Cladder: what is online word puzzle game perfect for Wordle fans - and how to play

With just 60 seconds to figure out all 10 clues, do you have what it takes to crack Cladder?

If there’s something the internet can’t get enough of, it’s a good puzzle or brain teaser to really sink its teeth into.

Earlier this year, Wordle took over the internet by storm and, after being bought by the New York Times for more than $1 million, has remained popular amongst its devoted fanbase.

Part of the appeal of Wordle, and likely a reason for its longevity, is that there’s only one puzzle per day, meaning that its fanbase can’t burn itself out too quickly by playing it intensely for a short period of time.

For those among us who would love to have an unlimited supply of Wordle puzzles to work through, masses of Wordle-spin offs have spawned as a result of its popularity, such as Quordle, Moviedle, Nerdle, Lewdle and many, many more.

However, if you’re looking for something slightly different to add to your everyday puzzling repertoire, let me introduce you to Cladder.

What is Cladder - and how do you play it?

Cladder is an online puzzle game which see’s players try to figure out 10 words based on clues within a minute.

Players are allotted 60 seconds in order to solve all 10 clues. You’ll begin with either a three or four letter starter word and given a hint in which you have to change one letter from the previous word to get the answer.

For example (this isn’t a real Cladder answer, so no panicking about potential spoilers!), if your starter word is CASH and the hint says “to run quickly”, you’d have to change out the C for a D to make the word DASH.

You’ll then need to change a letter from the word DASH to solve the next clue, for example, if the hint says “a plate of food” you would need to switch the A for an I to make the word DISH - and so on like that until you’ve solved all 10 clues.

Can you get all 10 words correct in 60 seconds? (Photo: Cladder)
Can you get all 10 words correct in 60 seconds? (Photo: Cladder)
Can you get all 10 words correct in 60 seconds? (Photo: Cladder)

You’re not penalised for incorrect guesses and, if you wait long enough because you’ve been stumped, Cladder will highlight the letter that needs to be changed. However, you don’t want to spend too long waiting around as you are on a pretty tight time limit.

If you’re properly stuck with no clue how to proceed, you do have one skip you can use - but this comes at the price of five seconds of your 60 second limit.

Much like Wordle, there is only one new Cladder each day, however, if one Cladder a day isn’t enough for you, then good news - you can play the full archive of past Cladder puzzles if you feel so inclined.

Simply click on the archive option, located underneath the play button, and you’ll be taken to a numbered grid that represents all the previous days of Cladder games.

What are the different modes you can play on?

As well as being able to toggle between dark mode and light mode, there are three modes you can choose to play:

  • Hard mode: your skip won’t be available and you also won’t be given a hint as to which tile needs to be changed if you get stuck. If you choose to play on hard mode, your score will have an asterisk next to it to show that you’ve taken on the challenge of hard mode to your fellow Cladder-playing peers
Do you know the answer? (Photo: Cladder)
Do you know the answer? (Photo: Cladder)
Do you know the answer? (Photo: Cladder)
  • Selection mode: on selection mode, you simply tap a tile to change its letter instead of typing out the whole word - mobile players especially may find this a much more efficient way of playing the game 
  • Teacher mode: this setting is designed for a classroom setting - on this mode, there is no timer in order to encourage collaborative classroom play

You can also opt to play on practice mode if you want to get comfortable with the flow of the game without impacting your statistics.

Who made Cladder?

Cladder was made by Joe Martella and his wife, Shannon.

According to Martella’s Twitter account (@martellaj), he is a developer for Microsoft who works on Outlook during the day and Cladder at night.