Worldle is my new favourite Wordle spin-off

Wordle is a genre now. Its rapid success has caused a proliferation of browser games in which all players are presented with the same puzzle each day, limited guesses, and easy options to share their results.

My new favourite is Worldle. It meets all the criteria, including being free and playable in your browser, but instead of guessing a word you’re attempt to identify a country by its silhouette.

Where Wordle indicates correct letters and positions in each guess, Worldle tells you how close your guess is in kilometres. Yesterday, my first guess was “Japan”, which was 5143km or 74% towards the correct answer.

I like Worldle more than most recent variants because it maintains the core pleasure of its inspiration, that of making an educated guess and then honing in step-by-step through further deduction.

In some ways I like it more than Wordle, even. It’s almost impossible to get Wordle right on your first guess, and once you’ve come up with an efficient starting word which includes common letters, there’s little reason to ever switch from it. Worldle, meanwhile, gives you an opening clue in the form of the country’s shape. You might know it immediately, but most likely it’ll give you somewhere to start your thought process.

Does the country seem big or small? Are its edges straight or jagged? If they’re jagged, does it seem like a mountain border or a coastline? I mostly start by mentally ruling out continents I’m most familiar with. Whether the country seems big or small or an island normally lets me infer what continent it might be, which I can confirm with my first guess.

After that, my existing geography knowledge normally lets me rule out a handful of countries, and then more basic guesswork gets me the rest of the way. At this point, I’m playing five of these daily Wordle-inspired puzzle games per day, but Worldle is the best of the bunch.

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