverse, then find the letters? More than I can usually able to do under timed conditions.

There is also the element of ambidextrous play. Lots of people favour their pointer fingers of their dominant hand when they drag and drop letters from right to left. Those high calibre players who employ two or more digits on both hands are able to locate more complex words with fluid ease.

I am a solid 1-finger player. I admit that I am a very moderate Scrambler, even after practice. I rarely break 100.  I might be better, but am prone to an odd form of blindness that I had never noticed before playing this game: I tend to neglect the  letters on the left side of the board and miss easy word opportunities. Even knowing this, I  have to keep reminding myself to look just inches to the left. Does the fact that I am right-handed with a dominant right eye play into outcomes? Anyone else like me out there?

By contrast, there is  a certain 18-year old I know who regularly earns over 150 points on her Backword Scramble games. I think that qualifies Bee as Semi- professional calibre.  (She claims to have once achieved the stellar score 212, but there is no Leaderboard or video evidence.) Part of it is practice- I have seen her play game after game both alone, and head to head with others. She always wins.

 Luckily, Bee was recently filmed during a game where she handily earned 194 points with words like CREATION and RELATABLE. I have never seen that number before.
You can find the link to the YouTube footage here - she’s exciting to watch.

It’s fascinating to observe a good player perform – their fingers fly into letter-word combinations that are ambitious and often more than three syllables. Really.
See for yourself – invite a good word gamer you know to play. 
And feel free to send me video of your high Backword Scramble Scores. :)

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