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The Decline of Wordle

Article by Alison Isko

Josh Wardle created Wordle for his wife. After realizing other people might enjoy it as much as her, he released it to the public. It became a rapid success.

Wordle was a gesture of love, and it was meant to stay that way. Each step of the way, his love for others––or others’ love of the game––was the driving force. But when it was acquired by The New York Times, everything changed.

Certain explicit words were banned, and the remaining words are theorized to be more difficult than in Wardle’s version. The Wordle archive, a backlog of previous puzzles, was shut down as well. Wordle aficionados stopped posting their results to Twitter, likely indicating a drop in the game’s daily plays.

The reason for this is simple. Wordle transformed into a way to bring in revenue. The New York Times bought it in order to expand their gaming division, and are therefore not willing to just let it be.

Other theories are, of course, that people are growing tired of it. After months of gameplay, Worlde feels formulaic and too easy, challenging the theory that its words are now more difficult.

For anyone disenchanted with Wordle and looking for a replacement, look no further. Here are some comparable games that you can play to test the breadth of your knowledge.

  1. Heardle: Hear a song, guess the song, repeat. Heardle is Wordle for music buffs.

  2. Quordle, Octordle, and Sedecordle: These games give you four, eight, and sixteen Wordle boards at once, respectively. Play the daily challenge or any number of randomly-generated puzzles in order to get the difficulty you crave.

  3. Worldle: Are you good at geography? Do you want to get better? Get Worldle. It shows you a country’s outline, asks for a guess, and tells you your distance from the right location.

  4. Sweardle: Wordle for swear words.

  5. Crosswordle: If crossword puzzles weren’t hard enough, Crosswordle makes them harder. Play the daily challenge, an unlimited puzzle, or build your own.

  6. Antiwordle: This one’s my personal favorite––Antiwordle requires you to play Wordle as badly as possible. The goal is to use as many guesses as possible before arriving at the correct word.

There are dozens of other options on the internet if none of these strike your fancy. Or you can continue playing Wordle, if that’s your preferred puzzle. Just because it’s losing plays doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere.


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