Wordle has rightfully taken the world by storm. Its origin story is now the stuff of internet legend. More than a month in, the obsession with Wordle, which many people predicted would be a flash-in-the-pan, is still going strong — witness the number of people sharing their Wordle grid every day on social media.
If you love the format but finish your daily puzzle too soon and are looking for Wordle-like games you can play throughout the day, there are several clever spin-offs out there, riding on the OG Wordle’s popularity and presenting newer challenges in extremely creative ways. And now that The New York Times has announced that it has bought Wordle from its creator Josh Wardle, there's every chance the game will go behind a paywall.
Here are several alternatives for you to consider:
It has been called ‘Wordle’s evil twin’ and with good reason. While in Wordle, you have to guess one, predetermined five-letter world, in Absurdle the final word is not fixed and you get an unlimited number of tries instead of the original game’s six. In Absurdle, as you play, the final word changes — and it could be any of the 2,315 words in the game’s database of possible words. All that happens with each step is that you narrow your options as the game deletes the words that contain any of the letters in your guess, narrowing the field slightly.
It’s tricky, it’s addictive, and it’s tough, so if Wordle is too easy for you, give Absurdle a spin. Consider yourself a master if you manage to get the final word within the six guesses that Wordle allows.
This one is for all the maths lovers out there. Primel is almost exactly like Wordle — except that instead of a five-letter word, you have to guess a five-figure prime number. Created by Full Stack Developer Hannah Park, Primel draws from the pool of finite number of five-letter primes, and is quite challenging even for the kind of people who can rattle off prime numbers in their sleep.
3. Hello Wordl and Word Master
One of the reasons Wordle has become so staggeringly popular is that it only releases one word per day — and it’s the same word! — so that all across the world, people are trying to crack it, creating a moment of shared virality every single day. So that’s great — but if you are addicted to word games and want to stretch those mental muscles a bit more than Wordle allows, there are exactly similar games that allow you to play any number of times. One of these is Hello Wordl, and the other is Word Master.
4. Wordle in other languages
Did you know that there is a Wordle version in several other languages? Not only are there French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Swedish Wordles, a bunch of Chennai-based developers have also created a Tamil Wordle. Here’s what author Meena Kandasamy had to say about it:
Thing I so love about Tamil Wordle/ தமிழாடல், is how very often five-letter words hold such a world of meaning. I love English (she holds me close & she feeds me), but it’s only in my Tamil I find that takes only five letters to say மனசாட்சி (conscience) & குடியாட்சி (democracy)— Dr Meena Kandasamy (is on hiatus) (@meenakandasamy) January 30, 2022
There is also Kannada Wordle called Wordalla, developed by Bengaluru-based software developers Amogha Udupa and Lalith Kumar.
Dordle is nothing but two Wordle games played side by side USING THE SAME KEYBOARD. Yeah, it’s evil. You have to figure out both words by inputting the same five-letter word on both sides of the game, and as you can see, the one on the left was easy enough but I haven’t yet managed to crack the one on the right (hints welcome). Dordle has been created by indie games developer Guilherme Tows, who works under the name Zaratustra Productions.
That's right – Eldrow is Wordle spelt backwards, and that's the basis of the game as well. Developed by Indian software engineer J Krishnamurthi, Eldrow prompts the player to guess the previous word from the final answer. It has two words per puzzle, where one word is the clue and the other is the answer, and you get the right answer by working backwards from the clue. Eldrow releases five games per day, and has become quite popular over the past week, with over 3000 players on average every day.
The developers describe it as ‘Sudoku meets Wordle’. Unlike Wordle, where you have unlimited time to finish the puzzle, Crosswordle is timed and is effectively reverse Wordle on hard mode. “We give you the final word and colored tiles, you try to fill in the grid with the guesses!” say the developers. Like Eldrow, it is about going in the opposite direction from Wordle – but it's even more evil because it's timed.
Honourable (though NSFW) mention:
Sweardle, a four-letter variant of Wordle that is made up entirely of rude words.
Also read: Wordle and the transformative power of word games
The story was updated with several new games submitted by readers and developers who brought them to our attention on Twitter.