You and your opponents spell words with stackable letter tiles on the special game- board to score points.
You build words by playing letters across or down the board and by stacking letters on top of letters already on the board to form different words. It's this 3-dimensional game play that makes UPWORDS so unique and challenging to play.
You score points for each letter in your word and every letter tile under each letter of your word. Letters can be stacked five tiles high so your score can really add up fast. Build words, stack letters. Score high and have fun!
- 1 plastic gameboard unit with 8x8 grid
- 4 plastic tile racks
- 64 plastic letter tiles
- Illustrated instructions
Object of the Game
Build words to score the most points.
Turn all of the tiles letter-side down and mix them up to create a draw pile. Place the gameboard in the center of the table.
Each player takes a rack. Get a pencil and paper (not included) to keep score. Also, keep a dictionary nearby to check the legality and spelling of any challenged word.
Use the dictionary to settle challenges only.
You and your opponents draw one letter tile from the draw pile. Whoever draws the tile nearest to the letter "A" plays first. Play then proceeds to the left. Return the tiles, letter-side down, to the draw pile and mix them up again.
You and your opponents draw seven letter tiles each. Stand your tiles in your rack. Don't let your opponents see your tiles.
Whoever plays first must form a word of two letters or more that covers at least one of the four special game squares in the center of the gameboard. Please note: these are the four game squares with cutout corners.
On your turn, play one or more letter tiles to either form a new word that connects to a word already on the board OR change a word already on the board into a different word.
All letters played on your turn must be in the same row of game squares either across or down. Tally and announce your point score, then draw letter tiles from the draw pile to replace the ones you played.
Note: A word is legal and can be used in the game if it is in the dictionary and it does not fall into any of the categories of illegal words.
Figures 1-6 show a consecutive sequence of plays. Arrows point out the word or words formed on each play. Point scores are given for each example. See Rule 6 for details on scoring.
You can play letters to form a word that reads across (from left to right only) or down the game- board (NEVER diagonally or up) and connects to a word already on the board.
For example, build down from the letter "D" in MOOD to form the word DEAR as shown in Figure 1. Build across using the letter "E" in DEAR to form the word NET as shown in Figure 2. The word ON is also formed reading down. You receive points for all words formed during your turn.
Note: Any letter in your word that is adjacent to another letter or letters on the board must form a word.
For example, in Figure 2 the letter "N" in NET is adjacent to the letter "O" in MOOD which forms the word ON.
You can stack letters on top of letters already on the board to change a word into a different word.
For example, stack the letter "W" on top of the letter "M" in MOOD to change MOOD to WOOD as shown in Figure 3. You cannot play more than one letter on the same stack during one turn. You cannot stack a letter on the same letter, for example, an "A" on an "A".
Note: Letters cannot be stacked more than five tiles high.
More on Stacking
Stack the letter "L" on top of the letter "D" and stack the letter "P" on top of the letter "R" in the words WOOD and DEAR to change them into the words WOOL and LEAP as shown in Figure 4.
Important: When changing a word already on the board into a different word, at least one letter from the old word must remain uncovered and be used in the new word.
You cannot stack letters to completely cover up an entire word.
You can build a new word and change a word already on the board into a different word on the same turn. For example, build across stacking the letter "N" on top of the letter "P" in LEAP to form the word SNACK and change the word LEAP to LEAN as shown in Figure 5.
You cannot simply add an "S" to a word already on the board to form a plural. You can, however, play letters to form a word that connects to a word already on the board to make it plural.
For example, build down to form the word PLUS which connects with the word NET and makes it plural as shown in Figure 6. You score points for both words.
You score 2 points per letter tile for any word formed with all letters only one tile high (no letter in the word is stacked on top of another letter).
For example, the word DEAR in Figure 1 contains four letters, and each is only one tile high. To score this word, just multiply 4 times 2 for a total of 8 points.
You score 1 point per letter tile for any word formed that contains any letters stacked two or more tiles high.
Count each letter in your word and every letter tile under each letter of your word to get your score. For example, t he word WOOD in Figure 3 contains four letters plus one letter tile under the "W" for a total score of 5 points.
You score 2 extra bonus points if you use the "Qu" letter tile in any word formed with all letters only one tile high. You do not receive any extra bonus points if you use the "Qu" tile in a word formed with any of its letters more than one tile high.
You score 20 extra bonus points if you use all seven of your letter tiles in one turn.
If you form two or more words on the same turn, each word is scored. Any letter or stack of letters common to these two words is scored for each word.
For example, in Figure 2 the letter "N" is common to the words ON and NET. The word ON scores 4 points and the word NET scores 6 points for a total of 10 points for the turn.
At the end of the game, 5 points are subtracted from your score for each letter tile you cannot play.
Any word that falls into any category listed below is an illegal word and cannot be used in the game.
- Words that are always capitalized are illegal.
- Words requiring a hyphen are illegal.
- Words requiring an apostrophe are illegal.
- Abbreviations and symbols are illegal.
- Prefixes and suffixes, that cannot stand alone, are illegal.
- Foreign words are illegal unless they appear in your dictionary.
Challenging a Word
You can challenge a word an opponent plays if you think it's misspelled or an illegal word. The word must be challenged before another word is played.
Use a dictionary to decide if the challenged word is legal or illegal. If the challenged word is illegal, the player who played it removes the letter tiles from the board and either plays another word or passes.
You may pass your turn at any time during the game. Sometimes it is to your strategic advantage to pass up a turn, especially toward the end of the game, to allow a better scoring opportunity to open up for you.
Exchanging a Letter
On your turn, you may exchange one of your letter tiles for a new one. Just turn the tile you want to exchange letter-side down and draw a replacement tile from the draw pile.
Return the tile you turned down to the draw pile and mix it up. As a penalty, you lose your turn to play.
Sometimes it is good strategy to give up a turn in order to exchange a letter. For example, if you draw a "J" or a "Z" late in the game, it may be to your advantage to exchange it on your next turn.
End of the Game
The game is typically over:
As soon as one player uses all of his or her letter tiles, and no tiles remain in the draw pile.
When none of the players can make a word on the board with the letters they have left on their racks, and there are no more tiles in the draw pile (from which any player can exchange a letter tile); or
When all players pass their turn in consecutive order.
When the game is over, total each player's final score. Subtract 5 points from a player's score for each letter tile that he or she has not played.
The player who scores the most points is the winner of the game!
Solo Play Rules
Follow setup and gameplay rules as explained above. Make words, one at a time, and score points for every word you make.
Note: During the game, you are allowed to exchange five letters without a penalty.
The game ends either:
- when all of the letter tiles have been used, or
- when you cannot make a word or exchange a letter tile.
Total up your score. Keep track of your solo game scores and try to improve each time you play.