Word Games!


2 - 5

Number of Players: 2-4

Year of Publication: 1981

Creator(s): Elliot Rudell (Designer) and artists are unknown

These are definitely not my brother’s forte, what with him being very dyslexic and all. However, I like them enough that they warrant their own post, even if it is going to be pretty short (and sadly without any pictures). I was considering writing about Scrabble, but then I realized two things; A) That’s boring by itself and, B) We have acquired a much more interesting word game recently that I can write about. SO, I shall only be writing about Scrabble in conjunction with Up Words!

I had no idea of the existence of this game until a friend of ours took it upon herself to make us a copy using squares of foam to write letters on, and brought it to our house. For this we, (or at least I) am very grateful. I have since learnt that the game was developed by an American, with the aim of helping people to improve their English.

Now, rules and such:

As with Scrabble, each player takes seven tiles at random to begin. Player one then places a two-or-more letter word at the centre of the board. It is advisable to have a pad handy for keeping score, and a dictionary, if you’re the type who likes to challenge people about the words they make. Personally, I think it’s more interesting to play without a dictionary as you then test each others knowledge of the actual words as well as their spelling ability. Words must read either right to left, left to right, top to bottom or bottom to top. They cannot read diagonally. Tiles can be placed on top of other tiles to change the word, but the height cannot reach above 5 tiles high. When words are built on top of other words at least one tiles from the original word must remain uncovered, and words cannot be created by adding letters such as “S” to the end.

Points:

Points are counted per word made, rather than per tile, as in Scrabble. If only one level of tiles is used for the whole word, each tiles is worth two points, i.e. the word “back” would be worth 8 points. If a tile is placed on top of another tile to change a word then all tiles, including the one that has been covered up, are worth one point, i.e. the word “flap” has a “C” placed over it, so it becomes “clap” and the word is worth 5 points. Two bonus points are given for a single-stack word using the “Qu” tile and you receive 2 bonus points if you use all 7 of your tiles in the same turn. Multiple word scores are counted separately, including repeated tiles.

Illegal Words:

Words are considered “illegal” for the following reasons:

  • If it is misspelled
  • If it is a proper pronoun, for example, someone’s name
  • If it is foreign
  • If it includes a symbol or apostrophe

Winning the Game:

A winner is declared when either the tiles run out, or there are no more available moves. Five points are deducted for any remaining tiles and the person with the highest score, wins.

This has been a very short post, I hope you’ll forgive me for it, it’s more like a filler-post this week. We’ve fallen behind a bit due to a deficit of time in which to play any game that takes longer than half an hour. Hopefully though we’re a little better organised now and can start putting up some more in-depth posts!
I read about the rules for Up Words here.

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4 thoughts on “Word Games!

  1. The inventor of the game, Elliot Rudell, is an American. The primary end-game play is when one player uses all their tiles. The game ends immediately, with all other players being penalized w a deduction of 5 points for each unused tile on their rack. The game is now available as an iOS as well as an Android app.

  2. Some points to note: Upwords was invented by an American, Elliot Rudell. The primary end of game strategy is for a player to use all their tiles, at which time the game ends immediately, and other players receive a minus-5-point penalty for each time remaining in their hand. The game is now available for both iOS and Android online play – as two-player competition.

    • Hi,

      Sorry for the delay in reply, I haven’t been online in a few days. I would like to note that I have credited you as the creator of the game at the top of the post. I have also noted that you need to try and get rid of all your tiles, as well as the five-point penalty for remaining tiles. But I have corrected from Australian to American.
      Thank you for commenting!

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