Simple, free and addictive. These are three seasonings that seem to have boosted the growth of the game that everyone talks about on social networks. His name is Wordle and he has just been bought by the New York Times for a million dollars.
What does it consist of? In Argentina we could call it “el ahorcadito”, because it is an online game in which you have to guess a hidden five-letter word in just six attempts. Every day there is a new word that challenges its players, who then share their results.
Wordle’s popularity has grown in just months. It was created in October of last year, in November it already had 90 users and that number grew to 300,000 in the middle of this month. Now, according to the American newspaper, millions of people have joined this new trend that seems to replace the old sudoku or the classic crossword puzzles.
What’s new in the game
Despite its simplicity, Wordle has some features that seem to be new but actually appeal to old online games. First of all it is not an application to download on the phone, it is just a web page. There you can access the game of the day, without advertising and without leaving personal data. There is also no need to enter a credit card number or agree to terms and conditions that no one reads. Simply a grid of five columns and six lines appears to play.
The rules are also very clear. The user enters a five-letter word and after confirming the first attempt, the game marks the characters that do not have the final word with gray, those that do have but in another place with yellow, and the letters that are correctly located with green. These are the clues for the user to try to solve the puzzle in as few attempts as possible.
In social networks Wordle became the new trend. There users share the statistics of the challenge of the day. Just search for the name of the game on Twitter to see posts appearing every second with comments from its fans. There are also websites for the less persistent where you can find the result of the day.
Its creator lives in the United States and worked as an engineer on Reddit, one of the most important social platforms in that country. He says that he developed the game for his partner, a fan of puns, during the pandemic. Then, he shared the website address with his contacts and viralization did the rest. In a statement released last week following the news of the game’s acquisition by the New York Times, the developer said: “I have long admired The Times’ approach to the quality of its games and respect for players. Their values are aligned with mine and I am delighted that they will be managing the game in the future.”
The Spanish version
As in the old days of the Internet, when everything was free and could be copied, Wordle was also adapted by other users to be available in other languages. There are versions in Cantonese, Hebrew and Maori. Daniel Rodríguez is Colombian and became famous for having been responsible for creating the Spanish version of the game. He launched his version in the first days of January of this year and at the beginning of February he published on his networks that there are already 800,000 people who play with the words that he himself proposes.
The description of Rodríguez’s Twitter account reads the phrase “I adapted Wordle to Spanish and I will never do something so popular” and the developer is receptive to the comments and suggestions that players approach him on his social networks. There he also shares the performances of the fans, which are graphed with colored grids that symbolize the number of attempts each one had to make to solve the word of the day.
The acquisition by the North American newspaper now poses an uncertain outlook for the “adaptations” of Wordle in the different languages, since the official version is only available in English. Although the new languages made the game’s popularity grow, it will be necessary to see what its new official owner does to spread the Wordle madness around the planet.