‘Wordle’ spin-offs step up to the plate

The hype surrounding Wordle — an internet word game that came out in late 2021 — has subsided in the last few months.

When Wordle first burst onto the scene, people could not stop talking about the new daily game that had people trying to guess a five-letter word in six attempts. Green, yellow and black boxes flooded Twitter on a daily basis as people posted their daily scores in a way to keep up.

But fewer and fewer of those Twitter posts now come across my timeline, which is not surprising considering that most new games reach a very high peak in popularity quickly and then steadily decline in relevance.

Even though Wordle has had a similar trajectory, different versions of the game have popped up in recent months to keep the tradition of the game going. It’s like when a famous athlete or politician, who was very popular in their time, has kids who try to follow in their footsteps — but end up falling short because they can’t replicate their charisma and personality.

That’s the case with some of the new knockoff versions of Wordle. They aren’t as popular and relevant as the original, but are still fun to play if you are into guessing games.

Only recently have I noticed and branched out into various Wordle spinoffs, but they have grabbed my attention in the last few weeks.

Now, I’m a sports nerd who will pretty much watch any game and try to learn every player’s name in those matches. “Poeltl” was the first knockoff version of Wordle that I found and started to play on a daily basis.

This is an NBA name game that provides a new basketball player you have to guess every day. But there are some differences to the original Wordle, including you now get eight guesses and there is a silhouette you can click on to get a hint of who the player is that day.

The beauty of the game is that it does not always provide a player that is well known or is considered a star — instead, you get more obscure players who are more likely to be benchwarmers than real contributors.

And that is what makes the game fun. Since you can click on the silhouette to see how the player looks, it is actually pretty easy to get the guess correct if it’s a popular player that day.

Poeltl is not the only sports version of Wordle, we also have Who Are Ya — which is a soccer guessing game and is even harder because the player of the day can be from five different leagues.

Also, the name —- Who Are Ya — is simply majestic. It’s based on a popular soccer chant that gets sung around stadiums all across Europe. And now it’s the name of a fun guessing game.

Who Are Ya has the same basic principles as Poeltl with a silhouette of the player provided, eight attempts available to get the guess correct, but now the player can be from Europe’s five biggest leagues.

There are other sports versions that cover different leagues — including one for the NFL and MLB — but those aren’t as easy or as fun given that there are more obscure players in each league.

Now, if you aren’t a sports fan and are looking for other ways to play word guessing games, there are versions of Wordle for math, geography and music. At the end of day, there is a game to fulfill everyone’s tastes.

For me, however, I will wait until midnight to get the refreshes on Wordle, Who Are Ya and Poeltl.