Wordle’s Rise to International Fame
An example of a Wordle board to solve the puzzle for the word "perky"
How did a game made for a typical man’s girlfriend suddenly take the whole world by storm? Josh Wardle, a programmer currently living in Brooklyn, New York, originally created the game Wordle for his family to enjoy and tempered his expectations, doubting it would ever become much more than that. When he released the game on November 1st, 2021, fewer than 100 people played it on its first day, as he anticipated. Now, however, according to the New York Times, over 300,000 people play Wordle daily. There is only one puzzle published each day, but because of the game’s addictive nature, it’s growing exponentially.
In Wordle, players guess five letter words until they can get the correct word. They get six tries, and hints are given after every guess based on the letters in the word. If a letter turns gray, it is not in the word; if yellow, it is in the word but in the wrong place; and if green, it is in the correct place in the word. The more yellow and green letters you get, the closer you are to completing the puzzle.
There are numerous strategies to beat each game, but one of the most common is starting out with words like arise, raise, audio, or adieu. Those words all have many things in common, including 3 or 4 vowels and common consonants such as r, s, and d. Wordle offers a normal mode and a hard mode. The big difference between the two difficulties is that on hard mode you cannot reuse gray letters. This can be extremely crucial when common letters are eliminated, but you’re struggling to find a word with the available letters.
While Wordle is in English, there have been tons of variations developed, changing the level of difficulty and the language; there are versions with 6 and 7-letter words, and even a Hebrew puzzle each day. Whether you play it or not, it’s undeniable that Wordle is one of the most impactful and popular games of 2022, despite being fewer than 6 months old. In an even less expected twist for the game, Wordle recently sold it to the New York Times for over one million dollars. The meteoric rise of Wordle has shown that anything on the internet can catch the attention of the public eye.
Photo Credit - Manny Shklar