US reporter Lucy Broadbent reports on Wordle – the game everyone is obsessing about.
It’s a five-letter word. You’ve got six chances. It’s deceptively simple. And 2.7 million others are playing it already.
Wordle is the free viral word game that’s become an obsession across America, and now the rest of the world.
It was developed by software engineer Josh Wardle in Brooklyn for his partner who loved word games. The couple played it together, and he named it Wordle as a play on his own name. Then Wardle introduced the game to relatives on his family’s WhatsApp group last October and discovered a possible wider audience. Today over 2.7 million people are playing it.
People love it particularly because there are no attempts to monetise game play or retrieve personal data. There are no ads or pop-up windows asking for money. It’s just a short, playful game on an app that anyone can play. Also, the game can only be played once per day.
Every player has six tries to guess the word of the day. It’s a little like the colour code breaker game, Mastermind, except with words. And once you finish, you can share your results on social media using emoji that correspond to the game board, telling others how many guesses it took without spoiling the challenge for others.
Wardle believes the game’s success comes down to its simplicity. “Even though I play it every day, I still feel a sense of accomplishment when I do it: it makes me feel smart, and people like that,” he explains.
“I get emails from people who say things like ‘Hey we can’t see our parents due to Covid at the moment, but we share our Wordle results each day’. During this weird situation it’s a way for people to connect in a low effort, low friction way.”
Facebook fan groups have now started appearing with players offering strategy tips. And here’s ours to you: Use as many vowels as possible in the first guess, with a word like ‘adieu’.
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