If you've been anywhere on the internet the past few weeks, you've definitely heard of Wordle, the vocab guessing game that brought little moments of fun to the January lockdowns (at least here in Ontario). And if you're a parent of school-aged kids, chances are your little ones have been wanting to help you solve the daily puzzle. Unfortunately, it's just too hard for most kids.
Enter Spellie, a Wordle alternative that's made specifically for children. Christopher Porter, a Vancouver dad who runs the blog Canadian Veggie, had the idea to create it when he was playing the original Wordle game with his five-year-old daughter, Astrid. "If the word was one she knew, like ROBOT, then she had a chance of figuring it out," he wrote on the blog post announcing the launch of the game. "But if it was something like QUERY, she was lost."
The new Wordle alternative has three difficulty modes. The easy mode uses four-letter words that are good for kids from kindergarten to Grade 2 and offers hints if they need it. The medium and hard modes use five-letter words, but never uses a word that a Grade 4 student wouldn't be able to spell. As well, the amount of words that use duplicate letters has been reduced (because duplicate letters make solving the puzzle so much harder! IYKYK).
Another great feature is that the letters can be entered in any order, so if your kid has a green G in the third spot, they can click on that circle and type G first, making it easier to visualize possible solutions in subsequent guesses. Plus, the keyboard at the bottom of the screen has letters listed alphabetically instead of mirroring a keyboard (which is easier for most kids but a little confusing for adult players).
Finally, the game rewards you with emojis when you guess certain words, even if they aren't the answer to the puzzle (i.e. if you guess SCORE, and you get the 100 emoji to add to your collection, which can be viewed by clicking on the gallery icon next to settings).
So next time you find yourself hunkered down with your kid trying to solve for the word CYNIC (ugh, that one killed us!), give Spellie a go. Who knows, your kid just might figure it out faster than you do!