Wordle: The five-letter brain-game taking the world by storm

(Graphic by Sarah Unruh | Collegian Media Group)

If you’re active on social media, you’ve probably seen or heard of Wordle. If you’re not one of the millions of active daily users, you might wonder what exactly Wordle even is.

Every day, a new five-letter word is given for the public to guess. Users then have six guesses to come up with the said word.

The game is all online as well. No app or download needs to happen, just search https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/ and the game will show up.

Much like the old board game “Mastermind,” feedback is given after each guess. If the letter you guess is in the correct location of the five-letter word, the letter turns green. If the letter is in the word but in the wrong spot, the letter turns yellow. If the letter is not in the word, then it turns grey.

For example, if the word is TABLE and you guess THEIR, the T would turn green because it’s in the right spot, the E would turn yellow because it’s in the wrong spot and the H, I and R would turn grey because they aren’t in the word.

“I love that it challenges my brain,” Alex Dearnbarger, senior in kinesiology, said.Sometimes I have to write it out and think, ‘Man, how do these even fit together?'”

Wordle has grown in popularity partially because of the “share” feature after someone completes that day’s word. When sharing, a text box for texting/Twitter/etc. pops up with the day’s Wordle number, how many tries it took you and a formation of colored square emojis corresponding to the letters you guessed. In the example above, the first row of guesses would be green, grey, grey, yellow and grey.

Wordle also keeps track of your record, letting you know how many tries it has taken you to figure out past words.

“For me, it’s the competition aspect,” Austin Drake, junior in athletic training and rehabilitative science, said. I like seeing what other people do and seeing if I can beat them. I enjoy word games in general, but this adds a competitiveness to it.”

Released in October of 2021, Wordle has skyrocketed in popularity since the start of the new year. The game’s founder, Josh Wardle, created the game for free but said on Twitter that he recently sold it to The New York Times. The game was sold for a “low seven figures” amount, The Times said.

As of now, The New York Times has said Wordle will “initially remain free to new and existing players.”