Need another Wordle Hit? Waffle is the spin-off you should be playing right now

2022 is still the year of the world. In its wake, there were dozens – perhaps hundreds – of Wordle spinoffs covering everything from geography to music to mathall filled with their own little green and yellow squares for social media.

Every morning I wake up, turn around, open Wordle, mess around until I get word of the day, then go back to Worldle and guess a country, go to Heardle so I can guess the song of the day, I open a new tab to pass Quordle (solve four Wordles at once) then, of course, press Wordle (BTS version). OK, maybe not the latter.

After all that, it’s usually 10:30 a.m. Those little bites of web-based delights have completely slowed my morning productivity.

Are we over it yet? Maybe. I started getting pretty tired of seeing new Wordle spin-offs and clones. Some were half-hearted. Others were simple crooks looking to make a quick buck. The truth is, the spinoffs never quite captured the magic of the original. Wordle felt fresh and new and like a bright light during a pretty dark time.

Everyone played Wordle because Wordle gave us 15 minutes every day for us. Sure, we wanted to beat our friends and show off our Galaxy Brains and yes, we wanted to avoid losing our streaks, but it was more than that. This interrupted our endless doomscrolling with cute little emoji grids for a while. He reigned! It’s still the best. Hi. I’ll be playing it for the next five years.

At least, that’s what I thought. Until I come across Waffle.

Waffle is a word game, just like Wordle. It was created by james robinson who, according to his bio on Twitter, is a “developer of things”. James, you developed the hell out of this one, mate.

Waffle will feel instantly familiar to anyone who has played Wordle (so, like, anyone reading this piece). There are yellow squares and green squares. It’s free. You can easily share the neat results grid on social media with your friends. The difference? Well, first of all, the grid is shaped like a waffle – hence the name.

The exchange of letters is Waffle’s daily bread.

wafflegame.net

Morphing Wordle into a waffle grid is a game changer. (I am sorry.)

Instead of trying to guess the five-letter word of the day by eliminating what it might not be, Waffle throws six words at you at a time. Right off the bat, that makes him five times better than Wordle. It’s just science.

But it’s what it does with its grid that makes Waffle a standout spinoff. It gives you all the letters you need to make those words. It’s your job to rearrange them – swapping them one by one – until you get to the six words of the day.

However, you only get 15 trades per day.

It may seem a little overwhelming and confusing at first, but after a few exchanges you start to see the words come together. You can try to swap the tiles in their exact positions, rather than guessing. It’s really this limited number of exchanges that makes Waffle challenging and adds an extra layer of depth.

Wordle strategies mostly seem to be variations of “choosing a good seed word with vowels” and there are a lot of people who seem to choose ADIEU or ROATE to kick things off. But once you’ve got a few good vowels in place or had a chance to hit enough letters, you’re almost guaranteed to win.

With Waffle, even though you have 15 moves per day, each puzzle is solvable in just 10. The reward is a higher score: Waffle uses a star system that earns you a star for every turn you have left once the completed puzzle.

The first days I played, I struggled to keep less than 10 shots. I regularly got two or three stars. Soon I was trying to get a perfect game. That’s why I’ve learned to love playing Waffle in the morning and avoid all my Wordle spillovers. Getting a high score in Wordle – a two- or three-guessing game – feels like pure luck. But a high score in Waffle seems deserved.

Plus, Robinson seems to be having fun and iterating on it since quitting the game in February. The tutorial screen seems to (secretly) include both the word “bum” and “boob”, which you won’t get from Wordle Lords The New York Timesand Waffle Day on March 25, it included a secret version of the game with a much larger grid.

I know Wordle ain’t gonna be replaced soon. Those green and yellow grids aren’t going anywhere. But Waffle is close to replicating the feelings I had when Wordle was fresh and new and fun and a phenom in late 2021. It might even be better than Wordle. I think it is. Maybe you do too.

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