Mega-Popular And Frustrating Online Game Becoming Real

One of the most popular (and frustrating) online games around is coming to the real world, but how will will it transition?

By Jason Collins | Published


Even since its inception in October 2021, Wordle, a web-based word game, flooded the timelines of numerous social media as people shared the solutions to the game’s daily challenges. Following the sudden spike in popularity, it was soon acquired by the New York Times for a seven-figure sum, after which the game’s popularity skyrocketed further. Now, New York Times is collaborating with Hasbro, an American multinational conglomerate, to Wordle into a word-guessing board game.

According to The A.V. Club, Hasbro and New York Times are partnering up to deliver the classic World gameplay in an all-new way after Hasbro approached the American daily newspaper suggesting making a party board game. The upcoming board game is said to be one of Hasbro’s fastest releases, as it took the company’s development team less than a year to adapt the web-based game into a physical copy, which fits well into the company’s pop-culture portfolio of gaming titles — which already includes various Monopoly editions based on titles like Stranger Things.

The party-friendly, physical version of Wordle will be appropriate for ages 14 and up and will mostly follow the basic board-game gameplay mechanics. The players will select a Wordle Host — similar to Dungeon Master in Dungeons & Dragons board games — among them to lead the game by selecting the secret word everyone else will have to guess. This is where things take a turn towards the rules of the virtual version of Wordle, as the game only grants players six attempts to get the word right.

Just like in the web-based version of Wordle, a series of tiles will indicate just how close the individual players are to discovering the correct word, with greens indicating the right letter in the right position, yellow for letters that belong in another spot, and not tiles on letters that aren’t involved in the Secret Word. The scoring system scales; the fewer tries it takes a player to discover a word, the more points they’re awarded. Of course, who ends up with the most points is the winner of the Wordle tabletop game.

But Hasbro did more than just bring Wordle to the physical realm; the company expanded the game by adding several gaming modes, like Classic Play, Fast, Timed, or Teams — something that the original, virtual version of Wordle lacks. The original version was designed and released by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle and became one of the hallmark activities during the pandemic-induced lockdowns. It was originally conceptualized as a single-player game; the players shared their daily processes and solutions, or lack thereof, expressing both pride and frustration via social media.

Following the sudden spike in popularity and social media tremor about the game, Wordle was bought by The New York Times under their New York Times Games division. Of course, just like any other groundbreaking gaming title, like Diablo or Halo, Wordle also influenced the creation of numerous spin-offs, like the which tests the gamer’s knowledge of the Marvel Comics Universe, or Nerdle, which prompted gamers to use basic arithmetic to solve math problems instead of guessing words. The upcoming Wordle tabletop is expected to launch on October 1.