If you've been on the internet lately, you've likely heard of Wordle, a new word game created by Josh Wardle. The minimalist title tasks users with guessing a five-letter word each day within six tries, similar to the 1980s American show, Lingo. The "official" Wordle is only available on the web for now and the sole way to play it is through a web browser.
However, as is common with anything that goes viral on the internet, clones have started to appear in mobile app stores. As spotted by several people on Twitter, copycats have jumped on the opportunity to rake in revenue from Wordle's popularity. One example can be seen below:
This guy shamelessly cloned Wordle (name and all) as an F2P iOS game with in-app purchases and is bragging about how well it's doing and how he'll get away with it because Josh Wardle didn't trademark it. So gross. pic.twitter.com/kIs8BypuRA— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) January 11, 2022
Other people have also noted how new apps have appended the "Wordle" keyword to their name in order to improve search visibility. An example of this is as follows:
The #3, #7, #14, #15, and #16 best-performing word games in the app store right now are all Wordle clones that don't even change the name. It's disgusting! This guy is only unique insomuch as he's the only one bragging about it! pic.twitter.com/F3nWRI0gW1— Greg Karber (@gregkarber) January 11, 2022
As mentioned previously, Wordle itself borrows from Lingo, so it's not a new concept. But the potential point of contention here is that clones utilize the same aesthetics and the name as Wardle's web-based game. Some rip-offs are even charging $30/year for just playing them on your iPhone.
Fortunately, MacRumors has now pointed out that Apple has started removing apps with the name "Wordle" in them, that were released after the web-based game.
It remains to be seen if other storefronts will follow suit. A quick search on the Google Play Store has revealed dozens of apps with the word "Wordle" in them. Meanwhile, the Microsoft Store does not appear to be infiltrated by clones yet based on a cursory glance, but that is likely because of low developer interest due to the storefront's smaller user base.
Regardless, you can check out the original Wordle in your web browser here.