At this point, Wordle needs no introduction, after taking the internet by storm and then getting picked up for a seven-figure sum by the New York Times. We’re big fans of Wordle, a game that’s both super-simple and super-addictive, but there’s a big world of puzzlers out there that go beyond the familiar 5×6 grid of letters.
Here, we’ll introduce you to some of our favorite alternatives, covering everything from math to geography. Chances are you’re going to find something of interest in this list, whether you just want to take a break from Wordle or you never want to play the original game ever again.
SLIDE #11) Redactle
Redactle is something a little bit different to the norm, and we like the spin it’s put on the basic Wordle idea. The challenge here is to guess the words that have been redacted out of a random Wikipedia article. It’s very tough to get started, because you don’t have much at all to go on, but it gets easier as you fill in more words and can see what the article’s about.
SLIDE #22. Quordle
If you’ve found Wordle a little too easy, give Quordle a go. It follows the same idea as Wordle, and it’s still based around five-letter words, but this time there are four of them to work through, in a total of nine guesses—and that adds plenty of extra complexity, because you’re trying to keep track of four different Wordles at the same time.
SLIDE #33. Nerdle
Swap words for sums with Nerdle, which has you guess calculations in a Wordle-like fashion—and there’s always going to be an equals sign in there somewhere. As with Wordle, you’ll get hints about how close you are to the solution with each guess, although the coloring is slightly different. It’s a fun way of testing out, or relearning, your arithmetic abilities.
SLIDE #44. Squardle
We wouldn’t recommend Squardle for the faint of heart. There are a lot of instructions to digest, and there’s a big board to work with, and you get a whole host of clues to think through as you start guessing letters to build up words. Rather than just the yellow and green tiles you get with Wordle, you’ve got red, orange, and black indicators to think about as well.
SLIDE #55. Semantle
We’d only recommend Semantle for those who really want a serious challenge from their Wordle-esque puzzles. The idea is that you’re trying to guess a word based on how semantically similar it is to previous guesses, and it definitely takes some getting used to. You also need to be able to think a bit more laterally to get connections between words.
SLIDE #66. Heardle
Heardle tasks you with guessing a song from its introduction: You get just a single second to begin with (well done if you get the song right away), and up to 16 seconds maximum. You can also skip a guess if you just want more time, though this counts as one of the six attempts available to name the track, which is taken from a database of popular songs.
SLIDE #77. Absurdle
Absurdle drags out the Wordle experience for a longer period of time. The basics are the same in terms of the color coding, but every time you guess wrong, the solution to the puzzle changes—and you have an unlimited number of tries to guess right. It works better when you’re actually playing it than it might seem from that description.
SLIDE #88. Squabble
How about Wordle with a multiplayer, battle royale element added to it? That’s what you get with Squabble, which gives you two different versions to choose from and pushes you to guess your words under the pressures of both the clock and your Squabble opponents. Something to try if you’ve been finding the Wordle experience a bit too slow and solitary.
SLIDE #99. Waffle
Waffle is one of the more popular and more fun Wordle alternatives out there. Its name comes from the gameplay grid, and you need to rearrange the letters you’re given within 15 moves to form six words: three reading horizontally and three reading vertically. Apparently, every Waffle puzzle can be solved in 10 moves if you’re smart enough.
SLIDE #1010. Antiwordle
The equal and opposite force to Wordle is the fiendish Antiwordle, in which the aim of the game is to lose rather than win—and actually that’s harder to do than it sounds. If you guess a letter than isn’t included in the word, then you’re not allowed to use it in future guesses, and that means that your options for combinations get narrowed down quickly.
SLIDE #1111. Worldle
The extra L makes all the difference here: Wordle becomes Worldle, and you have to try and guess the country or territory from its outline. Rather than telling you which letters you’ve got right on each guess, the feedback you get is how far away the correct answer is geographically from what you’ve put, so it’s great if you think you know your countries.
SLIDE #1212. Crosswordle
Crosswordle is Wordle meets Sudoku, and it reverses the normal process: What you get to begin with is a Wordle that’s already been solved, and you need to then figure out the guesses that led up to it, based on the colors of the tiles on screen. It’s a game that can give you a fresh perspective on Wordle and maybe even make you better at the original.