Nine Wordle-Inspired Games To Check Out
The game of telephone is an elementary school staple: One person whispers a chosen phrase or sentence to the next person, that person passes down what they think was said to the next, and so on. Usually at the end, you end up with something completely different and unexpected from the original.
Wordle spin-offs are a little bit like an intentional game of telephone: Each creator adds their twist, another creator gets inspired by that twist, and so on. It's similar to a metagame of creating games--like playing telephone but with gameplay mechanics and concepts instead of phrases.
That's what makes Wordle spin-offs so charming. The way they have popped up online one after another feels almost like an intimate game with friends. Many of the Wordle spin-offs, like Heardle, started out as just that--people making Wordle mods for friends.
Here are nine of those games worth checking out.
Made by dev qtnm, Absurdle is an "adversarial" version of Wordle where you pit your wits against the program. In Wordle, the secret word is already chosen at the beginning. In Absurdle, the program chooses the secret word based on your guesses and tries to evade them.
After every five-letter word you input, the program prunes its stored list of words into "buckets" of possible responses. Absurdle usually chooses the largest bucket, and your goal is to corner Absurdle so that only one word fits the conditions. There are unlimited guesses, since it would be pretty hard to corner Absurdle within the traditional six tries. Qntm posted a detailed explanation about how Absurdle works if you're interested in knowing more.
Qntm previously made another adversarial game, called Hatetris. It's a spin on Tetris where the program chooses the next worst piece possible for you to fit with the other blocks. So if you like tussling with programs, go check it out.
The music version of Wordle, Heardle asks players to guess the song of the day. The first couple seconds are played and you have a total chance of six "skips" (chances to hear more of the song) before you lose the game. According to the About page, Heardle was initially made for a small group of friends before it went viral.
In an interview with Variety, the mysterious creator behind Heardle--who wants to remain anonymous--commented on the curation process. "Initially it was at random from, say, lists of the most streamed songs of the moment or the era," he said. "So, now it's more curated, and I'm picking more from popular songs and curating a bit to choose those songs with interesting and iconic intros. Plus, some of my friends from that chat group advise me on the effectiveness of each track."
I play a lot of FFXIV, so I love this Heardle spin-off. FFXIV has an amazing soundtrack, and Nald'thal's theme in the newest Alliance Raid, The Balance, is an unbelievable bop. From Titania's "fa-la-la" to the more rock-inspired Shadowbringers main theme, songs in FFXIV Heardle are easier to guess than the normal Heardle version. That's mainly because there are fewer songs overall (around 50, according to this Fanbyte interview with the creator, Peach), but also because I have PTSD from hearing Titania's "What Angel Wakes Me." You bet I recognize that song as soon as it starts. Miss Titania's DPS check is the stuff that wipes unprepared parties in duty roulette. I suspect many players have similar instantaneous reactions to different FFXIV soundtracks.
A fun one for movie buffs, Framed asks players to guess a movie from a still. Players have six chances to guess the title of the movie, and the game will give another still from the movie for every wrong guess. Like Heardle, there's a search bar where you can type the beginning of an answer and all the possible, relevant movie titles in the program's database will pop up. This helps a lot with the guessing process. Each additional image hint becomes more obvious and the creator draws stills from Shot Deck.
For the Pokemon players out there, Squirdle by Sergio Morales E. asks you to guess the Pokemon of the day according to five traits: Generation, Type 1, Type 2, Height, and Weight. For every guess, five icons indicate which of the traits you got wrong or right, and it even goes so far as to show if you guessed a value too high or low. Squirdle also allows modification of what generations you want to guess from, as there have been a lot of Pokemon released over the years. Another Wordle spin-off that relies on traits and is similar to Squirdle is called Poeltl. Instead of Pokemon, Poeltl tests your knowledge of NBA players. For every guess, the program returns whether the team, conference, division, position, height, and number is accurate.
Are you a Shakespeare aficionado? Do you quote Hamlet to your friends? Then Bardle is the game for you. All words in this Wordle spin-off come from Shakespeare's oeuvre, like character names and quotes. It's a very word game enthusiast's word game, since Bardle is like a crash course of words Shakespeare added to the English language.
A visual spin on Wordle, Unlockle asks you to guess the pattern connecting five dots. Each guess is a path you draw in between five dots. The game will then indicate to you if the dot is at all in the correct pattern (gray), in the pattern but in the wrong order (yellow), or exactly in the right place (green). It's made by Regis Gaughan, III.
What's better than one Wordle? Four Wordles, according to Quordle. An extra-challenging version of the original, Quordle asks you to guess all four words in nine total guesses. Created by Freddie Meyer, Quordle is one of the many Wordle spin-offs that increase in number of guessed words: There's Dordle (two words), Trordle (three words), Hexordle (five words), Sedecordle (six words), and Duotrigordle (12 words).
Made by Gary Whitta, Lewdle is the NSFW version of Wordle. It features words not for polite company. Again, you have six chances to get the chosen word right. It's surprisingly difficult. Rare is the moment where you need to recall all the lewd words you've used in your life, and Lewdle demands the full command of your NSFW dictionary. According to an Insider interview, it also demands that you know your UK slang--the country where Whitta grew up.