How to Play Uptown
The goal of Uptown is to place your colored tiles in such a way that at the end of the game, they're connected in as few groups of 2 or more edge-connected tiles as possible. A group is a collection of tiles which are all touching at least one other member of the group on at least one side (not just on a corner). Note: The NUMBER of groups is important, not the SIZE of the groups.
If two or more players have the same number of groups at the end of the game, the player who has captured the fewest of their opponents' tiles wins. See below for more about capturing.
Playing the Game
Below the board you can see the five tiles that are in your rack and available to place. On your turn, click one of these tiles, then click the space on the board where you want to place it. To be a legal move, the tile you're playing must match the board space where you're trying to place it. You can only place tiles with a letter on them (A-I) in the row with a matching label. You can only place tiles with a number (1-9) in the matching column. You can only place tiles with a symbol (man, ring, woman, street sign, skyline, saxophone, automobile, playing cards, champagne) in the area of the board with matching symbols on it. The dollar sign ($) tile is wild and you can place it anywhere.
Your supply includes one tile of each letter, number, and symbol as well as a single dollar sign ($) tile. The game ends when each player has DRAWN (not played) all of their tiles and each player has taken a final turn (each player will have four un-played tiles). You can see how many tiles are left for you and your opponents to draw by looking at the number in the user information area in the top right corner of the page.
If you wish to place a tile on a square where an opponent has already placed one of their tiles, you may do so. However, you may not split an opponent's tiles into more groups than they already had. You may also never capture one of your own tiles.
You can see any tiles that your opponents have captured displayed below their names. Tiles that you have captured appear below your rack of tiles - a captured tile cannot be played. At the end of the game, if two or more players have the same number of groups, the player with fewest captured tiles wins.
BGA counts each distinct set of 1 or more tiles as 1 NEGATIVE point, the closer your score is to 0 (and the fewer captures you've made) the better you are doing! If 2 or more players have the same score, the player with the fewest captures wins. If 2 or more players have the same score AND the same number of captures, enjoy the win together - or enjoy a playoff game!
After all players draw their final tiles, everyone gets one final turn and then the game ends. At the end of the game, you will have four un-played tiles left.
Uptown vs. Blockers!
Uptown was originally published with a small print run in 2007. In 2011 it was rebranded and re-released as Blockers! In addition to a new abstract theme, Blockers! changed the end of game scoring rules. Instead of the number of captured tiles being a tie breaker, the largest number of captures tiles of a single color gets added to a player's score. So if a player were to end the game with one group and three captured blue tiles, they would lose to a player with two groups and only a single capture in each color.
Currently the version on BGA implements the original Uptown scoring. It may eventually support the option of using the Blockers! rules instead.