Kids can now have the chance to more easily play the world-famous puzzle game Wordle thanks to an independently produced children's version of the game. Wordle has become something of a phenomenon over the past few months, with celebrities and other public figures publicly sharing their love for the word-based daily brain teaser. The game has even leaked into other areas of the gaming space like Minecraft, as a fan recently built a fully functional version of Wordle within the classic building and survival title.
The rules of Wordle are simple: players have six chances to guess a particular five-letter word; with each attempt, individual letters are highlighted in either green or yellow; the letters highlighted in yellow are in the word, but in the incorrect location, while the letters highlighted in green are in the correct location; all other letters are not in the word. This straightforward and understandable approach to game design has helped Wordle catch on quickly throughout both gaming and non-gaming communities, similar to other simple free-to-play games like Words with Friends and 2048. Wordle was recently purchased by The New York Times, further increasing its visibility and popularity.
Wordle may be simple, but it certainly isn't easy. Noticing this, a Canadian man by the name of Christopher Porter decided to create his own, kid-friendly version of the game. According to the Vancouver news outlet Vancouver Is Awesome, Porter had the idea for this version of the game after watching his young daughter struggle with certain Wordle words. Porter realized that his daughter had a fair chance at getting to the correct answer when the word of the day was one that she already knew. So, Porter crafted "Spellie", a version of Wordle with a more simplified vocabulary, in addition to adjustable difficulty settings and available hints. Porter also made some more superficial changes, such as the implementation of a brighter color scheme.
This is certainly a wholesome story and a welcome one for anyone interested in the concept of accessibility within gaming. While Wordle might not be challenging in the same way as a game like Sifu or Dark Souls, its difficulty can still prevent certain individuals from enjoying it. Anyone who considers themselves a fan of gaming should be happy to hear about news like this.
While Spellie might be designed with the intention of being played by kids, it could no doubt have far broader applications. For instance, individuals with learning disabilities or who are neurodivergent might find Spellie a bit more palatable than Wordle. Hopefully, Spellie can continue to grow and expand its player base as time goes on.