Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play Wordoku board game. Like other titles in the field, this is about your knowledge of the language and the ability to form nonusual words under constraints. Unlike others, it combines two classic mechanics in an interesting way to create a new experience. The game is for 1 – 6 players at ages 12+. The rules for how to play Wordoku are easy to learn but challenging to master.

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Wordoku is a combination crossword-sudoku word game. Players try to create as many words as possible using puzzle tiles printed with bit letters and symbols. Use the letters to make words while balancing the symbols to double your score.

The object of the game is for players to earn awards by creating the highest number of points each round and for improving their individual high score between rounds. The player with the most award tokens after three rounds wins.


Time Needed: Approximately 20 – 30 minutes.

This is a step by step guide for how to play Wordoku the intriguing word creation board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.

1. SETUP | Put Color Tiles In Pouch
To kick off how to play Wordoku setup, take all the tiles with color symbols (not the black) and put them in the Storage Pouch. Shake to randomize. The black tiles are to be used in an expert variation, which is outlined in the further details section below.

2. SETUP | Give Out Scoring Sheet
Each player will need to write down the scores they get for each word. There is a nifty score sheet included that each player should get one of. Writing utensils also required but not included.

3. SETUP | Create Draw Pile With Tiles
Pour out the pouch contents in a way that has all the tiles placed on the play area face down. Only their symbol should show so players can not see the letter contained. The symbols are green clove, purple star, red square and blue circle.

4. SETUP | Players Take Four Tiles Of Each Symbol
From the draw pile, each player grabs four of each symbol tile, sixteen total. Keep these face down for now.

5. SETUP | Form 4×4 Square
With your sixteen tiles, form a 4×4 square where each row is four of each of that symbol across.

6. SETUP | Put Out Score Tokens
The final how to play Wordoku setup step before getting into gameplay is just to set aside the score tokens. Take the victor and personal best tokens and place them nearby.

7. GAMEPLAY | Start A 5 Minute Timer
Rounds are played within a 5 minute window so you need a timer. This is not included so use your phone, wall clock or any other timer of choice. Set it up and hit start.

8. GAMEPLAY | Flip Over Tiles And Form Words
Once the timer starts, all players flip over their tiles to reveal the letters they are working with. They must now form legal English words keeping two things in mind – (1) It is crossword rules so you want letters that form words both horizontally and vertically and (2) symbols matter (sodoku), trying to get words that contain one tile from each of the four symbols.

9. GAMEPLAY | Tile Swap
Once during a round each player may swap one of their tiles that they do not want to use for each symbol (max of 4) with a face-down tile of the same symbol from the draw pile. Remove the replaced tiles from play.

10. GAMEPLAY | Wild Letters
At any point in the round, each player may flip over one tile to it’s symbol side to act as a wild. It can be any letter, even “Q” which doesn’t have a tile, but it has to be the same letter for both the horizontal and vertical words.

11. GAMEPLAY | Score Points When Timer Ends
Once done, look for all the words you have. These do not have to be four letters all across, this could be a three letter word somewhere within the four tiles. The base score is one point for every tile (so 3 letter words would be 3 points). Then you get a balance bonus, if the four tiles where the word is located are all different symbols, you get a one bonus point per letter (3 letter word in a balanced 4 tile space would be worth 6 points total). Wild letters are always worth 0 for themselves.

12. GAMEPLAY | Give Out Awards
All players add up all their scores. The player with the highest overall total gets a gold “victor” token. In the case of a tie, the player who used the fewest wilds wins. If there is still a tie, each player gets a personal best token instead of a victor one.

13. GAMEPLAY | Clean Up & Repeat
After a round is completed and points are scored, reset to do it all over again. Put all the tiles back in the bag and give it a shake to repeat the above gameplay steps. The second and third rounds play the same as the first but with additional awards for personal improvement. If you beat a previous high score, you will also get a “personal best” award. It is possible to get many of these.

14. WINNING | Most Points After Three Rounds
After three rounds of Wordoku, whoever has the most awards wins. In the case of a tie, the player with the single-highest round score wins.



For a more advanced game, you introduce the black diamond tiles and expand to a 5×5 grid. The game players the same except that instead of working with 16 tiles and trying to balance 4 symbols, you are working with 5 tiles and balancing 5 symbols. You also get a 10 minute timer instead of a 5 minute one. Everything else runs the same.


  • 120x Wordoku Game Tiles (30 of green, purple, red, blue)
  • 30x Expert Tiles (black)
  • 3x Victor Award Tokens
  • 12x Personal Best Tokens
  • 1x Score Pad
  • 1x Storage Pouch
  • 1x Rulebook


We hope you can now say you know how to play Wordoku. For a game positioned as crossword meets sodoku, it does in fact do both archetypes justice. Like Scrabble or any other word forming game, it is a special type of activity that appeals to a certain type of player and Wordoku does that player justice. This is an interesting take on the genre that is not quite like anything else out there. The steps for how to play Wordoku are very easy but making the words that are going to get the big points will take some skill.