I discovered Wordle last week while looking over a friend’s shoulder. I showed the word on Twitter.
Like a drunk orc hobbling out of its winter cave. Clueless.
Luckily, I nipped the ratio in the bud quickly by deleting the Tweet when others informed me of my spoiling ways (thanks Tina!).
I had avoided the game for a long time because I didn’t want to take drugs. But the one-word-a-day design is built-in chastity so I gave myself permission.
Its cryptography aspect reminded me of Mastermind (described in my older post Fun Ways To Teach Your Kids Encryption), but having it be a word game is a seductive mix of Scrabble + logic.
Use pen and paper to play Wordle with your kids. Take turns giving words vs solving the puzzle. You can do this anywhere and use the number of guesses as the basis for a scoring system.
For advanced players, consider a quadratic scoring system (ie make your score proportion to the inverse square of how many guesses it take…4 guesses is worth 1/16 of a point, 3 guesses is 1/9, 2 is 1/4 and so on). This might disincentivize the algorithmic approach and optimize for trying to guess the word earlier. I haven’t thought about it hard enough, but it would be an interesting problem to compute just how steep the scoring system’s decay function would need to be to justify the informed guess approach.