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Upwords is the stackable word game that everyone adores, especially if you played it as a child. If you enjoy Scrabble then you will LOVE Upwords. It's a very similar game to Scrabble where you place your letters onto a board to create words. As with Scrabble, you can use existing letters on the board to make new words.

And THAT'S where the similarity with Scrabble ends and Upwords steps-up to become its own, brilliant self! Loads of Scrabble players also play Upwords because they're both similar but different challenges. Whereas in Scrabble, once a letter is placed on the board, it stays there. When playing Upwords, you can place your letters ON TOP of those already-placed (up to five levels) in order to change the word into something new!

Upwords - the stackable retro board gameFor example, if you've got the letters 'C' and 'H', and the word 'TIME' is on the board, you could easily add your C & H in front/on top of TIME to create CHIME (you would place your H over the T)! You even score extra points for stacking your letters on top of those already on the board. It's brilliant fun and a definite family favourite board game.

Reviews for Upwords are generally glowing. Upwords has sold in the millions and it's extremely popular. Players who remember the game from childhood might remember a differently coloured board edition and with slightly different letter styling. As with many retro board games, new editions are released and this can mean improvements or sadly in some cases, a reduction in quality. Upwords has had significant improvements but also not-so-great changes. Fortunately, the negatives are few and based on player reviews, do not detract from the overall enjoyment of Upwords.

Upwords game letters bagThe main complaint seems to be about the quality of the bag holding the letters! See our pic to see if you love or hate the green/blue thing. It didn't bother us. In any event, letters are 'supposed' to be removed from the bag at the start of a new Upwords game and placed face down (then mixed-up) so the bag itself should experience minimal usage.

Brilliantly, Upwords now has a 'lazy Susan' style design (also see our pic) so you can turn the board around to the next player. That's a huge plus for Upwords and makes the game much easier to play for everyone, no matter where you're sitting!

2008 was a massive year for Upwords players, with the new 'plural vulture' rule added, "Players may not pluralise a word simply by adding an S at its end. However, such a play is allowed if the S is part of another complete word that is played onto the board in the same turn." - we think that's fair play. Nothing more annoying than placing a brilliant word, only for the next player to simply put an S on the end of it. Grr.

See today's price for Upwords -> Amazon

More about Upwords

Facts, information & FAQ about Upwords. Level-up your knowledge.

Who invented Upwords?

Upwords was invented by game and toy designer Elliot Rudell. In a 2022 interview with, Elliot listed Upwords as his number one favourite project to date.

Upwords Lazy Susan spinny wheelWhen was Upwords invented?

Upwords was released in 1982. Amazing, although Hasbro did at one point publish Upwords, the gaming giant no longer does so with Spin Master being the sole publisher.

Can I play Upwords online?

Upwords online game at Apple App Store

Google Play Store for Android

How do I win at Upwords?

Um... learn new words... flick through a dictionary or thesaurus, once in a while? We couldn't find any online short-cuts in the form of an already-done Upwords tips website to copy ideas from but we did find a semi-in-print book called How to Win at UPWORDS by Charlotte Whitney, subtitled 'The Unofficial Book of Strategies for Playing Your Best Game'.

Upwords links & resources

Download Upwords instructions

Upwords @ Wikipedia

Official Upwords website: Upwords @ Spin Master

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