Worldle: It's Not a Typo, It's a Geography Game

By: Kristen Hall-Geisler  | 

Worldle
In Worldle (not to be confused with Wordle) you get six tries to guess a country based on its shape. HowStuffWorks

If you've been online, and especially on Twitter, for the past few months, you've definitely seen the green and yellow boxes of Wordle. That's the hit indie game that challenges you to guess the correct five-letter word in six tries.

Now there's a new guessing game that takes the same structure and applies it to world geography. It's called Worldle (I know, I know) and it shows you the shape of a country and gives you six guesses to get it right. When you begin typing, a dropdown list appears, which is helpful for making sure you're spelling the name of the country right.

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After you guess, Worldle will give you three pieces of information about your choice: how far it is from the correct answer in kilometers, in which direction the correct answer lies from your guess, and a percentage score that tells you how close you are to being right. A 100 percent score means you've got the right country.

It's important to know that distances are measured between the geographical centers of countries. So even though the United States and Canada, for example, share a border, they are 2,260 kilometers (1,404 miles) apart according to Wordle.

Worldle was created as a side project by a developer in Montpelier, France, who goes by @teuteuf on Twitter. They openly acknowledge being inspired by Wordle, and they even retweet other Wordle-based geography games, especially indies that are free to play and share. That's some good gaming community citizenship.

There is no app version, there are no ads and it's free to play. It's only online, but you can bookmark the website and save it to your phone's home screen or your web browser. And like Wordle, it's popularity has soared since launching Jan. 24, 2022. As of Feb. 13, more than half a million people had played, and a couple of days later, @teuteuf had to switch servers to handle the immense traffic. (I, a daily player of Worldle, can report that the change happened without a hitch in gameplay.)

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