Wordle: Internet's New Obsession Got Clones And Taste Of Desi Politics

In November last year, the word puzzle had just 90 users. Two months later, around 300,000 are hooked to Wordle.

If you are on Twitter, there's very little chance you haven't stumbled upon the newest craze — Wordle. The yellow and green boxes have taken over our Twitter timelines. The game is simple: One has to guess a five-letter word in six attempts. The change in the colour of the tiles tells you if you have picked the correct alphabet. Gray denotes wrong, yellow means you are right but the word is in the wrong place and green means correct.

Some crack the code within minutes, others toil hard. Nonetheless, it is the new Internet rage.

The game's USP is in the fact that one can play it only once a day.

When there's a trend, there will be controversy. As the game caught on, more developers started building their own version of Wordle and listing them on App stores.

So, here's a little on what you need to know about Wordle, internet's game right now.

Who Developed Wordle?

Josh Wardle of New York realised his partner Palak Shah's love for word games and came up with Wordle. Shah too helped Wardle develop the game, which can be played only on the website and has no app version. On November 1, 90 users played Wordle. Within two months, the game has been played by 300,000 people. Users post on Twitter the number of attempts it took them to crack a game. "Making Wordle I specifically rejected a bunch of the things you're supposed to do for a mobile game," Wardle was quoted as saying by the NPR.

The Love Story Of 'Wordle'

Wordle started as a word-guessing game between Wardle and his partner. From there, it grew to be a favourite in their family among whom Wardle had shared the game on WhatsApp group. In October, Wardle made his word game public.

Wardle, a former software engineer with Reddit, has done his share of experimenting. In 2013, he developed a similar prototype like the Wordle. But people around him seemed unimpressed. Years later, he reinitiated the project for his partner who is fond of word games. During the first year of pandemic, the couple "got really into the New York Times Spelling Bee and the daily crossword, NYT reported.

"I wanted to come up with a game that she would enjoy," Wardle said while speaking to The New York Times. Hence came forth the idea of Wordle that would help them sail through long days of pandemic and lockdown.

How To Play Wordle?

Wordle has 'word of the day' which is same for everyone. The word has five letters and with each attempt, the tiles change colour to tell you if you are right or not. Grey tile means wrong letter, yellow means right but wrongly placed and green is the sign for correct guess. There are no ads flashing on the screen, free-to-use game on rather simple website. Additionally, to play the game no emails or personal information needs to be shared, making it safe.

Indians' Obsession Over Wordle

In India, the 'Wordle' craze arrived a bit late. According to Twitter, 96% of Wordle conversations in India started happening only in January 2022. With this,there has been 48% growth in daily average of Wordle conversations among Indians on Twitter. And someone has also come up with a Tamil version of the game.

But that is not all. The word game has also grabbed the attention of politicians in India and it looks like a new tool to take digs at political opponents.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a swipe at the Centre using Wordle puzzle. He shared an image of the puzzle, a made-up one, which had words like 'Jumla', 'Jhola' and 'Snoop'.

Enter: Wordle Clones

As the popularity of the game gains currency, clones of the game started coming up on Apple Store and Google Play Store in the form of other gaming apps. It is to be noted Wordle has no app version.

One such revelation was made on Twitter where a user by the name claimed that he had developed a Wordle App for mobile phones. New York-baed entrepreneur Zach Shakked took to Twitter to announce the app that he had developed and how he had monetised it. The Guardian reported that users were offered a free trial and a US$30 annual subscription for a premium-tier version.

"I love Wordle so much i decided to make my Wordle app but with a twist! There's not just 5-letter words, but also 4, 6 and 7 letter words too. You can also play unlimited times if you are on the pro version," Twitter user Shakked wrote in tweet, which he deleted later. He came under backlash on social media, even though he said that "it was a generic game".

"I realize I crossed a line. And I surely, surely will never do anything remotely close to this again," Shakked wrote in a tweet.

Shakked reminded the outraged Internet users that although he had 'crossed a line', 'Wordle' was not trademarked.

But, many pointed out that this was a "shameless" act. "This guy shamelessly cloned Wordle (name and all) as a F2P iOS game with in-app purchases and is bragging about how well it's doing and how he'll get away with it because Josh Wardle didn't trademark it," Andy Baio, a developer, wrote on Twitter.

Shakked was not the only to come up with a copied version of Wordle.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported Apple has removed several Wordle games from its App Store after users confused them with the popular, only available on web- 'Wordle'. The only remaining app with a similar name on the App Store is called Wordle! — a time-based game created by Steven Cravotta more than five years ago. The report noted that downloads of Cravotta's Wordle! rose nearly to 40,000 in the week of January 1, up 850% from the week before.

Updated On: 2022-01-14T14:05:34+05:30
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