The game was created by the New York City-based software engineer, for his partner, Palak Shah, who loves word games.
The puzzle consists of Tetris-like blocks made up of yellow, green, and grey squares. The graphic is usually accompanied by two random numbers and the made-up word, “Wordle”.
It is a daily word game, that can be played once a day. The aim of the game is to guess a mystery five-letter word, known as the “wordle” in six tries.
After each guess, the colour of the tiles changes, to reflect how close your guess was to the word.
In a very short period of time, the game has gone viral. Wardle first released Wordle to the public in October 2021, with 90 people playing on 1 November. By, 2 January 2022, the game had more than 300,000 players.
It has become so popular that one Twitter user has now created a version that can be played without limits.
“It going viral doesn’t feel great to be honest,” the puzzle-creator told The Guardian. “I feel a sense of responsibility for the players. I feel I really owe it to them to keep things running and make sure everything’s working correctly.”
Wardle says that he’s happy that his game brought joy to people in a tough time.
“I get emails from people who say things like ‘hey, we can’t see our parents due to Covid at the moment but we share our Wordle results each day’. During this weird situation it’s a way for people to connect in a low effort, low friction way,” he said.
The main question Wardle is dealing with at the moment is whether he should evolve the game further.
“I need to be really thoughtful. It’s not my full-time job and I don’t want it to become a source of stress and anxiety in my life,” he told the outlet. “If I do make any changes, I would like to think they are changes I would have made even if it was just [my partner and I] playing.”
Part of the fun behind Wordle is that every player is guessing the same word each day, which makes the experience of sharing your scores and seeing others’ more fun.
Wardle and Shah told New York Times previously that they have submitted 2,500 words to the game so far, which means there are enough daily rounds to keep everyone going for the next six years at least.
You can read more information about the game here.