SpellStack Player’s Guide

by Kwasi Mensah

January 16th, 2014

SpellStack Player’s Guide

We hope everyone’s enjoying the first full week of SpellStack being out on iOS and Android! It’s been a whirlwind for us and we’re really excited for the support we’re getting from you. To make sure everyone was getting the most out of playing SpellStack, we wanted to write up this player’s guide as a quick and handy reference on how to play the game.

You can also use our video guides if you want to play along with the tutorials:

Basic tutorial (audio only)

Advanced tutorial (audio only)

Playthrough demo (audio only)

Layout

The main part of SpellStack  that you’ll be interested in is the board. It’s a 5×5 grid with columns A through E going left to right and rows 1 through 5 going from top to bottom. So A1 would be the bottom left cell and E5 would be the top right. Make sure to turn Vertical Navigation on in order to navigate in columns easily.

Spellstack's Board

Spellstack’s Board

At the top of the screen you have the status bar which has several elements:
-Undo button:You can use this the undo moving or selecting a tile.
-Player Icons: Then there are two player icons that’ll give you the status of each player. If you tap them, it’ll give you a read out of what the last player’s action was.
-Turns left: In between them is a label showing how many turns are left.
-Menu Button: Gives you access to the settings.

SpellStack Status bar

SpellStack Status bar

Below the status bar and above the board you find selected letters, the  Submit Button, and the Help Mode button. When letters are selected they show up in the this space, followed by the button you can use to submit words. Then there’s the button that turns on and off Help mode, which you can use to get more info about anything on screen.

SpellStack UI

SpellStack UI

Making Words

In order to make a word, the letters in the word have to be touching each other in order. So to make the word “DOG”, D has to be touching O and O has to be touching G. You can also use diagonals to make words.

Show's how to spell "DOG"

Show’s how to spell “DOG”

Moving Letters

There are two ways of moving letters. You can drag a letter to the column you want to place it in, or you can tap the letter then tap an empty space in the column you want to move to. Letters always drop to the first empty space in a column that you place them in. So if there’s no letters in a column it’ll drop to the row 1, but if there’s already a letter in the column it’ll drop to row 2.

Move S closer to the A and Y to spell "SAY"

Move S closer to the A and Y to spell “SAY”

Letters also stack on top of each other. This means you can’t move a letter at the bottom of a column without moving the letters on top of it out of the way. The game will try to do that for you automatically, but if it can’t the word can’t be moved.

You have to move Q out of the way to make "FUN"

You have to move Q out of the way to make “FUN”

If you make a word and the letters aren’t touching SpellStack will try to move the letters around for you to make the word. This isn’t always possible however, and if it isn’t the game will say “Can’t Make Word”. You also might not end up with the best points possible for your word but its a great tool to use when you’re just getting used to SpellStack.

Scoring Points

Every letter in the game has points associated with it. When you make a word, you get the points of the letters in the word.  So in the tutorial “CAB” is worth 10 points because C is worth 3, A is worth 4 and B is worth 3 which adds up to 10.

"CAB" adds up to 10 points

“CAB” adds up to 10 points

The points on a letter change based on what’s around them. This is super important to understand for SpellStack. Each player has their own type of letter. Player 1 letters are square and and orange. Player 2 letters are blue with rounded corners.

Player 1 tile next to a Player 2 tile

Player 1 tile next to a Player 2 tile

Letters from the same player get stronger with they touch each other i.e. Player 1 letters get stronger when they’re touching other Player 1 letters and  Player 2 letters get stronger when they’re touching other Player 2 letters.

Player 1 tiles getting stronger when they touch each other

Player 1 tiles getting stronger when they touch each other

Letters get weaker when they touch the other player’s letters. i.e. a Player 1 letter gets weaker when it touches a Player 2 letter and vice versa.

Tiles getting weaker when they touch each other

Tiles getting weaker when they touch each other

You can use these rules to strengthen or weaken the points in a word  that’s been made. You can also you help mode to see what’s affecting the points of a tile (so you don’t have to keep track of it yourself).

Tile Information on Help Mode

Tile Information on Help Mode

Locked tiles And Stealing

A tile is locked if it belongs to the other player and has more than zero points.  You can’t move a locked tile or use it in a word. For example in the tutorial that wants you to spell “TOY” the O and the Y in columns B and C are locked because they belong to Player 2 and they have more than zero points. So you have to use the O and Y in column E.

You can't used the locked O or Y to make "TOY"

You can’t used the locked O or Y to make “TOY”

In order to unlock a tile, you have to weaken it until its down to zero points. Then not only can you  move a locked tile, but you can also use it in your word to get bonus points. So in the example below, we weaken Player 2’s B by moving Player 1’s I next to it.

You can steal B by putting I next to it

You can steal B by putting I next to it

Pending Words and Breaking Words

When you make a word, you have to wait until the start of your next turn to get points for it. This means the other player can mess with your word before it disappears from the board.

If the other player can steal a letter from your pending word, your word is broken and you won’t get any points for it. So you have to make sure to make words that the other player can’t mess with.

You can break the other player's word by spelling "BET"

You can break the other player’s word by spelling “BET”

Winning

The first person to 100 points or the person with the most points when the game runs out of turns wins.

 

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