“I Jump On The Bandwagon”

I am rather hit and miss with fads. I bought a hula hoop as a kid and demanded a skort, but I never tried swallowing goldfish. In more recent years I have passed on Rubik’s cubes, Candy Crush and the Ice Bucket Challenge. However, in the last week, I have stumbled upon Wordle, the free daily on-line word puzzle.

In November 2021 the game had 90 users. Recently that number passed 3 million and the developer sold his game to The New York Times for a seven figure amount. What could account for such a meteoric rise in players? I had to find out, so I went to try it out for myself.

The game is blessedly simple. In six chances you try to figure out a five letter word. If the letter in your guess is incorrect it, and the corresponding spot on the keyboard, turn gray. If the letter is correct but in the wrong spot it turns yellow. If it is correct and in the right place it turns green. It took me about 10 minutes to learn it, most of the time spent not understanding I needed to press Enter after a guess.

What then is the appeal? Unlike many on-line games this one can’t suck you into an endless mindless playing rut. There is only one word a day. Once you solve it or don’t solve it you have a chance to return to your “regular” life. Solving a simple, free, concrete challenge is satisfying. Getting better as you remember which letters commonly combine takes you happily back to elementary school with its diphthongs and digraphs. (Don’t worry; they come pouring back.)

Free, fun and fast. What is not to like?

38 thoughts on ““I Jump On The Bandwagon”

  1. I’m really glad to know you never swallowed any goldfish! 😄 As far as the new game goes, I see everyone on Facebook posting their ‘wordles’ but have so far resisted jumping on the bandwagon. But it still could happen!

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  2. I’ve seen everyone talking about it and wanted to give it a try. I especially like learning that there is only one puzzle per day. Like you, I never got on board with Candy Crush, but I could see its addictive nature watching work colleagues do that during lunchtime instead of interacting with others. I found that sad.

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  3. I agree with you about all the good points of this little game. We have a family wordle group going and enjoy a few messages of congratulations or commiserations between ourselves. I doubt that it will remain free for long sadly and that will be a great shame. We have also just discovered nerdle – an equivalent but with numbers. A daily ‘sum’ to solve. I find it much harder but then numbers are not my forte!

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      1. That sounds on a par with the Times crossword over here. I’ve never tried it but suspect it’s out of my league. the rag I (occasionally) take and the free papers I pick up are challenging enough for me.

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