Best board game alternatives to Wordle

Wordle is more than a word game that went viral recently. It’s a daily ritual for players, who wait with bated breath for a new puzzle every 24 hours. 

It also spurred a unique social media community that celebrates screenshots of tiny green boxes, self-reflective gameplay commentary and strategic discussions among perfect strangers. Nearly everyone has hopped on the Wordle bandwagon, including the New York Times, which this week purchased the browser-based word game in an undisclosed seven-figure deal.

Wordle isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but some players may want to take a break from staring at the tiny boxes on their phones. Instead, they can get their fix for mind-bending challenges in a screen-free way when they play board games.

What you need to know about Wordle

What is Wordle?

Wordle is a free browser-based game that challenges players to guess the word of the day in six or fewer guesses. Gameplay is as simple as it gets: Players spell five-letter words in hopes of revealing letters from the hidden word. Players aspire to guess the word of the day on the first try, but most celebrate just being able to guess the hidden word before exhausting all six guesses. 

Why is Wordle popular?

Among other reasons, Wordle has universal appeal because of its simplicity. It’s accessible, easy to learn and quick to play. The game also shares attributes with other word and letter games, particularly crosswords and word scrambles. It’s not a stretch to say that Wordle has similar gameplay to certain dice and board games, such as Scrabble and Boggle, but it’s also a complex strategy game. Josh Wardle, the game’s creator and former Reddit engineer, says players have over 12,000 guesses to reveal some 2,500 randomized words of the day.

On top of the engaging gameplay, there’s the social aspect and appeal of Wordle, in which players share their Wordle experiences in near-daily posts on social media. Many deep-dive into strategic discussions on Wordle forums, and some experienced players teach others how to “guess better.”

Why you should play board games like Wordle

Wordle might capture your attention for a few minutes, but if you’re looking for something more engaging, pick up a board game — especially if you’re looking for screen-free alternatives. 

Many board games tap into popular Wordle aspects, from sequences to linguistics. Others let players flex their strategic thinking skills, which in turn may improve Wordle gameplay. Board game sessions also serve as digital breaks because players ultimately need to set their phones down to concentrate on games. 

Top 6 board games worth playing if you love Wordle

Scrabble

Scrabble Deluxe Edition

The classic word-building game is now available as a portable spinning board with recessed letter spaces. 

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Blank Slate game

Blank Slate

Based on the idea that great minds think alike, this game challenges players to come up with words to complete the host’s hidden phrase.

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Mastermind game

Mastermind

Like Wordle, players have a limited number of guesses to discover the master sequence of six colors. 

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Big Boggle game

Big Boggle

After a rigorous shake in the Boggle box, players have three minutes to identify as many words among jumbled letters that are four letters or more.  

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Wordplay

Wordplay

Players dig deep to guess words that contain two specific letters in a particular category, which proves more challenging than most expect. 

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Dabble game

Dabble

In this fast-paced game players build a word pyramid with 20 tiles, and the first person to reach five words wins. 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
 

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