How to win at Letterpress

How to win at LetterpressEarlier this week I reviewed Letterpress, an excellent word game from some guy who used to beaver away on the twitter app. If you haven’t played Letterpress yet, go get it now. It’s free to install, though it’s only available for iOS at the moment (sorry, Androidians).

I’ve adopted Beast Mode, playing something silly like 50+ games, but losing only a tiny handful (three, I think). I’m here to tell you how to beat your opponents to death (er, figuratively).

In my review, I didn’t delve too far into the mechanics, as Letterpress is insanely tactical. There were too many variables to discuss in a relatively brief review, so I figured I’d pen – you guessed it –a How to win at Letterpress feature, and here we are.

Here, in a vaguely logical order, are a bunch of Letterpress tips from out of my brain. Behold:

Don’t simply go for the biggest word

It’s logical when starting out to go for the biggest word in Letterpress, but that’s not always the best tactic. It depends how the letters are spread out and stuff. Keep reading…

First move: grab a corner

If you’re in the enviable position of making the opening move in Letterpress, it’s a good idea to look for a longish word where all – or most of – the letters are adjacent. Better still, grab a corner and work your way out from there as the game progresses, like a letter-based virus. Bleurgh.


Be aware of plurals. Many a time someone has played a word, only for me to fire the same word back with an S on the end. One of my mates threatened to rage quit as a result of my bastardly ways.

Likewise, you don’t want to be on the receiving end of said tactic. Heck, fire an S on the end even if you don’t think it’s a proper word. You might be surprised. And there’s no penalty in Letterpress for invalid words. Go crazy.

Understand the prefix rule

The Letterpress prefix rule is entirely, uhm, literal. For example, you can play HAUNTS or HAUNTED after HAUNTING, but you can’t play HAUNT after HAUNTS. Make sense?

You can, however (and this is where people get confused), play CHAINED after UNCHAINED, for example.

Use their letters

When it’s your turn, try to use as many of your Letterpress opponent’s letters as possible. Using one red square takes a point away from your opponent and adds a point to your score, so you can quickly turn the tables around.

Attack the dark squares

Dark (surrounded) squares are safe, and while the letters are still free to use, they can’t be stolen. Bah.

It’s a good idea to take action before your Letterpress opponent’s dark area (ahem) starts to spread. Chip away at the letters around the outside and liberate!

Similarly, it’s a good tactic to spread out from your dark area. Mark you territory and slowly destroy.

Think ahead – understand how the game ends

In Letterpress, the game ends when all the letters are coloured red or blue. Keep an eye on how many letters remain unclaimed. Even if it’s possible to play an impressive word, ask yourself: What can my opponent play on his/her turn? You might be gifting them the win. It’s very chessy at the end.

Don’t commit suicide

On a similar note, it’s possible to commit suicide in Letterpress, specifically if you claim the last remaining free letters but finish on less points than your opponent. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve seen this.

And so ends my lesson in How to win at Letterpress. Go forth and beat everyone without mercy. If you have any tips of your own, hit us up in the Comments.

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