Thrifty Finds: UpWords

In this new article series “Thrifty Finds”, I will be writing about games I find at thrift stores, yard sales, and other good deals. The first game in this series is “UpWords” by Milton Bradley. It is a game of hand management, tile placement, and … spelling.

Upwords image

UpWords was first released in 1988. It plays very similar to its much more famous cousin Scrabble. Like Scrabble, players will play letter tiles to form different words in either a horizontal or vertical direction, all words must be words found in the English dictionary, the words also have to follow other similar rules as Scrabble, like; no abbreviations, no foreign words, and no words that are always capitalized. However, unlike scrabble players are allowed to play letters on top of previous letters, there by changing the previous word and making the letter tiles build “upwords.” This feature actually makes the game a bit more dynamic than Scrabble. Additionally in UpWords the scoring is a bit simpler with every letter being worth two points, except for when at least one tile is stacked on top of another tile in the word, in this case each tile in the word is worth one point including any letter tiles that are under the top letter tiles.

Overall, the game is a lot of fun! If you love other spelling based games like Scrabble, than I am sure you will enjoy UpWords. I have actually played this game a long time ago when I was a child and really enjoyed it. I believe playing this game helped me learn how to spell a little better and also how words can become other words by changing a letter or two. Although I am not the best wordsmith in the world, so this game is challenging depending on who I am playing against. But, I still have a fun time playing and would recommend this game to others.

P.S. I know Scrabble later came out with a “Scrabble Upwords” game, but remember this article is not about that game.

UpWords Information;

Ages: 10 and up

Playtime: 30 to 45 Minutes

Players: 2-4 Players

If you have ever played UpWords or enjoyed this article, please leave a like or comment!


One comment

  1. Love this game! I’ve started playing it myself–two racks, alternating turns–and it’s a great ‘brain refresher’ when I’m too tired to write but need a pick-me-up instead of a nap. Getting faster and smarter each time I play!


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