Crossword? No. Word search? Try again.

The hottest word game of 2022 is Wordle. And rightly so.

In late January, Wordle was purchased by the New York Times from its creator, Josh Wardle, for a low 7-figure deal. Rumor has it that homeboy just wanted to make a fun word game for his partner to enjoy, but it caught on and became so incredibly popular, the New York Times turned him into a millionaire.

But how do you make a word free online word game so successful? There’s got to be hundreds out there that we haven’t even discovered yet. So what makes Wordle special?

Here’s my take.

It’s Free

It costs zero dollars and zero cents to play Wordle. ‘Nuff said. No price tag means people are way more likely to adopt.

It’s Simple

It’s always a five-letter word. It’s never obscure, but a (fairly) common word. You get six chances to guess it, and the game tells you which letters are in it and which aren’t. Simple.

It Tracks Your Success

The game uses the cookies in your browser to track how many days you correctly guessed the word. Some people will have streaks for weeks or even months. And not only that, it tracks how many guesses it takes you each day. Personally, I’m a 4-5 guess guy. But I know people who commonly guess the word within 3-4 tries. Having the ability to track your wins and grow a streak heightens the desire to come back and guess the word right every day.

It’s Highly Sharable

This is where Wordle won huge. The sharability of Wordle is absolutely genius.

When you guess the word correctly, you can show your friends in a way that doesn’t spoil the word of the day for them. Your results are shared in a grid of green, yellow, and grey squares to show which letters you guessed right until you finally got the word of the day. And Wordle makes it easy to share, too. When you complete the word, you’re faced with a big green “Share” button. So the question doesn’t become if you’re going to share you’re results, but who you’re going to share them with.

By the way… my streak is at 33 days so far.

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