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US software engineer designed online game Wordle as ‘love letter to wife’. It’s viral now

Released in October, the game — which requires players to guess a 5-letter ‘word of the day’ in 6 attempts or less — has grown from having less than 100 players to over 3 lakh.

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New Delhi: Wordle, the online word guessing game that has taken social media by storm this week, was originally designed by a software engineer for his wife, The New York Times reports.

According to the report, ‘Wordle Is a Love Story’, Brooklyn-based engineer Josh Wardle designed the game after he and his wife Palak Shah began to play The New York Times’ spelling bee and crossword puzzles regularly.

The game requires players to guess a five-letter ‘word of the day’ in six attempts or less. In each attempt, the five letters in the word are arranged in a three-colour scale, giving the player hints while shaping their next attempt.

For instance, if a letter is marked green, it is not only in the ‘word of the day’, but also in its correct position. If a letter is marked yellow, it is in the ‘word of the day’, but not in its correct position. Letters that are not in the day’s word are marked grey.

The game can be played free of cost on a website, but it not available on any app stores.

According to Wardle, the appeal of the game is based on “limiting players” to a single word per day as it “leaves people wanting more”.

“It’s something that encourages you to spend three minutes a day. And that’s it. It doesn’t want any more of your time than that,” The New York Times quoted Wardle as saying.

Following its release in October, Wordle was initially slow to catch on, with less than a hundred players at the start of November. But by 2 January, it had over 3 lakh players, according to The New York Times.

Also Read: Not just yoga, meditation or jogging — online gaming is good for your mental health too

Scoreboards, and memes on social media

Apart from Wordle’s simple rules, the social media craze surrounding the game has been marked by users sharing their performances in the form of green, yellow and grey box emojis, and points totals.

The game, with its sudden rise in popularity and the manner in which players post about their performances, has not only got creator Wardle a great deal of praise, but also served as material for jokes and memes on social media.

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)

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