Wordle: The five-minute puzzle game sweeping the web | Characteristics
If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen one of these Facebook posts on Twitter – a bunch of grey, yellow and green boxes with “Wordle” above them?
If you’re wondering what it is – and if you haven’t started playing yet – Wordle is a recently popular online word game.
It’s quick to play and easy to learn, and it’s a great way to take five minutes to give your brain a quick challenge.
Previously an independent site, Wordle was purchased and now operated by The New York Times. Daily games can be found online at nytimes.com/games/wordle.
If you’re not already playing, or if you’re looking to improve your daily play, here’s the recap.
When you open your Daily Wordle, you’ll be faced with six rows of five boxes and a keyboard.
Your objective: to discover the five-letter mystery word of the day.
Start by typing your first word.
Once you hit enter, the game will highlight the individual letters of your word in three different colors, gray, yellow, and green.
Gray indicates that the letter is not in the word, so it can be safely eliminated from future guesses.
Yellow indicates the letter is in the word, but you have it in the wrong place.
Green indicates that you have the right letter in the right place.
Unless you’re lucky enough to guess the word on your first try, you’ll move on to your next guesses, relying on the information you received on your first guesses.
If you get the word before you’ve used all six guesses, you win! The game will record how many guesses it took you to figure it out and over time you can track your stats.
If you fail to get the word in six guesses, you lose.
While you’re free to share your daily success (or failure), remember not to spoil the game for others. Do not discuss the letters or words you used if you share your results on social media.
Improve your strategy
There are some tips to improve your Wordle game and be more successful to make sure you never miss a word. Here are some ideas:
• Have a good opening remark.
Your first guess is one of the most important, as it will narrow down some key letters for you.
Think of the “Wheel of Fortune”. The free letters you get in the bonus round of R, S, T, L, N, E, as these are the five most common consonants and the most common vowel, so these are great letters to try include in your first guess.
For me, I used RAILS as the opening word.
• How about a good second word too?
Maybe you will get a lot of good information from your first word. Maybe land a letter in the right place, or find another one or two that are in the daily word. But, again, maybe you’ll back out.
But even when you get a few letters, you might find that ignoring them in favor of more information might serve you better.
For me, I like to use the word TONED as a second word. This used five additional unique letters after the first guess and completes the rest of the wheel of fortune letters. It also takes care of every vowel except U.
With 10 of the 26 letters used and potentially all the clues you need, you’ll be well prepared to figure out the daily word.
• Beware of double letters
Words with double letters like SMALL or CARAT or SPURS can be tricky, as the game gives you no indication that a letter can be used more than once in a word. This may cause you to search for other letters and use your guesses.
• Don’t be afraid to ignore the letters placed to the right
Getting a letter in the right place is the key to winning, but sometimes it can prevent you from solving the puzzle. If you only know that your word starts with S but you don’t know the rest, using S each time only gives you four chances to figure out the rest of the letters instead of five.
For example, if you have SHI_S, but don’t know the last letter, you can potentially lose by guessing one at a time. It could be SHINS or SHIPS or SHIVS. Using a guess like PINES might help you eliminate several letters you still need, just ignoring the ones you make for a guess.
Note: If you are playing on Hard Mode, you cannot do the above, as this mode requires you to use the letters you identified in the following guesses.
• Not sure? To guess!
If you type something that’s not in the dictionary, the game will reject your answer, so you get a little help not to waste guesses on words that don’t exist.
So if you’re sitting there with a bunch of letters but you’re not sure how they fit together, mix them up and see what happens.
For example, one day I got the letters R, A, T, L, U, but not in the right order. The word wasn’t immediately clear, so I sat there typing UTRAL, LURAT, TRUAL before finally realizing it was ULTRA.
Wordle has become an overnight sensation and they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. As such, tons of imitators have popped up all over the web and app stores.
If you want to play more than one a day, a game like Word Master gives you the same Wordle fun, just with the ability to play as many puzzles as you want.
Maybe one word is too easy, so how about games that just offer more words to figure out at once like Dordle (two words) or Qordle (four words).
Worldle is a similar game, except with a twist – you guess the countries of the world. You are shown a preview, then your guesses will tell you how far the correct country is from the one you guessed.
There are all kinds of other games. Primel uses prime numbers. Nerdle uses mathematical equations. Dungleon is like a little dungeon crawler with heroes, monsters, and loot to gather. There’s even a Taylor Swift-specific Taylordle.
Basically, if you have an interest, there’s probably a Wordle clone for you.