Wordle‘s developer might have sold out to the NYT, but that hasn’t stopped imitators (it’s probably encouraged them). But while there are many Wordle clones out there, few are as impressive as those developed for retro gaming systems. NES, MSX, Game Boy, and even BBC Micro have unofficial versions of Wordle available.
Here are ten retro Wordle clones you can run on original hardware or emulators.
1. Wörd! Wordle clone for the MSX
Requiring an MSX1 with 16KB RAM, Wörd! is a retro Wordle clone in four different languages (English, Spanish, Dutch and Swedish) and can be played with keyboard or joystick.
Making some MSX tunes for Patriks Retro Tech’s Wordle clone “Wörd!” I realised three things:
1. It was great fun making some music for yet another epic retro computer!
2. The Swenglish title “Wörd!” is awesome.
3. I suck at this game…!
Featuring four different languages, me thinking I know two of them quite well, English and Swedish. But apparently I hardly know any five letter words. This game also comes in Spanish and Dutch but I have not even tried those versions! =) How’s your Spanish/Dutch/English/Swedish five letter word knowledge?
2. Wordle for BBC Micro
Developed by Chris Bradburne, this Wordle clone works on BBC Micro Model B, B+, Master, or Electron computers. Looking completely at home on the Micro, the game is available in DFS and ADFS formats.
Here are the game’s main details:
The current internet sensation comes to the BBC Micro!
Here’s an unofficial conversion of Wordle by Josh Wardle. Requires a BBC B/B+/Master or Acorn Electron. It uses a slightly tweaked version of Wordle’s target word list and has a dictionary of nearly 12,000 five-letter words to validate guesses.
Statistics are for the current session only but it does use a machine-independent seed that allows you to share puzzles with your friends.
Download Wordle for BBC Micro.
3. Windle for Windows 3.1
Unsurprisingly, there is also a version of Wordle that you can play on retro Windows desktop systems. Windle is covered in bevelled chrome, just like an old Windows 3.1 game should be, and more than resembles Minesweeper.
Developed in Delphi 1 on an authentic retro machine (a Gateway 4DX2-66 running Windows 3.11 for Workgroups!), the developer has provided two versions, one for 16-bit Windows, and another for 32-bit and 64-bit systems. Some interesting development notes are also included. Windle can be run on an original Windows 3.1 system, or later hardware, either using DOSBox, or in a virtual machine.
Download Windle for Windows 3.1 and later systems.
4. Game Boy Wordle
Fancy a portable Wordle experience with a more retro feel? Incredibly, there is more than one version of Wordle for the Game Boy.
First up is the standard clone, with a reduced set of words, designed to fit on a 32Kb cartridge. However, developer Alexander Pruss believed that all 12972 words could be included, and found a way to do it. The result was Fiver.
5. Wordle Ported to NES
Somewhat inevitably at this point, there is a Wordle clone for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Available to download for a name-your-own-price deal from Itch.io developer vectrex28, the game successfully marries the word-based challenge with typical NES console gaming flair.
Download Wordle for NES
6. WinQuest for Windows 3.1
As if Windle wasn’t enough, another version of Wordle is available for Windows 3.1. With WinQuest (by LuigiThirty) you can expect color graphics and digital sound, as well as a color-blind mode. Meanwhile, the game supports Alphabetical, QWERTY, and Dvorak keyboard modes, and boasts a score tracker. Fortunately (?), WinQuest doesn’t resemble Minesweeper.
This requires a 386 for 4MB of RAM. I can’t believe I just typed that. WinQuest has been reported to work on Windows XP SP3, too. Pretty much any old PC or laptop with a massive power supply will work, but keep an eye on your electricity bills.
Download WinQuest for Windows 3.1
7. Wordle for Palm OS
There is certainly something about Wordle that lends itself to personal PC or palm-top systems. So it should come as no surprise, really, that a version of Wordle has been released on Palm OS.
If you have a Palm Pilot this should be a great way to pass the time. Of course, if you are using Palm OS for anything other than retro pleasure, there is a good chance you’ve never heard of Wordle and you’re reading this thanks to a crack in time, or something.
Download Wordle for Palm OS.
9. Turdle, the Rude Wordle Clone for C64
If you prefer your games to be a bit silly, Turdle is ideal. Instead of thousands of normal words, this Wordle clone features hundreds of rude words. Most of them are related to toilet functions.
Let me introduce you to my friend Turdle the Turtle. He’s a bit of a Billy-No-Mates, but look at him. Still got a smile….. but do you know why he’s smiling? Well, his favourite game is Wordle and the gang at Megastyle have decided to do their ‘shit take’ on Wordle and create a game just for Turdle the Turtle to cheer him up.
He has one good friend, Roysterini. Nobody else can put up with Turdle cos he stinks.
Why don’t you, yes you, a trusty C64 fan, show your love for Turdle by playing the game in his name?
Just like Wordle, the game we all love and adore….the game we love to see cascading through our Twitter timelines…. Turdle is a word game where you get 6 chances to guess the random word.
This is a bit different though.
Yes it is.
In Turdle, all words are related to, well….. shit in one way or another, either literally or loosely. Euphemisms, slang, related words and all that malarky.
10. Retro Wordle Clone for Nokia N-Gage
If there was a platform you never thought you’d hear about again, the N-Gage wouldn’t even be on the list as most people have forgotten it. Nokia’s mobile gaming device incredribluy isn’t completely dead, development on an SDK is on going, an there’s a version of Wordle. This clone features the 2,309 terms found in the New York Times version, according to Hackaday.
Download Wordle for Nokia N-Gage
Grab Your Retro Wordle Clone Fast!
Interested in playing retro Wordle on your classic platform of choice? Grab or buy the download from the links above, and enjoy.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.