2022 has barely begun but viral web game Wordle already feels like it could be the word of the year.
But what is Wordle, where can you find the game and how do you play it?
What is Wordle?
Wordle is an online word game created (and named after) developer Josh Wardle.
The game has grown massively in popularity since its release in October 2021 due to its addictive quality. Despite this, Wordle only releases one word game a day, meaning players need to come back the next day if they want to play again.
How do you play Wordle?
The aim of Wordle is to guess a 5 letter word in 6 or tries or fewer. If you’ve seen the ITV gameshow Lingo, it’s essentially the same concept without the time constraints (or the cash prize).
If you guess a letter correctly and it’s in the right spot in the word, it’ll light up green. If you guess a letter but it’s in a different spot in the word, it’ll go yellow. If you guess a letter and it has no place in the word, it’ll turn grey.
All of these colours will also show up on the keyboard, so you can easily keep tabs on which letters you have and haven’t tried as you make your next guess.
Once you correctly identify the word, you’ll get a pop up with your statistics, including how many guesses it took you, what percentage of games you’ve won and, most importantly, your Wordle streak.
You’ll also see a countdown to the next Wordle game, which becomes available at midnight here in the UK.
There’s also a dark mode and a colour blind mode with high contrast colours in the settings tab, along with a hard mode that forces you to lose revealed hints in every subsequent guess – just in case the game begins to feel too easy for you.
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Where can I find Wordle?
One of the reasons Wordle has garnered so much attention recently has been because of all the drama surrounding clones of the game.
Wordle is a relatively unique mobile game in 2022 in that there is no official app and the game isn’t plagued with ads and in-app purchases. If you want to play Wordle, you’ll need to load up the game in your browser at powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle.
“There are also no ads and I am not doing anything with your data”, the game’s creator Josh Wardle told BBC Radio 4 in a recent interview.
Of course, this has left plenty of room for opportunistic app developers to take advantage of the game’s popularity to try to monetize it, with one guy in particular attempting to dupe players using the same name and a near-identical UI and bragging about it on Twitter.
He (sort of) apologised and the app has since been taken down, but that doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of copycat Wordle and Wordle-like games in app stores right now.
What’s with all the square emojis on social media?
One feature that helped catapult Wordle into popularity was its Share button.
You may have seen the cryptic patterns of square emojis all over Twitter and Facebook over the past month. If you’ve played the game, you’ll probably realise that these square emojis represent the letters, with the yellow and green squares signalling where players made correct guesses.
The emojis allow players to share their Wordle results with their friends and followers and brag about how fast they found the word without worrying about giving that day’s answer away.
To generate your Wordle results, just hit the Share button on the statistics page to copy the squares to your clipboard. You can then paste the results on to social media.