Wordle-obsessed? These are the best word games to play IRL.

Photo: group of people playing a word board game

The Wordle obsession is real, y'all. And you know how I know? Because it's brought you here: to the point where you're actually looking for real-life, tangible games to play to fulfill your growing need for that sweet, sweet word building and letter unscrambling. In a world where everything we do is on our phones and there's very little that can pull our attention away from our shiny handheld devices, that's a pretty impressive feat.

What is Wordle, anyway?

Wordle is a daily word puzzle created by Brooklyn-based software engineer Josh Wardle. The web-based word game launched in October of 2021 and soared to popularity so quickly that it was snatched up by The New York Times by January 2022. The game itself has remained the same since day one, however: a grid of gray boxes where you get six chances to guess the day's predetermined five-letter word. 

You start by typing in one five-letter word which will let you know if any of those letters is in the day's word. If it is, the letter will turn yellow; if it is not, it will be gray. A green letter, however, is best because that means the letter is in the word and in the correct spot. We break down all the details (and best strategies) here, but that's the gist.

Alas, we can only play one Wordle per day. (Tread carefully there for spoilers if you haven't yet played today's word! Though we do give you several warnings.) And it's that very nature of the game that keeps us going back for more — day after day after day.

Why are word games so popular?

It's not just Wordle, though. Classic word games like Scrabble have roots that go back at least 100 years, and they've lasted the test of time as they remain just as popular today. Whether digital or tangible, there's something about word games that just keeps us coming back for more. To get a better idea of what that something really is, we spoke to Emanuel Robinson, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist at Battelle.

Dr. Robinson points out that intellectual engagement in various forms of games has always been popular with different groups or classes, going all the way back to Victorian-era brain games that kept folks entertained long before the advent of television. But why are we still so drawn to these games when we have so many other potential distractions these days?

Read the full article here

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