The Last Word

A fifteen minute word game for two players, using a bag of Scrabble tiles.

Phase 1: Draft

Determine a starting player. That randomly take seven tiles from the bag, reveal those tiles, and divide them into two piles of any size or combination.

The other player then chooses a pile and adds all tiles in it to their pool. The unchosen pile goes to the starting player.

This process repeats for a total of six draft rounds, with players alternating roles each round. Each player will have three rounds as the divider and three rounds as the chooser.

Once tiles are added to a player's pool, they are turned face down and cannot be looked at until the end of the phase.

Phase 2: Build

Players start a timer for (or a cool song that lasts) three minutes. In that time, each player makes three words out of the tiles in their pool. Words must be at least three letters long.

Words should be placed face down once finalised. It's generally bad manners to look at your opponent’s pool while they're building - be cool.

Players should also order the words, designating a First Word, Next Word, and Last Word. This order should be clear to all players before the end of the phase - I suggest putting the First Word above the Next Word, and the Last Word below that, or something.

If a player has only made two words by the end of the time, they can't score a First Word. If a player has only made one word, they can't score a First Word or Next Word. This is rough.

Phase 3: Score

Players reveal their First Word and score points equal to the sum of the value of the tiles, Scrabble style.

Players then reveal their Next Word, scoring in the same way. However, for this word, players double the letter(s) with the highest value in that word. If there are multiple letters tied for highest, each of those are doubled!

Players reveal their Last Word. For this word, every letter’s value is doubled.

The sum of each word’s score determines a player's final score - the player with the highest score wins.

The Last Word was created on a bus from Preston to Lancaster by Patrick Echo.

Download the rules as a PDF here.