Let’s Talk About Wordle

It’s the game that took the world by storm, only to have its inevitable purchase cause everyone to get up in arms about all of the changes they perceive to have happened since that date.


If you haven’t played Wordle, it’s a simple little word puzzle game, similar to Code Breaker or Mastermind, where you have to figure out a five-letter word, with some special tools to help you along the way. It’s fun, it’s simple, and it’s only one word per day, so it’s perfect for those of us who don’t want to get stuck playing a game on our phones for hours on end every day.

I was first introduced to this game through the same rather cryptic way most people are introduced to it, with a weird series of different-colored blocks being shared on my friends’ social media pages. I figured out quickly that it was a word game, and I surmised it was similar to Code Breaker (an old favorite of mine), but it took me a few weeks before dipping my toe in. And now, mostly because of those people who like to post clues (read: spoilers) on their social media pages, it ends up being one of the first things I do in the morning.

And I’ll admit, I’m nearing the end of my caring for this game (although a math-equation version called Nerdle has been a lot of fun for the past week), I’ve been really troubled by how many people are blaming their disinterest on the game being purchased by the Times. Like, first of all, kudos to Mr. Wardle (the creator) for managing to get the Times to pay him over 10 million dollars for this little game. Secondly, the only reason I’ve seen for people to complain that they don’t like the game any longer is because the words have gotten harder. Isn’t that kind of the point of these types of games, where you have to try harder and harder as you get better at them? If anything, the one thing that has kept me going is that it has become more of a puzzle game than just a lets-see-how-fast-I-can-guess-this-easy-word game. It’s a struggle for me to try to figure out what words I can make with the few letters I have left, hoping I don’t crap out by the 6th guess. And I like that struggle.

But, the real issue here is the same issue with all trends…we’ve just gotten tired of it. While it was fun at first, it can’t offer much more than it already does in terms of gameplay. And once you feel as though you’ve mostly mastered the gameplay, you’re left with hoping that you can guess things faster. And once that loses its interest, or the words get harder, you just start getting annoyed that you can’t brag as hard to your friends about how well you’re doing.

Which means, the real issue here is that you’re just blaming the Times for something the Times is actually the reason you’re aware of. That’s right, this game had nearly zero players before the Times ran a piece on it. You know about it because of the Times. So, although I’m not feeling like I really need to defend this paper that I can’t read because of paywalls, I do think that you people need to stop whining.

Because the reality is, Wordle is just another fun fad that we’re already tired of. Like the Backstreet Boys. And the only thing we can blame it on is the fact that neither of these options had much more to offer past their starting point.

Now Nerdle on the other hand…


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