I love word games. For months I kept hearing about Wordle, a new word game. People loved it. Finally, I decided to check out the fascination for myself.
It seems simple. In reality, it requires some serious thought and provides a real challenge some days. In essence, you have six tries to figure out a 5-letter word. Once you type in the first word, the letters change colors to indicate if you got a right letter in the right place (green), a right letter in the wrong place (yellow), or a wrong letter (gray).
I always like to start off with a word that has a lot of common letters, such as “steam” or “hears” or “fling” etc. Then the fun starts. If you get a right letter, wrong place (yellow) the challenge is to come up with another 5-letter word that uses this same letter in a different position. However, you don’t want to repeat any of the eliminated letters. If you get a right letter, right place (green), the challenge is to come up with another 5-letter word that keeps that letter in the same position. And of course if you get a combination of yellow and green, that can make the next guess easier or harder. It all depends on what the
Recently, I discovered a letter could appear more than once in a word (e.g., “dodge” or “cynic”). This made it both more challenging, and also easier, by expanding options. The game doesn’t indicate if a letter appears more than once, even it turns yellow or green. You have to figure it out as part of the whole word.
I confess, I’ve added Wordle to my daily repertoire of word games. I love it! However, what strikes me most about the game is it can only exist electronically. Wordle would not work across mediums the way a crossword puzzle or sudoku can. The game depends on the player getting feedback about whether or not a letter is good or not. This couldn’t work on paper. The colors of the letters also show up on the keyboard so you know what’s available, what’s eliminated, and what’s right.
Today’s game almost stumped me. It took me all six guesses to figure it out, even as I got closer with each round. Usually I figure out the word in 3-4 tries.