The Wordle phenomenon isn’t going anywhere yet. One of the best side-effects is the number of clones and spin-offs that are being produced by others inspired by the simplicity of the daily puzzle game. The latest to catch our eye (and there have been many others) is Globle, a geographic interpretation of the form, where you have to guess that day’s chosen nation.
Like so many games made in Wordle’s wake, the UI design is very familiar, but what you actually do in Globle is very different. Presented with the entire globe, your challenge each day is to guess the selected country out of a possible 197. In order to make this vaguely possible, the game employs a sort of, “Warmer! Hotter!” system, by marking the typed-in countries in shades of red where they appear on the globe — the closer you are, the darker the rouge.
While Wordle limits you to six guesses, Globle offers an unlimited number of tries for you to pin down the correct country. The only limit is the level of humiliation with which you can cope, as you catastrophically career off continent in desperation.
The creation of Abe Train, it’s a very neatly put together little game, offering the same satisfaction of being able to copy and paste your spoiler-free results to social media, in order to annoy that one grumpy relative who can’t cope with scrolling. The downside is, you need to have the faintest knowledge of global geography.
I do not. In my idiot brain, if a country isn’t on the Risk board, then it might as well not exist. (Yes, Africa consists only of a total of six nations, while Russia is in fact broken into five distinct countries. Sorry.) This game is borderline impossible for me, because a country is only labelled on the globe when you’ve typed in its name. It’s all very well seeing Nigeria highlighted in dark red, but you’ve got to already know that the Pez-dispenser-shaped nation next door is called Benin, if you want to guess.
I wish I weren’t joking that it took me eighteen — eighteen — guesses to get today’s puzzle correct, and that was while cheating. I had Google Maps open, and even then was completely hopeless. But you, an all-round better person, will likely have a much better time with it.
My hope is that if I play every day, and cheat like hell, I might actually learn some geography at last, and stop conflating Madagascar with Mozambique.
Oh, and the name. Globle is a good name! It’s a neat use of the Wordle meme, in a good homophone. But, look, I’m just saying: Worldle. It was right there.