Wordle - Guess the Word, then Show Off to Your Friends
The Addictive Word Game That’s Sweeping the Globe
Since it became publicly available, Wordle has skyrocketed to the top of the online gaming world. However, when software engineer Josh Wardle originally created it, he aspired to make a game that he and his partner, Palak Shah, could play together. Little did he know that by the end of 2021, "Wordle" would practically be a household name.
Wordle, which is kind of like a hybrid of Scrabble and Sudoku, is an exclusively web-based game. There's no app or downloadable version available as of yet, so the only way to join in on the fun is to open up the web interface on your browser. Once you do that, you won't encounter any unnecessary frills or a lengthy signup process; instead, you can jump right into solving the day's puzzle.
A Puzzle Game That Gets Straight to the Point
Wordle is a daily puzzle game, in which your only goal is to guess the day's secret five-letter word. You only get one chance to solve the puzzle, and once you're finished, win or lose, you have to wait until the next day to play again. Because everyone in the world has the same secret word each day, you have to be careful while browsing social media to make sure you don't get it spoiled before playing.
Wordle has a simple, straightforward concept, but there's nothing wrong with that. Tetris had a simple concept. Pong had a simple concept. Some of the most popular and captivating games in history have been straightforward and to the point, and oftentimes, simplicity is a refreshing trait.
Concept Rating: 4/5
Wordle features a design that's pretty basic and somewhat generic. The game is pleasant to look at, and the interface is user-friendly, but there isn't anything that stands out about the aesthetic. However, considering that it's a word-based puzzle game, any complex animation or sound would feel a bit unnecessary.
Visually, the game consists of six rows of empty squares (where your guesses appear) and an on-screen keyboard below it, all displayed in front of a white background. If you want, you can switch the color scheme to a "Dark Theme." That will turn the background black, which will be easier on your eyes whenever you need to get that Wordle fix while lying in bed.
Ultimately, the graphics and (lack of) sound aren't a highlight of Wordle, but they were never intended to be.
Graphics & Audio Rating: 2/5
Guessing the Secret Word
Wordle is a uniquely challenging puzzle game in the sense that you get one chance, and that's it. The game adopts a new secret word each day, and you must take your first guess completely cold without any hints or help. The only thing you can be sure of from the start is that it will be five letters long.
In total, you get six guesses. If you don't guess the word exactly by your final guess, that day's puzzle will be a failure for you. Fortunately, with every incorrect guess, you gain a little bit of information about the solution.
Your initial guess for each puzzle essentially has to be a random word. However, the game will let you know just how far off you are, and that information will help you get closer to solving the puzzle with each subsequent guess. These hints are delivered by filling in each letter of your guess with a color.
If any of the letters in your guess turn green, it means that they're the correct letter in the correct place—you'll want to keep these letters in place for all future guesses. Yellow, on the other hand, means that the letter is indeed a part of the word, but you've placed it incorrectly. Finally, if the letter changes to a darker gray, you can eliminate that letter from the rest of your attempts.
After each guess, the color of the tiles will change to show how close your guess was to the word.
The color-coded hints are extremely helpful, but six guesses aren't a lot, and they can disappear very quickly. In some ways, Wordle is luck-based; if your first guess happens to contain a couple of the correct letters, it will greatly increase your chances of solving the puzzle. Having a more expansive vocabulary is also a massive advantage.
If you've been on any social media platforms in early 2022, you've almost certainly seen some of your friends and family members sharing their Wordle results. Since everyone across the world has the same puzzle each day, posting your results to show your friends and followers is an integral part of the game and why it has become a viral sensation.
After you finish a puzzle, win or lose, Wordle will show you your cumulative statistics along with a "share" button for that day's results. If you do decide to show off (or self-deprecate) on social media, you'll do so by copying a visual representation of your puzzle outcome to your clipboard.
When you post your day's results, those you share them with will be able to see exactly how your puzzle played out. That way, if you absolutely killed it and solved your puzzle in only three guesses, everyone will know about it, and those sweet bragging rights will be yours.
Although Wordle has only one game mode, you do have the option to switch to "Hard Mode." The name of the mode makes it sound more challenging, but in reality, it makes it a bit easier to solve the puzzle quickly. With hard mode, you're obligated to re-use any yellow or green letters in all subsequent guesses—you no longer have the option to leave them out, but why would you want to?
Even when you fail to solve the puzzle, Wordle doesn't inspire the same type of frustration that many games do. Losing is easy to shrug off, but when you manage to find the secret word, it's surprisingly satisfying—especially when you can get it done without needing all six of your guesses.
Gameplay Rating: 4/5
Where To Play
Wordle, released in October of 2021, is 100% free-to-play. The full version of the game can be played online without any need to purchase it, download it, or create an account. It would be reasonable for them to put a $10 or $20 price tag on it, but the world is grateful that they haven't!
A Time-Efficient Game You'll Keep Returning To
One of the great things about Wordle is that it doesn't require any real-time commitment. Even if you're the busiest person in the world, you can probably spare five minutes each day to take on the newest puzzle. And not only are those five minutes fun, but they also offer you a bit of mental exercise, which is never a bad thing.
Wordle is the type of game that you'll play once or twice without thinking much about it, but then before you know it, it will sneak into your everyday routine. Suddenly, no day will feel complete until you've knocked out your daily puzzle.
Replay Value Rating: 5/5
- Simple, easy-to-learn gameplay.
- Daily mental exercise.
- Not the least bit time-consuming.
- Fun to share your results with friends.
- The visuals are pretty boring.
- A soundtrack might enhance the experience.
- Hard Mode seems a bit unnecessary.
- It's too addictive!
Wordle is a simple word-based puzzle game that you'll find yourself coming back to over and over.