If you’ve been on Twitter recently, you may have noticed people posting a bunch of differently coloured squares. No, this is not a psy-op you are being unfairly excluded from, rather it’s the Twitter manifestation of Wordle, a daily word-guessing game that is currently picking up steam in the world of Online.
The premise is tremendously simple, you have six attempts to guess a word — and each attempt will tell you what you got right and what you got wrong. Correct letters with the right placement turn green, correct letters with incorrect placements turn yellow, and total misses remain the game’s basic grey. After six failed attempts, the game will tell you the word. If you successfully guess the word, you can brag about it on Twitter — where you probably heard about it in the first place.
Wordle is doing two things very correctly. It is simple to play and exceptionally easy to promote on Twitter dot com. This promotion manages to ride the exceptionally thin line between efficacy and constant irritation, which it manages to do through its daily puzzle release cadence. By offering a single puzzle a day, Wordle prevents dedicated players from totally plastering your feed with Wordle results. It also prevents player burnout, keeping them from bingeing too many puzzles in a day.
However, those aforementioned Twitter posts are exceptionally vague, which means the game can take a while to find. I, for one, assumed it was a phone game and was disappointed when I couldn’t find it on the Play Store. It was only once my colleagues began posting about it in Slack that I realised it was actually a browser game.
As a word lover, which you can tell on account of the job, I am extremely happy to see a word game taking over Twitter in the same way that Threes did years ago and Blaseball has in more recent memory.
While I’m a bit sceptical of the game’s longevity, especially in the notoriously quick public consciousness of video games Twitter, it’ll be fun to watch your friends fail to guess words while it lasts.