I love the game Scrabble but my wife is not a big fan. I picked up this game at a garage sale for $1 and we've really had a lot of fun with it. I think the big advantage over Scrabble is that the scoring is a lot easier (once you memorize the rules).
Here then, is my review/rating based on my point system.
Set Up Experience (2 out of 2 pts) - This game is a cinch to set up. A lot like Scrabble where each player just grabs seven tiles.
Playability (1.8 out of 2 pts) -- This game plays rather easily. Like Scrabble, players take turns using their tiles to spell out different words. But, unlike Scrabble, there are no bonus spaces (they are all blank spaces) AND players can stack letters to form new words. For example, a player can take the word S-C-E-N-T and put a P over the C to form S-P-E-N-T. Of course, like Scrabble, any crosswords affected must be legal words. The only reason I don't give is a full 2.0 is because there are sometimes so many options that players spend a lot of time exploring all of the possible options before deciding for sure.
Replay Value (2.7 out of 3 pts) -- Replay value is important to me. I won't by a game that I think I will get tired of after a few plays. This game presents so many options that, like Scrabble, it has tremendous replay value.
Rules (0.7 out of 1 pt) -- The rules could have been better written. We missed an important scoring rule during the first game that caused confusion when we played it the right way the second time. The text is a bit wordy making it hard to find specific information.
Components (0.8 out of 2 pts) -- Not the prettiest game. The board is bland and the tiles have letters printed on them. Our edition is all plastic and a bit cheap looking.
OVERALL SCORE = 8.0
Not my highest rated game, but something we enjoy playing as a family -- from ages 8 on up, including our teens.
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I've got to agree with you here -- I've always enjoyed Upwords more than Scrabble.
Be careful with five-letter words, though -- they seem to be the hardest to change, especially when they cross. We once had four five-letter words in an open square layout, and the game took a really long time to finish!