Everyone's obsessed with Wordle: here's what you need to know about the phenomenon

Is your Wordle game on point? Chances are you'll have some competition from friends and loved ones

wordle game on a cellphone
(Image credit: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

You've likely seen the green boxes on social media, but what is the Wordle game?

The once-a-day challenge quietly launched in October 2021 and suddenly morphed into the talk of the town. If you are not attempting to decode the five-letter puzzle every 24 hours, are you really living in 2022? 

Dare we say, this simple yet satisfying game might be more addicting than our Netflix habit. Let's dive in and uncover all the basics about our new obsession. 

wordle game on phone outside

(Image credit: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Wordle game: what is it and how to play?

Literary lovers and beyond have taken kindly to Wordle's challenges. Each day, gamers are presented with six rows of five horizontal blocks—there are six attempts to guess the daily five-letter word. 

Once users hit submit, the blocks will either turn green, indicating that a letter is in the correct box, yellow, meaning the letter is the correct letter but in the wrong field, or black or grey, meaning that the letter is not in the puzzle. 

The free puzzle is kickin' it old-school. You won't find it on an app (yet), but you can access it on an ad-free website created by Brooklyn-based web engineer, Josh Wardle. 

Though it goes without saying, expect confident Wordle users to post their scores across social media. 

NYT buys Wordle

On January 31, 202, The New York Times announced that it bought Wordle for seven figures. 

Given that the creator himself has grown fond of The Times' famous crossword puzzle, particularly during the pandemic, he says it's a fitting union. 

The game will still be free for new and existing users and Wardle is working hand-in-hand with the publication to ensure that scores are preserved, so don't worry about bragging rights. 

Games like Wordle

Following Wardle's lead, Dordle creators double the impact with two side-by-side puzzles. 

For those with dirty minds, your creativity will know no bounds with Lewdle, a NSFW take on the OG game. Fair warning: things are about to get steamy. 

For those who are looking for something on their cells, the WordScapes game will give you a group of letters and an empty crossword puzzle. It's your job to find all the words in the puzzle with the letters you've been given. 

Wordle archive

Can't possibly stick to one game per day? We get the frustration. 

Now, Devan Thakkar has blessed addicted fans with Wordle Archives, which allows you to play previous challenges, in the off chance you've missed one or just want another go at a particularly hard day. 

Though we've been separated for some time and have grown tired of virtual experiences, Wordle seems to have restored our faith in online challenges, and even one another. 

"It has been incredible to watch a game bring so much joy to so many, and I feel so grateful for the personal stories that you've shared with me," Wardle wrote on Twitter. 

Cheers to the next chapter of our favorite game.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.