Qwibble Rules

Welcome to Qwibble – the strategic, 2-player crossword game with a twist. The basic rules are the same as traditional crossword games but in Qwibble players can steal points by building onto/off-of their opponent’s words. 

Playing the game is simple. Players drag tiles from their hand onto the board to create words and hit the “play” button when ready to submit the move. Players take turns making and stealing words until one player is able to play the last of their tiles or both players pass their turn consecutively. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Quick Start Guide:

  • The Letter “S”:In Qwibble, “S” is a particularly powerful letter because it can be used to pluralize (i.e. steal) many words. There are 4 “S” tiles in the game and an “S Meter” to keep track of how many have not yet been played. 
  • Wild Tiles:
    There are 2 wild tiles that can be used as any letter except an “S”. These tiles have a black triangle in the upper left corner and a point value of 0. 
  • Safe Tiles:
    Safe tiles cannot be stolen by an opponent but may still be used to play other words. These tiles are easily identified by a bolder version of the player’s designated color and there are two ways to make tiles safe:
    • Playing a word on a padlock square makes that word safe. There are 12 padlock squares located around the board perimeter. 
    • Playing all 7 of a player’s tiles in one turn makes that word safe, even if not played on a padlock square. 
  • Passing:
    Players may pass any turn, but two consecutive passes will end the game.
  • Swapping Tiles:
    Players may swap 1-7 tiles from their hand but swapping counts as their turn. Tile swapping is no longer allowed once there are 10 or fewer tiles remaining in the available tile pool. During tile exchanges, new tiles will be drawn from the available tile pool before the exchanged tiles are put back. So, if a player exchanges the “Q” tile from their hand, they will not get the “Q” tile back.
  • Ending the Game:The game ends:
    • When a player is first to play the last of their tiles and there are no tiles left in the available tile pool
    • After 2 consecutive passes
    • When a player resigns 
    • When a player forfeits (see “Forfeiting” in Full Rules section below)
  • Winning the Game:
    A player must score at least 87 of the 173 available points to win a typical game. The player who plays all of their tiles first adds the point values of any tiles remaining in their opponent’s hand to their own  final score. If the game ends due to 2 consecutive passes, both players will add the point values of any tiles remaining in their opponent’s hand to their own final score. If a player resigns, their opponent wins. If a player forfeits, their opponent wins.

The Game Screen:

  1. Total Score: This shows the player’s total score, which includes the sum of both safe and unsafe tile points.
  2. Safe Points:This shows the player’s sum total of safe tile points.
  3. Game Board: The Qwibble game board consists of a 15×15 grid of squares. The center square is marked “START HERE” and there are 12 safe squares marked with a padlock icon around the board perimeter.
  4. Last Move Highlighting: White outlines indicate a tile that was played in the last move, and yellow outlines indicate a tile that was stolen from the opponent in the last move.
  5. Last Move Indicator: This shows the result of the last move played. It will either show that the move was passed, that tiles were swapped, or the change in score with color coding to indicate Player 1 and Player 2. 
  6. Tiles Left: This shows how many tiles remain in the available tile pool.  
  7. “S” Meter: This shows how many “S” tiles have not yet been played. White indicates not yet played, and gray indicates played. 
  8. Resign Button: Want to give up? Here’s your chance.
  9. Pass Turn Button: This is used to pass a turn. Two consecutive passes will end the game.
  10. Swap Button: This is used to swap 1-7 tiles from a player’s hand for random tiles from the available tile pool. 
  11. Shuffle/Recall Button: Before any tiles have been dragged onto the game board this button will display as “Shuffle” and may be used to rearrange the tiles within the player’s hand. After tiles have been dragged onto the game board this button will display as “Recall” and may be used to recall all tiles a player has dragged onto the game board in that specific turn.
  12. Play Button: This is used to submit a move.

Tiles:

There are 100 total tiles, which consist of the letters A-Z and wild tiles. Tiles are assigned a point value ranging from 0 to 5, which is indicated in the bottom right corner of each tile.

Wild tiles can be used as any letter except an “S”. These tiles have a black triangle in the upper left corner and a point value of 0.

Letter Qty Value
A 9 1
B 2 3
C 2 3
D 4 2
E 12 1
F 2 3
G 3 2
H 2 3
I 9 1
J 1 5
K 1 4
L 4 2
M 2 3
N 6 2
O 8 1
P 2 3
Q 1 5
R 6 1
S 4 1
T 6 1
U 4 2
V 2 4
W 2 3
X 1 4
Y 2 2
Z 1 5
WILD 2 0

Full Rules:

Starting The Game

Qwibble is a 2-player game. Each player is assigned a color when they join the game, and each begins with 7 random tiles from the available tile pool.

The player who initiates the game (Player 1) takes the first turn and may do any of the following:

  • Play 2 or more tiles by dragging them onto the game board to form a valid word (see “Valid Words” section below for more information). One of the tiles played in the first word must be placed on the center “START HERE” square.
  • Pass their turn (note that if Player 2 also passes their turn, the game will end).
  • Swap 1-7 of the tiles in their hand for random tiles from the available tile pool. Swapping tiles counts as a turn. 

After Player 1 plays their first move, Player 2 will be notified of the challenge and receive an invitation to join the game. If Player 2 declines the challenge, Player 1 will be notified and the game will be annulled. Neither player wins or loses in this scenario.

If Player 2 accepts the challenge, they will be entered into the game and may play their turn by taking any of the same actions listed above (play a word, pass, or swap tiles). 

Game Play

After the first word is played, subsequent moves will alternate between the 2 players. When a player’s turn is complete their hand will be restocked from the available tile pool with the amount of tiles they played in that turn.

Valid Moves

Players may make 1 of 3 moves on their turn: 

  • Playing Words
    • With the exception of the first word played in a game, words may only be played if one of the played tiles is adjacent to (next to, above, or below) a tile in an existing word.
    • Tiles can only be played in one direction, either vertically or horizontally. Diagonal moves are not allowed.
    • While tiles may only be played in one direction, subsequent words can be created in perpendicular directions off the played word.
  • Passing: You may pass any turn, but two consecutive passes will end the game.
  • Swapping Tiles: You may swap 1-7 tiles from your hand but swapping counts as your turn. Tile swapping is no longer allowed once there are 10 or fewer tiles remaining in the available tile pool. During tile exchanges, new tiles will be drawn from the available tile pool before the exchanged tiles are put back. So, if a player exchanges the “Q” tile from their hand, they will not get the “Q” tile back.

Valid Words

All submitted words will be checked against the NASPA Official Scrabble Dictionary (with a few minor modifications). Only words in this list will be considered valid.

Stealing Tiles

  • Unless a tile has been made safe it can be stolen by the opposing player (see “Safe Tiles” below).
  • To steal tiles a player must create a new word or words onto/off-of tiles already on the board.
  • The value of stolen tiles is deducted from the score of the original tile owner and added to the score of the player who steals them.

Safe Tiles

Safe tiles cannot be stolen by the opposing player but may still be used to play other words onto/off-of. These tiles are easily identified by a bolder version of each player’s designated color and there are two ways to make tiles safe:

  • Playing a word on a padlock square makes that word safe. There are 12 padlock squares located around the board perimeter. 
  • Playing all 7 of a player’s tiles in one turn makes that word safe, even if not played on a padlock square. 

Scoring

  • The sum value of played tiles is added to the player’s score.
  • The sum value of stolen tiles is deducted from the original tile owner’s score and added to the score of the player who steals the letters.

Ending The Game

The game ends:

  • When a player is first to play the last of their tiles and there are no tiles left in the Available tile pool.
  • After 2 consecutive passes.
  • When a player resigns. 
  • When a player forfeits (see “Forfeiting” below).

Winning The Game

A player must score at least 87 of the 173 available points to win a typical game in which one player plays all of their tiles. 

  • The player who plays all of their tiles first adds the point values of any tiles remaining in their opponent’s hand to their own final score.
  • If the game ends due to 2 consecutive passes, both players will add the point values of any tiles remaining in their opponent’s hand to their own final score. If the final score is tied after the values of  both remaining hands have been added to each player’s respective score, the game will be decided by a tiebreaker. Tiebreakers will be executed in the following order, and each successive tiebreaker will only be used if the tiebreaker before it in the order is also a tie:
    • Tiebreaker 1: Most safe points scored   
    • Tiebreaker 2: Most tiles played
    • Tiebreaker 3: Most points stolen in a single move
    • Tiebreaker 4: A winner will be decided at random by the app. Both players will have a 50% chance of being selected 
  • If a player resigns, their opponent wins. 
  • If a player forfeits, their opponent wins (see “Forfeiting” below).

Forfeiting

In order to keep the games moving at a reasonable pace, a player forfeits the game and grants their opponent a win if they do not take their turn within 7 calendar days of their opponent’s last move. Don’t worry, we’ll send reminders before the game is forfeited. Be sure to keep those alerts turned on so you don’t miss a thing.