A quick flick through social media will show feeds inundated with photos of grids with grey, yellow and green squares. This is all thanks to Wordle, a deceptively simple word puzzle that has snowballed into a viral sensation.
Each day, players have six attempts at guessing the hidden five-letter word. The colour-coded system offers hints to whether they’re close or not.
If a letter tile turns into a green square, the user has got the correct letter in the right place.
A yellow tile means the letter is featured in the word, but it is in the wrong place. Meanwhile, grey means that the letter is not in the word at all.
The concept was created by Josh Wardle, a Wales-born software engineer now based in Brooklyn.
The virality of Wordle stunned Wardle, who said: “It going viral doesn’t feel great to be honest. 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.”
He does, however, seek comfort in the fact that it helped people through such a difficult 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.”
You can have a go of Wordle here – but be warned, it’ll have you hooked.