Up Spell is a cute, addictive word game by former Apple engineer Ken Kocienda

Up Sell Hero
Up Sell Hero (Image credit: Ken Kocienda)

What you need to know

  • Up Sell is a new word game that you're going to lose hours to.
  • It's from former Apple engineer Ken Kocienda.
  • A portion of the app's sales will go to charity.

Ken Kocienda is probably best known as the former Apple engineer who wrote a book all about Apple. But now he's also a game developer, with Up Spell available in the App Store as of today.

The game, at its core, is simple. You have a time limit and have to type out as many words as you can, correctly, before that limit expires. That's it. That's the game.

But that's the beauty of it. Kocienda says the game's lexicon isn't too fussy. It includes " proper names, contractions, acronyms, tech terms, texting slang, the names of Santa's reindeer," for example. This ain't Scrabble!

Even better, the game is priced at just $1.99 and even better-er is the fact that a portion of the proceeds will be going to charity. I'll be using that as a way to make myself feel better for being less brainy than I thought I was!

Every time one of you nice people buys Up Spell, 25¢ of the proceeds goes to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. They help vulnerable people get the food they need. Check them out. Give them your support.

Great stuff. Run, don't walk, to the App Store and pick up your new addiction – Up Spell.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.