Wordle, Nerdle, Dordle… What is the Fascination Behind These Puzzles?

By Adam Button

Social media posts with green, yellow and grey boxes started to pop up around late last year. All these posts reflected their scores of that day’s Wordle game. Wordle, what is that? Any curious person that looks into it and gets immediately hooked into the daily word guessing phenomena.

Wordle, is a very simple internet game created by Josh Wardle. First meant to be shared with just his partner, he later made it public in October 2021. The game consists of guessing a five-letter word correctly within the span of six guesses.

With each guess you get closer to the answer when you either get a green box saying you found the right letter in the right spot, a yellow box saying you found a letter in the word, but it is not in the right spot, or finally you get a grey box saying that letter is not in the word at all. Very simple in principle.

One aspect of the game is that you have only those six guesses for that day. The next day will have a different word, and day after will have a different word. The excitement about Wordle is that it takes about five minutes, and you constantly have to come back. You cannot just binge a couple words in a row and then be satisfied for a while.

The limited puzzles per day is the main reason there is a lot of hype and appeal to the game. They are very simple and the bragging rights of posting your low score on social media when you consistently get a the right word.

There is a good video finding the optimal word for Wordle. Which is one that gives the most information in a single word. Link to it is here.

Since the popularity of Wordle, there spawned many different spinoffs of the same concept in different fields. Like math, try Nerdle which requires you to find an equation instead of a word. Like Wordle but want more of a challenge, try Dordle which allows you guess seven times but need to guess two separate words.

Try out today’s Wordle if you haven’t already on this link: https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/index.html

Image Credit: The Verge

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