Wordle creator just discovered your new word game obsession
The Wordle on the street.
Wordle hasn’t gone anywhere. As per its new owner The New York Times, over 300,000 players still participate in the daily word challenge. However, some of us are ready to move on to something new — much like Wordle’s creator, Josh Wardle. The creator of the viral smash hit recently stepped back in to rep another word game that was recently released: Knotwords.
Knotwords isn’t exactly like Wordle. However, the word-guessing portion might scratch the same Worlde itch. It looks like a Scrabble-like competitor at a glance, but it’s actually more like if a crossword and sudoku had a baby.
“If you like Wordle you should check out Knotwords,” tweeted Wardle. “It is an incredibly elegant daily word game. What impresses me most is that, despite its deceptively simple appearance, it has clearly been built with a great deal of thought and care.”
In Knotwords, daily puzzles are split into subsections with only a few letters each. If three tiles are locked to the letters “DRA,” only the letters D, R, or A are allowed in those tiles. Players are meant to move across each of the subsections to plug in letters and adjust from there. You can switch the letters as you please, so there’s no pressure to get the answer right away. Knotwords also has an intuitive UI that tells users if their guesses are legitimate words and highlight the part you’re working on.
The goal? Find which letters fit into which squares so that they spell legitimate words across each row and column.
Knotwords involves guessing multiple words and aligning them with each other. In that sense, it’s innately more difficult than Wordle because it means guessing more than one word. There’s a sense of satisfaction in shifting the pieces together. As Wardle notes, the “thought and care” put into it is apparent in its simple aesthetic and satisfying gameplay.
Creator Zach Gage calls it “a minimal, elegant logic puzzle — with words.” He and co-creator Jack Schlesinger just released the game last week and are inviting Wordle and word game fans to give it a try. Gage also referenced Wordle as one of the inspirations for the game.
In response to Wardle’s endorsement of their game, Gage said, “I love Wordle and it had a big impact on how I thought about the meta-structures around Knotwords. Thanks for helping us feel confident releasing something without ads.”
So what happened to Wordle? Well, it’s still mostly the same—just owned by The New York Times. Despite the concerns about it possibly being put behind a paywall, none of those “cash grabby” mechanics ended up as part of the deal. The grey lady took over Wordle without much of a fuss, keeping in line with many of Wardle’s wishes such as keeping it free-to-play.
As for Wardle himself, he hasn’t been on social media much except to thank his supporters and comment on Knotwords. Gage and Schlesinger are currently promoting their new game, working on condensing file size, and squashing bugs.