Puzzling Popularity: Wordle becoming one of the fastest growing websites on the internet

For the last few months, a new type of game has come into the spotlight, continually dominating the Twitter trending page. Wordle is a free-online anagram puzzle that is being advertised by the New York Times and has a very simple premise with the player having to try and guess a 5-letter word in six or less attempts. However, after every wrong guess, the user is able to get a clue when the color of the letter is revealed. If the square is gray, it means the letter is not in the word; if it’s yellow it means the letter is in the word but in a different spot; and if it’s green it means the letter is in the word and in the correct spot. Everyday the website uploads a new brainteaser and junior Kanika Radadiya participates every time. 

I think that it is a good game because it is really challenging at times and it can make you think outside of the box,” Radadiya said. It’s the perfect mixture of fun and frustration”.

Even though Wordle is played by 300,000 people on the New York Times website, it was not always owned by them. It was first released on an ad free website in October 2021 and had 90 users by November 2021, one of them being sophomore Addison Bahr.

“I think it is fun, I don’t really love that the New York Times bought it because the quality of the words has kind of gone downhill,” Bahr said. “It’s fun when you win things, but you don’t win as much now.”

Due to the website’s straightforward directions and simple concept, it is easy for anybody to play. The ability to share a person’s score after they have finished has also helped boost the popularity of the game throughout social media.

“[Wordle is] like a Game Pigeon game, almost like it’s not something that requires a lot of thought,” Bahr said. It’s like a 5-minute game, but I think it’s kind of cool how everybody is obsessing over it.”

Along with the millions of people that play Wordle, some have taken an enjoyment to other versions of the game. Some players decided to make different iterations of the website, but have the subjects be unique including a math, music, sports and pop culture genre. 

“I think Wordle is popular because it appeals to everyone,” Radadiya said. “I have played Heardle, globe Wordle, and the Spanish version of Wordle.”

Even with all the clues and tricks that a player can use to help them win the puzzle, some players are still not satisfied and have turned to cheating. Some people will put the information from the game into another website, Word Finder, which spits out the words that will work for the given options. 

“I think people just like to win,” Bahr said. “They just want to win and keep their streak going.”

Despite the number of people who started cheating, there are still many who find enjoyment in the difficult anagram. With the easy accessibility and engaging design, Wordle will continue to be a trend for a long time. 

“I think Wordle is popular because it appeals to everyone,” Radadiya said. “I feel like this obsession is different in the sense that I think it might last longer because of the game that Wordle is.”