Playing the Tile Laying Game Uptown
Uptown is a tile-laying board game where you try to control spaces on the board as efficiently as possible. Try to make your groups of tiles grow amoeba-like hopefully ending up as one huge cell for a win.
You have a set of 28 (3 x 9 + 1) tiles that match each of the pictures, numbers, and letters. Your 28th tile is a $ which is a wildcard.
You start with a rack of 5 randomly-drawn tiles. Each tile must be played within its set boundaries: a picture tile within the 3×3 grid of the same picture, a number tile in the matching row, and a letter tile in the matching column.
Your goal is to have as few separated groups of tiles as possible. It’s not always possible to maintain just one group throughout the game, but you can and frequently will merge groups with proper tile placement.
You can also hinder your opponent’s efforts by constructing a chain of tiles that separates two of his groups. You can replace an opponent’s tile on the board with one of your own, but only if his tile doesn’t split his group into two. Replaced tiles count against you if there is a tie for fewest number of groups at game’s end.
Uptown usually plays quickly. There isn’t normally a need for analysis paralysis to set in. The game ends after everyone has played their 24th tile.
Uptown has been renamed Blockers! but I think the rules are still the same.