Absurdle: ‘adversarial’ version of 5 letter Wordle game explained, how to play it online - what is Sweardle?

Wordle has taken over Twitter in recent weeks - and now some interesting new versions of the game are springing up

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Wordle is an online brain teaser which lies somewhere between a crossword and a sudoku puzzle.

Its simplicity has allowed it to take over the internet, with players excitedly posting cryptic patterns of green, yellow and grey emojis illustrating how they found their way to the solution on social media.

The objective of the game is to guess the secret word in six tries, using a series of hints to figure it out.

If any of your letters are highlighted as green, that means that you’ve got the right letters in the right place. If any of the letters are highlighted as yellow, that means that those letters are in the word, but they’re in the wrong place.

And, if any of your letters are highlighted as grey, it means that those letters aren’t included anywhere in the secret word.

As with any massively popular online phenomenon, a number of imitators have popped up in Wordle’s wake.

Some are simply cynical monetised rip-offs of the otherwise free game. But others give their own interesting spin on the concept.

One such variant is Absurdle, which describes itself as an “adversarial version” of Wordle.

Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is Absurdle?

The formula for Wordle is simple, but for the past few weeks this online game has been stirring up social networks (Photo: STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)The formula for Wordle is simple, but for the past few weeks this online game has been stirring up social networks (Photo: STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
The formula for Wordle is simple, but for the past few weeks this online game has been stirring up social networks (Photo: STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Developers qntm break down how the game works in an incredibly detailed blog post on their website.

Essentially, whereas Wordle has only one correct answer dolled out to all players on a daily basis (hence its communal feel, everybody has the same word), Absurdle’s winning word changes with each guess.

What that means is, though the letters you guess correctly will definitely appear in the winning word - and the green, yellow and grey indicators still function as they do in Wordle - that winning word is not necessarily decided upon when you start playing.

“Wordle picks a single secret word at the beginning of the game, and then you have to guess it,” explain the developers.

“Absurdle gives the impression of picking a single secret word, but instead what it actually does is consider the entire list of all possible secret words which conform to your guesses so far.”

To compensate for the extra trickiness, Absurdle gives players an unlimited amount of chances to guess a winning word, and so the tactics of the game differ slightly.

The shortest known games of Absurdle are four turns long, and it’s believed it isn’t possible to force a win in only three turns, though the developer is open to discussion of “techniques for attacking Absurdle”.

You can play Absurdle here.

qntm have a history with creating “adversarial” versions of popular games.

Take HATERIS for example, their take on the universally understood game of Tetris, which seemingly only serves up those awkward ‘S’ shaped Tetriminos, making for one heck of an annoying experience (in a fun way).

What is Sweardle?

Then there’s Sweardle, a NSFW, four-letter variant of Wordle that’s not for those with an aversion to strong language.

It’s good for a giggle, and you can try it (at your own discretion) here.

How can I play Wordle?

You can play Wordle on the Power Language website. There is only one puzzle released each day, so you’ll need to check the website again the following day to continue playing along.

Players have the option to take on the puzzle using hard mode - you can toggle this option on or off in the settings by hitting the cog icon in the upper right hand corner.

Hard mode dictates that “any revealed hints must be used in subsequent guesses”.

That means that, for example, if you got the letters R and K correct in your first guess, you have to use those letters in the same spot for your subsequent guesses.

Because you have to play a real word and not just jumbled letters, users not playing on hard mode might try guessing a completely different word without using any of the letters they’ve solved in order to figure out the remaining letters - however in hard mode, you cannot do this.

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