Rather than showing a number of letters for a word to guess, Worldle shows you a black shape representing a country somewhere across the globe.
Based on the shape and size, gamers must guess which country it is based on their knowledge of the world map.
If your guess is wrong, the game gives you a percentage of how “right” you are, plus the distance in kilometres that the real country is from the one you guessed – meaning you can get closer and closer within five guesses before your sixth and final try.
Geography and travel fans have been puzzling over the game since 27 January, when its French web developer creator, known only as Teuteuf, launched it as a bit of fun.
Half a million people played the game on Sunday, with its name trending on Twitter, the creator reported earlier this week.
“You crazy people! It was supposed to be just a small side project! We are now half a million who played #Worldle today! Wtf?! Thanks to all of you!” tweeted developer Teuteuf.
They give a nod to the original format on the website, saying: “WORLDLE has been heavily inspired by Wordle, created by Josh Wardle (@powerlanguish).”
Like the mega-hit which was recently acquired by the New York Times, the game is completely free, though the maker gives a link where you can “Buy them a coffee” via donation website ko-fi.com.
It’s not the only geography quiz to take a leaf out of Wordle’s book – an alternative, Globle, launched on 30 January with a slightly more complex format.
This time, you guess a country to start the game, and your chosen country appears in a colour ranging from pale pink to red to show how close it is to the country of the day.
Without the distances that Worldle gives, it’s much harder to get the right country in just a handful of guesses, but the game is much more visual.
“After 13 guesses I had to consult a map and it STILL took two more guesses!” marvelled user Brent Black on Twitter.
“Our Wordle family group chat has turned into a Wordle Quordle Nerdle Globle Worldle group chat,” joked Dr Katie O’Connor of the many Wordle spin-offs.
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