You’re a software engineer, your partner loves word games and there’s tons of time to kill because of a pandemic. What are you doing? You design a game yourself, for her. That’s what Josh Wardle from Brooklyn did.
He developed a minimalistic online environment especially for his girlfriend in which a new five-letter word has to be guessed once a day. He called it wordle, a nod to his last name. It had to be a digital love game, just for her alone. But, as it turned out, more people have time to kill. Within two months, more than 300,000 people also played a game of Wordle.
The idea behind the game is simple. The player has six attempts to guess a five-letter word. If the correct letter is in the correct position, the field containing the letter will turn green. If there is a correct letter in the attempt, but it is in the wrong place, the box turns yellow. If it is a letter that does not appear in the searched word, the box will turn gray.
But wait, this sounds familiar. This sounds like lingo.
Although the Netherlands has embraced the television game more than America, it does come from there. The first episode aired there on September 28, 1987. 130 episodes appeared until March 25, 1988. A new season was released in 2002. All told, only 515 episodes were made in the United States. Wordle is therefore compared to mastermind, not with Lingo.
No, then the Netherlands. Since the first broadcast on January 5, 1989, according to the latest figures, 5,490 episodes have aired on four different broadcasters.
Although Lingo is now played with six letters, unlike Wordle, it was originally also a five-letter game. But the big difference between Wordle and Lingo is not so much the number of letters, but especially the first letter. With Lingo, this is already fixed. At Wordle, nothing is fixed and that makes it exciting. In return, Wordle does give the player an extra turn.
Unlike Lingo, there is plenty of time to think about an answer
And so you can start with SPACE and end with SIEGE, start with LOVER and end with TIGER and – side by side – start with POWER and still gamble BANAL well in the last turn. Fortunately, unlike Lingo, there is plenty of time to think about an answer. Splendid!, appears on the screen when the word is guessed.
As a player you will have to deal with that. There is no prize, just the knowledge that you won today and get to try again tomorrow with a new word. And that for at least 2,500 days – that’s how many words Wardle’s girlfriend was allowed to select from the range of 12,000 five-letter English words. Wordle is a daily love game with years to go.
It was inevitable that it would come to the Netherlands, especially when Alexander Klöpping tweeted that someone had to “do this VERY quickly in Dutch”. Computer science student Jelle Besseling read it and built a variant in his own language in one day: Woordle. Nice of course, but with much less love.
#Splendid #screen #calls
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