What’s Up With Wordle?

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Launched in late 2021 by Josh Wardle, Wordle has exploded all over the world. It went from having only 90 players on November 1 to having over 2.5 million players a day! Wardle originally made the game as a gift for his partner and later released it to the public in October of 2021. Recently the game was bought by the New York Times Games and has grown even more popular. There have been knockoffs of Wordle, many from countless apps and other websites, that have also gained popularity.

“What’s nice about Wordle is how simple, pleasant and attractive the computer interface is,” stated Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times Crossword.

The online game gives you six tries per day to guess a five letter word. Each day, there is a new puzzle and a new word. Once you guess a word, some letters may turn green, some turn grey, and others turn yellow. If a letter turns green, it’s the correct letter and in the correct spot. If the letter turns yellow, it is the correct letter, it’s just not in the right spot. If it turns grey, the letter isn’t in the word.

“I don’t think any of this was actually designed … to be this appealing,” said neuroscientist Dr. Aditi Subramaniam. “It’s just something that seems to have happened serendipitously.”

The Internet’s Sudden Obsession With Wordle, Explained (courtesy of Bustle)

Wardle said that when designing the game, he tried to eliminate the possibility of it going viral. So why is Wordle so popular? The game has no ads, a simple design, and the fact that it’s free to play and you don’t have to download an app contributed to its popularity. Another reason is because of the scoring grid that doesn’t give away the answers, but still shows your score.

The game has only grown in popularity and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon, knockoffs included. Since it’s release, the online game has gone viral around the world.