Wordle: The online word game that has gone viral

4 Jan 2022

Image: © pixarno/Stock.adobe.com

The online game has grown to hundreds of thousands of players since its release in October 2021, with many sharing their results on social media.

A new online word game has become a big success, with hundreds of thousands of people testing their word skills once a day.

Wordle was created by New York-based software engineer Josh Wardle for his partner, Palak Shah, who loves word games.

As they played together, they shared it with relatives and eventually released it to the world in October after receiving positive feedback, Wardle told The New York Times.

“I think people kind of appreciate that there’s this thing online that’s just fun,” he said. “It’s not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs. It’s just a game that’s fun.”

The online game had 90 people playing it on 1 November 2021. It has grown significantly since then, with more than 300,000 players on Sunday (2 January).

How it works

The game involves trying to guess a five-letter word each day, with six attempts available. Each time you make a guess, it will show if the letter you used was correct and in the right space, correct but in the wrong space, or not in the word at all.

Wordle uses a colour system to help players understand this mechanic, with letters turning green if they’re in the right space or yellow if they’re in the wrong space.

There is only one word available each day and the word is the same for every player, making it possible to compare your results with others. There is also a hard mode for players who want an extra challenge, forcing them to use the letter hints given by the game in subsequent guesses and restricting what they can guess next.

While Wordle has been around for some time, it recently created the option to share results online. This has led to thousands sharing their successes and failures on social media sites like Twitter.

While many are enjoying sharing their results online, some people seem to be taking issue with the sudden viral craze.

One person on Twitter said: “Twitter is divided into three parts: people playing Wordle, people asking what Wordle is [and] people who have Wordle muted.”

The game does not require users to download an app and it can be played online.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic