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The best games like Wordle

Wordle fever has hit an all-time high of late. Despite coming out in 2021, it has just had a massive surge in popularity. The simple word game is easy enough for anyone, young and old, gamer or not, to pick up and have a great time. It is challenging but just as addicting. That’s what makes the fact that Wordle only gives one puzzle per day so agonizing for everyone who is hooked on it. We all want more, but there’s no getting around that daily time restraint.

While you’re waiting for the new daily puzzle to pop, there are plenty of alternative titles to Wordle that can scratch a similar itch. All are simple to pick up, will test your creative thinking skills, and maybe even teach you some new words or otherwise help you practice for when it’s time to get back to Wordle. The mobile and PC games markets are among the most saturated, especially with puzzle games, so rather than dig through all the cheap imitators, here are the best games like Wordle you can play right now.

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Typeshift

A grid of letters spelling foxes.

TypeShift is a great companion to Wordle but does have a bit more focus and direction. Rather than trying to guess a single world, you’re given a set of letters that you can slide up and down to swap out what letter is in that specific part. By moving letters up and down, you need to create words using the available combinations. Once you create a word using a letter, it changes color, with the goal being to use every letter in a word and have them all change color. TypeShift is more about solving a puzzle in as many ways as possible with the same pieces rather than trying to solve a single puzzle, like Wordle. TypeShift has plenty of modes, too. There’s a daily challenge, much like Wordle, but there’s also a huge number of puzzles included to binge if you so choose.

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Squabble

Guessing words in Squabble.

It was only a matter of time before a pure battle-royale take on Wordle hit the scene, and Squabble was first to the market. There are two main modes: Blitz and Squabble Royale. Blitz caps the player count at five players, while Squabble Royale hits the standard 99 player count. The rules are otherwise the same as Wordle, with the twist being that every word you guess correctly deals damage to an opponent and heals you, but wrong guesses causes you to take damage. You also take 1 point of damage every second, meaning you can’t stall. If you really want to prove your Wordle skills to your friends, this is the game to do it with.

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Kitty Letter

Cats carrying letters across a road.

If you’ve ever read the webcomic The Oatmeal, Kitty Letter’s art style will be immediately recognizable. From that same creator, this is a more directly competitive game than Wordle. In this mobile-only game, you and an opponent are given a set of letters similar to Scrabble tiles set in a hexagon that you connect in order to form words. As you make more words, you summon cats that will carry those words toward your opponent and then blow up. The larger the words you form, the more damage you will do. This is a bit more stressful than Wordle but very cute and addicting.

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Babble Royale

A game of Babble Royale.

This entry may look like another lazy attempt to jump in on the battle royale craze, and maybe it is, but Babble Royale is still a really fun game. All you need to know is that it’s Scrabble, but with the battle royale twist. If you’re not familiar with that term, in this game’s case, you will join a game with up to 15 other players all playing your tiles on the board at once. You can only build off the first word you make as the edges of the board close in, forcing everyone to form words closer and closer together. If you make a word that connects to a letter an opponent is still trying to build off, you eliminate them. The last one standing (or spelling) wins.

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SpellTower

Forming words from a grid of letters in SpellTower.

This is an older game, but one that’s still just as good as it was when it came out. SpellTower is a little bit like Boggle and Tetris wrapped into one. You’re given a grid of letters in a well, as you would playing Tetris, with the goal to connect any adjacent letters together to form words. Whatever letters you connect into words will disappear, dropping any letters above them down. Some special letters, like Q and X, will also clear the entire row if you find a way to use them in a word. Every word you make causes another row of letters to fall, with the game ending when the screen fills to the top. Other modes have tiles fall based on time, or a multiplayer mode where tiles you clear on your screen are sent to your opponent.

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Hello Wordl

Guessing letters in a wordle clone.

Finally, if you really just want Wordle and nothing else will do, there’s always Hello Wordl. This is the exact same game as Wordle, with a few tweaks, but the most important being that you’re not limited to just one puzzle per day. If you feel like a master of regular Wordle already, then Hello Wordl might be perfect since you can adjust the puzzles to have words anywhere between four and 11 letters long to guess. Otherwise, this is a carbon copy of Wordle, even down to the color-coding of the letters. If nothing else, it is a stress-free way to practice your Wordle skills before taking on the daily puzzle.

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Worldle

An example of Worldle.

Why not stretch your mental legs beyond just words and test your geography skills? Worldle, rather than giving you the number of letters of a given word, gives you the shape of a country that you need to try and guess based on the outline. Instead of getting closer by guessing correct letters, the game clues you in by telling you how far the country you guessed is from the real location. It tells you the kilometers and direction, meaning you still need to do a good deal of mental work to narrow down where in the world the country you’re guessing is. Also, for those countries that we can barely say let alone spell, Worldle has a very gracious autocomplete so you don’t have to worry about knowing the answer but being unable to spell it.

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Heardle

Guessing a song name in heardle.

No, this isn’t an animal game; it’s music-focused. This time, the twist is that you hear a song in one-second increments, getting just one guess before hearing a bit more of the song if you get it wrong. The longer you take to guess it, the more of it you hear, giving you more of the tune to grab onto and recognize. However, unlike Wordle, where getting it right on your first try is basically all luck, you absolutely can get Heardle right on your first guess if you instantly know the first hook of a song. The game will also help out by auto-completing your guesses to avoid wrong guesses based on typos and things like that.

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Framed

A screenshot from children of men.

Ditching the -le naming convention, Framed is yet another awesome twist on the guessing game genre. Most similar to Heardle, this game shows you a single frame of a movie for each guess. They start out fairly obscure, perhaps of an establishing shot, before getting more specific and showing characters. Film fanatics will love testing their knowledge and memory, but casual players will also be surprised at how a single shot can trigger a memory of a film.

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Knotwords

A half-solved Knotwords puzzle appears.

While still a word game, Knotwords might be the most different game on the list in terms of structure. Essentially, smash together a crossword puzzle with sudoku rules and you will have a good idea of how this game works. Each daily puzzle gives you a set of letters that you use in different orders in a crossword-style grid of squares. Some squares are marked with letters that indicate you have to use one of the listed letters in that square to make a word. The ultimate goal is to fill the entire structure with words, following the restrictions of specific tiles and making sure each row and column form a real word. It’s incredibly simple to pick up and just as satisfying to solve as its two inspirations thanks to the level of thinking required to put it all together.

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