Depending on your tastes, Wordle is arguably the best game to debut in the past 12 months. In its short life span, the daily word guessing game gained millions of players, was purchased by the New York Times for an undisclosed, seven-figure sum and spawned an entirely new genre of guessing game spinoffs such as Worldle (geography), Heardle (music) and Nerdle (math). Now, video games are getting the Wordle treatment as well.
is, you guessed it, a six-round-based deduction game in the tradition of Wordle. The game is a solo project by , a Canada-based software engineer. Stiles was playing another Wordlelike where players guess the mystery movie of the day by viewing still shots, when he realized that no such variation existed for video games.
“So I decided to whip one up,” Stiles wrote in an email to the The Washington Post, and launched his creation in May.
In GuessThe.Game, players have six chances to deduce the video game of the day based on a series of screenshots and hints such as the year it released, its score on Metacritic or its original platform. Guessing wrong will progress you to the next round, which will reveal an easier, more identifying screenshot. The objective is to guess what game it is in the fewest turns, ideally in the first round, but definitely before your six guesses expire.
The games can be tricky to identify. The game on Aug. 16 started with a zoomed-out shot from an old cinematic depicting a figure on horseback treading across a vast desert. The second was a zoomed out map of a sandy city with large domed buildings. It was the third screenshot, which featured a very distinct gothic UI with spheres for health and mana, that made the answer obvious: “Diablo II.”
Stiles said GuessThe.Game has been played millions of times on “almost every single country on Earth” since it launched. He was deeply thankful that what started as a passion project is now being enjoyed daily by thousands of fans. In the future, Stiles is planning on releasing new feature that will allow players to retroactively solve puzzles from days that they missed (as of this article’s publishing, GuessThe.Game is currently on Day 95). Stiles is also interested in finding a new home for GuessThe.Game, in the same way that Wordle and Heardle were acquired.
“In an ideal world, it ends up getting acquired by some brand or publication,” Stiles said. “Given how much traffic [GuessThe.Game] is getting every day, I am confident that as the game continues to spread virally, someone may come along and want to have their brand name associated with it like [Wordle and Heardle] did.”
On , Stiles has requested help for choosing future puzzles and screenshots. Per the site, inspired parties can reach him on Twitter at or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stiles’s creation is both poetic and ironic. GuessThe.Game is the only prominent video game Wordlelike in town, but running it means Stiles can’t play the only thing that marries his twin passions of video games and Wordle.
“Because I am making it and choosing the games, I never get to play it myself!” lamented Stiles. “A real tragedy for me.”