Obsessed with Wordle? Here are 10 similar games to play
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A few weeks ago, several of my friends started posting strange tweets that featured a grid of randomly colored blocks. Across the top of the tweet, it always said “Wordle” followed by several numbers. Eventually, curiosity got the best of me, and that’s how I discovered Wordle —the daily word puzzle that’s skyrocketed into popularity over the last few months.
If you’re not familiar with it, the concept is simple: You get six chances to guess the day’s five-letter word. After every guess, each letter you input is highlighted in a certain color. Gray means the letter isn’t in the puzzle word, yellow means the color is in the word but not in that spot and green means you put the right letter in the right spot. There’s a new puzzle available every day, and while the idea is basic, the game is strangely addicting.
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The only real downside of Wordle is that you can only play once per day, so if you’re craving more brain-busting word puzzles, here are 10 similar word games that will hold you over until tomorrow, including IRL games like Boggle and Bananagrams .
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If you thought to yourself, “Hm, Byrdle sounds just like Wordle,” that’s because it’s the exact same game. Yup, this self-proclaimed parody works exactly the same way as the original, giving you six attempts to guess the five-letter word of the day.
There are several other Wordle knock-offs, as well. For instance, there’s also Hello Wordl, which has the same concept but lets you choose how many letters the word has, ranging from four to 11. Additionally, you can play Hello Wordl as much as you want—there’s no daily limit.
If you enjoy Scrabble but wish it was a little bit faster, Bananagrams is the perfect alternative. In this award-winning game, each person races to create their own word grid using all their tiles. Once someone uses all their letters, they shout out “Peel!” and everyone is forced to take a new tile. The game continues like this until there are no tiles left, and the person who uses all their letters successfully is the winner. Bananagrams can be played with one to eight players, and it’s incredibly entertaining for all ages.
As you become an anagram expert, be sure to try your hand Typeshift, a free word puzzle app. The concept is fairly unique: There are several columns of letters that you can shift up and down to create words in the central row. The goal is to use every letter in every column at least once, and there’s one puzzle available each day. Plus, the puzzles get progressively harder throughout the week.
This one is a major throwback from my childhood—my brother and I used to play Boggle at our grandparent’s house. It’s a classic word search game that you can play alone or with a group. Basically, there are 16 letter cubes inside the base, and after shaking it up, you have 90 seconds to create as many words as you can using face-up letters on the grid. At the end of the round, you tally up your scores, but watch out—if two or more players find the same word, that word doesn't count.
There are a few variations of Boggle available, as well, including Big Boggle and Super Big Boggle, both of which feature more letter cubes.
There are plenty of apps that offer word games to play on your phone, and Wordscapes is a popular one. It’s essentially a hybrid between a crossword puzzle and an anagram—you get a number of random letters, and you have to create words to fill in the crossword puzzle spaces. Wordscapes is free to play, and there are more than 6,000 puzzles to work through, so it’s sure to keep you busy for a while.
6. Play Four
Play Four is like a mini crossword puzzle that you complete in a four-by-four grid. There are eight different words you have to guess—four horizontal and four vertical—and you’re given a clue for each word. You’re scored on how many moves and how much time it takes you to finish the puzzle, and there are both regular and expert modes (the former highlights wrong letters on your grid). Similar to Wordle, there’s only one Play Four puzzle available per day.
Dabble is a fun spelling game that you can play with the whole family—it supports two to four players ages 8 and up. Each player gets 20 tiles, and it’s a race to create five words using your letters. However, you have to make one two-letter word, one three-letter word, one four-letter word, one five-letter word and one six-letter word. If no one uses up all their letters in five minutes, players are allowed to swap tiles for new ones, and scoring works similarly to Scrabble, with each letter earning certain points.
8. Kitty Letter
Kitty Letter, which comes from the creators of the popular card game Exploding Kittens, provides a competitive twist on a classic anagram game. In the free app, you go head to head with another player, trying to create words using your letters. Each word you make unleashes an army of cats to battle your opponent—bigger words give you more cats—and the first person to destroy the opposing player’s house wins.
9. Word Spin
You can keep your family busy on the go with Word Spin, a classic game that’s over 25 years old. It comes with eight magnetic wheels, each of which has 10 letters on it, and the goal is to spin, switch and re-arrange your wheels to create words—the longer and more complex, the better! It can be played by one or two people, and it’s compact enough to play on a car bus, or plane.
10. The New York Times Spelling Bee
Spelling Bee is another word game that you can play right in your web browser. Each puzzle contains seven letters arranged in a honeycomb shape, and you have to make words using them. It’s not that simple, though—each word has to have at least four letters and must include the center letter, which is highlighted in yellow. You can use letters more than once, and you get points for each word you find, earning you a rank somewhere between “beginner” and “genius.”
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