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What is it, and how do you play? : NPR

What is it, and how do you play? : NPR
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In Wordle, you have six guesses to figure out the five-letter word.

James Dubeck / NPR


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James Dubeck / NPR


In Wordle, you have six guesses to figure out the five-letter word.

James Dubeck / NPR

The Simple Word Game is the latest in social media and pop culture: Wordle.

The task is to guess a five letter word. You have six attempts. After each guess, the squares change their colors to show which letters are not in the word (gray), which letters are in the word but are in the wrong position (yellow) and which are correct in the word and in the correct position (green).

Some people can win in a few minutes. For some of us, it takes… much longer.

Once done, you can post the number of guesses on Twitter without spoiling the challenge for others. It’s the same word every day for everyone, and you can only play once a day.

The free game was created by software engineer Josh Wardle of New York City, who originally made Wordle – brave in its name – for his partner, Palak Shah, a fan of word games. Shah also helped with some development.

The app really started to gain traction in October, and as of Monday has more than 2.7 million players, Wardle told NPR’s morning edition. And Wardel did it without ads or tricks. You do not have to register with your email or provide personal information to play.

“Wordle made specifically it rejected a bunch of things you’re supposed to do in a mobile game,” Wardle told NPR. They deliberately not include push notifications, allow users to play endlessly or create other tools commonly used today to lure users into running apps for as long as possible.

Turning down these engagement tricks may have made the game more popular after all—”rejecting some of these things really drew people into the game because it looks so innocent and just wants you to enjoy it,” Wardle said.

However, quick attention can be overwhelming.

“To be honest it doesn’t feel good because it’s spreading fast,” he said. “I feel a sense of responsibility towards the players.” Watchman. “I feel I really owe it to them to keep things running and make sure everything is working properly.”

But Wardle said he particularly enjoyed the stories about how the game helped people stay connected.

They’ll have a family chat group where they share their Wordle results with each other,” Wardle told NPR. “And especially during COVID, it’s a way for people to connect with friends and family that they wouldn’t otherwise see, and it just provides a really easy way to connect with others.”

Strategy: vowels or consonants?

Fan groups have appeared on Facebook now, while many articles and Players present Their own strategic advice.

Using as many vowels as possible on first guess is one tactic – ‘adieu’ introduces four of them. Another way is to try to use as many common consonants with a word like “snort” as possible.

Wardle tells that the game uses common five-letter words as its answers timesAnd he ruled out the possibility of very vague words that no one would guess.

There is also a “hard mode”, where any yellow or green letter must be used for subsequent guesses.

If you guess the word within six attempts, the game gives you the option to share your ingenuity on social media. The numbers in the tweet shown here, as this reporter eventually found out, mean it was game 203 and guessed the correct answer in three out of six attempts:

The game’s simplicity, popularity, and rarity – with only one chance to play a day – have allowed plenty of imitation opportunities to develop their own versions, including the ability to play unlimited games.

Of course, you can also take some time once you’re done and try the NPR puzzle instead.

NPR’s Neil Clark contributed to this report.

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