Wordle is a free word game that's just tough enough to be fun


After spreading on Twitter, this browser-based game is quickly becoming a daily distraction

I have a 100 percent win rate in Wordle, a popular word-deducing game that’s been making the rounds. Granted, I’ve only played it twice so far — and I really took my sweet time weighing possible answers before committing to any guesses — but my track record is, so far at least, flawless. I’ll cherish this streak, because it’s sure to fizzle out soon.

The best part of Wordle is its simplicity — and also its spoiler-free “Hey, try this!” factor. You don’t need to download a standalone app to play — it’s right in your browser.

Fresh off my holiday break, I saw Destructoid‘s own puzzle master Darren Nakamura tweet out an odd grid of gray, yellow, and green blocks with a score and the name “Wordle” attached. I couldn’t resist looking into whatever this was, and after a few timid attempts of trying to suss out the day’s mystery word, I had to admit that, yep, I was invested. I imagine that’s how things have snowballed for plenty of you, too. There are a lot of mildly annoying yet intriguing Wordle tweets floating around. Resistance is futile.

Why is Wordle so popular?

The game does a fine job of laying out its brainteaser setup the first time you play, so I’ll keep this brief: the idea is to guess a specific word, and you’ve got six tries. If all of your letters are off, they’ll turn gray; if they’re in the word but you’ve got their positioning wrong, they’ll become yellow; if any letters are spot-on in the right box, they’ll go green.

My instinct was to guess jibberish in order to brute-force a fast solution, but that doesn’t fly — it has to be a real word. And I feel like, so far anyway (again, I’m a newbie), the difficulty of the words has been well-balanced with the number of chances you get to crack the code. I also like the idea of always making the same first guess each day.

The fact that everyone on the internet is trying to deduce the same word adds an extra bit of excitement, whether you’re competing with folks on Twitter or watching your friends or family members try to work through Wordle in the same room with a puzzled look.

As a coward, I refuse to play on Hard Mode, in which “Any revealed hints must be used in subsequent guesses.” After hollering at too many well-meaning Game Show Network contestants last week (nice white noise for the holidays), it’s time to reap what I sow.

Wordle was graciously created by Josh Wardle, and it’s very good.

What to do while waiting for the daily Wordle reset

If you’re hooked on Wordle like the rest of us and you’d like to solve more than one puzzle a day (or if you’re finding them to be too easy), then check out @chordbug‘s “remake,” hello wordl — it’s also playable for free, in your browser. In this version, you aren’t limited to just one daily puzzle (which I personally feel is exciting as is, and adds stakes), and you can also crank up the difficulty with much longer words to try and guess. More options!

The wider world of Wordle is heating up