By practically all definitions, Wordle is a phenomenon. Over the past few months it feels like just about every single person on the internet has humble bragged about their starting word or the time they completed a game in one guess. But, if I’m being brutally honest, I played Wordle for one week back in January, and thoroughly disliked it. I’ve not returned since.
As someone who works with words for a living, Wordle really should be right up my alley. Several of my colleagues are infatuated with the game, but it left me cold. I’m not too proud to admit that a large portion of my disinterest comes from some frankly pathetic scores in the half a dozen games I played. Nevertheless, the core mechanics of Wordle just don’t speak to me.
Entering letters in the hopes of stumbling upon often extremely obscure words (caulk, really?) just doesn’t really appeal. I’ve never been a crossword or sudoku kind of person either, so I chalked it up to daily puzzle games not being for me. That was until I gave some of the best Wordle alternatives a go.
Wordle may not have held my attention but these music and movie clones have got me counting down the hours until they reset, not to mention doing some not-so-humble bragging of my own. I may hate Worlde, but here's why I can’t stop playing these alternatives.
These Wordle clones surpass the original
The pair of Wordle alternatives that have quickly wormed their way into my daily routine are Heardle and Framed. The former tasks you with guessing a song based on a short audio clip, and the latter asks you to name a movie based on a single frame.
I’m a massive music fan as well as a self-declared film buff, so naturally when I was made aware of these games (thanks to TG’s own Mr. Wordle, Marc McLaren) I was intrigued to give them a shot. To my great delight, I found myself instantly hooked.
Of course, it’s not a huge surprise that someone that considers themselves a huge music/movie fan would find games that revolve around music/movies enjoyable, but what I really like about these Wordle alternatives is that they put the knowledge of my specialist subjects to the test.
In my brief time playing Wordle, I never really felt challenged. I’m not claiming I easily won every game — I lost as many as I won — but I often felt like I was just stumbling around in the dark, entering random letters in the hopes of getting on the right track. Granted, there is clear strategy to winning Wordle, you don’t play every game and only lose once if it’s entirely dependent on luck.
With Heardle and Framed I get that rush of excitement that millions of players get each day from regular Wordle. On Friday, I got both the Heardle and Framed of the day in a single guess, and I instantly rushed to gloat about my scores to my colleagues. I might not have gotten the Wordle rush from the vanilla game, but its clones are giving me that winning feeling.
There’s a Wordle alternative for everybody
The best thing about Wordle alternatives is there’s so many now that just about every subject and hobby is catered for (and they all have increasingly silly names).
If you like the base game but find it a bit easy, there’s Quordle which ups the stakes by having you try to guess four words at the same time. There’s also Octordle, which revolves around eight letter words, so in theory at least, is eight times harder.
Think you’ve got knowledge of the world that could rival an atlas? Try Worldle which challenges you to name a mystery country each day. Meanwhile, soccer fans need to play Who Are Ya? which requires you to name an random football player each day (I enjoyed this one for a bit but found playing three Wordle clones a day slightly overkill).
There’s even a version of the game that flips the table and lets you come up with words for an AI opponent to guess, it’s called Adverswordle. Plus, if you prefer numbers, there’s Mathler, which swaps words for tricky numerical equations. Whatever your interests there is likely a Wordle clone out there for you.
If, like me, you found Wordle not quite worthy of all the hype, make sure to check our list of the best Wordle alternatives. You might be surprised to find there’s a Wordle clone out there that will have you coming back day after day.
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Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.