How 'Wordle' And Its Clones Took Over Everything
Back in October of 2021, Josh Wardle tried to create a fun pastime he could play with his girlfriend in order to cope with being in lockdown. The result was Wordle, another thing that would go on to mutate and spread worldwide. Wordle quickly went from a local affair to the million-player (and dollar) hit it is right now. We've recently witnessed games like Lost Ark and Elden Ring taking the gaming world by storm, but Wordle took the entire world by storm. This is an inter-generational hit, something so unexpected that it caused The New York Times to jump the gun and dish out a seven-figure sum to acquire it – despite it being free for everyone. Is that the serious newspaper-reading adult version of spending your savings on art we can all right-click on to save?
The game's growth was far from normal. Not only did its player base increase exponentially – an unseen scenario for something not backed by a huge marketing machine – it also grew in various gloriously unexpected ways. Wordle's original open-source nature allowed for the creation of Wordle for every language that uses words, but also for the creation of who knows how many beautiful
variants spinoffs. Some of these are more competitive, like Squabble, the inevitable Battle Royale version …
… or Quordle, the version for people who want to torture themselves by having to solve four different Wordle puzzles at the same time.
Some of these try to take over not just the space once dominated by crossword puzzles, but by trivia games in general, and that's where you get stuff like Star Wordle …
There are some straight-up dumb takes on the game, like Lewdle, the version for very smart people.
Hello Wordl, a nightmare version where you get up to 11-letter words.
But the best one of the bunch is Letterle, where players get 26 attempts and no hints at all to find the letter of the day. It's pure stupid bliss.
And never mind if you don't happen to own a phone powerful enough to run the classic game because you can now even play it in the Nintendo 64 that you most certainly own!
Top Image: New York Times