Another day, another Wordle clone — but this one could be the best yet. It's called Squabble, and it takes everything you love about the hit word game then lets you play against others online in what quickly becomes a frantic battle of wits.
The first thing you need to know about Squabble is that it's fast. Really, really fast. One of the joys of Wordle is that you can take it at your own pace, deliberating possible solutions for hours, if you choose to. That's not an option with Squabble, which instead forces you to play against both human opponents and the clock. Stressful doesn't come close to describing it.
There are two equally terrifying modes to play: Blitz and Squabble Royale. In the first, 2-5 players compete to guess the Wordle, dealing damage each time they're successful but taking damage if they guess incorrectly.
You might think that rewards careful thinking. But that's not the case, as you take a further damage point for each second of the game. The only way to heal this damage is to guess correctly, meaning you're under constant pressure to think think think.
Once your damage bar drops to zero, you're out — but if you can keep guessing correctly while others falter, you'll eventually be crowned the winner.
Squabble Royale, meanwhile, is like Blitz, but even more stressful. This mode can feature up to 99 players, with the last-placed player eliminated regularly until there's only one left.
It all takes pace at a breathless pace, but otherwise it's the Wordle you're already used to. You've got green letters, yellow letters and five-letter words that really feel like they should be obvious (but usually aren't).
Though Squabble is apparently in beta, it's all pretty slick. You can join existing games in the lobby, and the wait to get going is surprisingly short — about 10-20 seconds, in my experience. Clearly quite a few people are already playing it.
Alternatively, you can create a game yourself, then share the lobby code with friends so you can prove that you're smarter than them. Or possibly that you crumble under pressure.
There's also a lovely replay mode that lets you see exactly what others were guessing while you were floundering around looking for a word that ended in 'NI', and more features are apparently coming soon including rankings and better matchmaking. And as with the original, it's entirely free to play and free from ads.
The end result is a game that feels both similar and very different from Wordle, but that might well carve out its own niche even among the many, many clones that have appeared recently. Of these, we're big fans of the tricky Absurdle, the number-friendly Mathler, the Star Wars-themed SWordle and the geography-based Worldle.
We've also found a bunch of other Wordle alternatives to consider if you're still smarting from the original being sold to the New York Times or if you think that Wordle has got harder since the NYT purchase (which it hasn't).