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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best entertainment magazine in the UK“, if you’re looking for a new addictive game, we look to Wordle and beyond in a discovery of the most popular online puzzle games.

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The internet has become a playground for all kinds of engaging activities, and puzzle games have carved out a significant space within this digital landscape. Remember the global phenomenon of Wordle? The New York Times alone saw a staggering 14.2 billion online visits attributed to the game between January 2022 and November 2023! In November alone, The Times garnered a whopping 783.5 million visits to their online puzzle games, with Wordle contributing a dominant 55.79% of their total traffic.

While Wordle undoubtedly took the internet by storm, its success highlights a much larger trend: the immense global appetite for online puzzle games. But the world of online puzzles extends far beyond the five-letter daily challenge. This post will delve into this exciting world, exploring the diverse range of puzzle games available online, their appeal, and the reasons millions turn to these puzzles for entertainment and mental stimulation.

We’ll uncover the most popular online puzzle games beyond Wordle, explore what makes them tick, and introduce you to new brain-teasing options waiting to be discovered. So, whether you’re a seasoned puzzle warrior or a curious newcomer, join us on this journey as we unlock the captivating world of online puzzle games!

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To help us out, crosswordanswers911 sent over a study into the word/puzzle games segment of top news media sites to understand the online puzzle game dynamics and key players, and sent over a list of the top 10 news sites in this niche, their visits, and the most popular games.

Most Popular Online Puzzle Games

1. Wordle (127.1M searches) 

Wordle captivates users with its simple challenge of guessing a five-letter word within six tries, garnering 127.1M monthly searches, which is approximately 84.73% of the total monthly search volume for the top 20 popular games globally! Its popularity is attributed to its simple and engaging gameplay, and potential viral impact on social media.

Wordle is a daily word-guessing challenge in which players have six tries to guess a secret five-letter word. After each guess, the game provides color-coded feedback: green for a correct letter in the right spot, yellow for a correct letter in the wrong spot, and gray for a letter not in the word at all. With its simple rules and addictive gameplay, Wordle became a global phenomenon, attracting millions of players eager to test their vocabulary and share their results online.

2. Quordle (8.3M searches) 

Offering a greater challenge, Quordle attracts 8.3M searches as players aim to solve four Wordles simultaneously, adding complexity to the puzzle experience.

While Wordle captured the world’s attention with its daily word puzzle, Quordle takes things up a notch for even more wordplay fun. Imagine Wordle, but on steroids! Quordle challenges you to guess not one, but four secret five-letter words simultaneously. You still get the same color-coded feedback after each guess, but it applies to all four words you’re trying to solve. With more complexity and the need to juggle multiple solutions, Quordle offers a steeper challenge for seasoned word game enthusiasts.

3. Sudoku (5.1M searches)

A timeless favorite, Sudoku retains its appeal in the digital age with 5.1M searches, proving the enduring popularity of traditional brain games.

Sudoku is a number-placement puzzle played on a 9×9 grid. The objective is to fill the grid with the digits 1 through 9, ensuring that each number appears only once in each row, column, and within each of the nine smaller 3×3 sub-grids within the larger grid. It requires a combination of logic and deduction skills to solve, making it a stimulating brain teaser for players of all ages.

4. Heardle (3.5M searches) 

Merging music trivia with puzzles, Heardle challenges players to guess songs from their intros, drawing 3.5M searches for its unique blend of entertainment.

Think of Heardle as “Shazam” meets Wordle, but for your ears! This audio-based challenge presents you with snippets of a song’s intro. With each guess (or skipped attempt), you get a longer clip of the song. Your goal is to identify the song title and artist within six tries, using your musical knowledge and memory to recognize the melody. Heardle caters to music lovers who enjoy the thrill of the guess and the satisfaction of nailing a song within the limited attempts.

5. Octordle (2.1M searches) 

Elevating the challenge, Octordle has players guess eight words simultaneously, reflected in its 2.1M searches, attracting those seeking a hardcore puzzle experience.

Octordle takes the concept of Wordle and cranks the difficulty level up to eleven. Here, instead of guessing just one secret word a day, you’re challenged to solve a whopping eight! Yes, eight hidden five-letter words need to be cracked within the same set of six guesses.

Similar to its cousin Quordle, you receive color-coded feedback after each guess, indicating correct letters in the right or wrong spots for all eight words simultaneously. This means strategizing your guesses becomes even more crucial, as you juggle multiple solutions and try to avoid getting locked into the wrong path. Octordle is the ultimate test for word game enthusiasts seeking a serious challenge and a major mental workout.

6. Globle (1.9M searches) 

Adding an educational twist, Globle is a geography-based guessing game with 1.9M searches, combining learning with gaming through proximity hints.

Globle puts a geographical spin on the word-guessing craze. Instead of letters, you’re trying to pinpoint a mystery country! The game presents you with a globe. Your guesses can be any country, and the response comes in the form of a color-coded map. The hotter the color (red/orange), the closer your guess is to the actual mystery country. Conversely, cooler colors (beige) indicate a larger distance.

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Unlike Wordle or Quordle, there are no limitations on the number of guesses you can take. With each attempt, you refine your geographical knowledge and close in on the target country. Globle is a perfect game for those who enjoy geography challenges and a fun way to brush up on your world map skills.

7. Nerdle (1.1M searches) 

Catering to math enthusiasts, Nerdle has players solve numerical puzzles daily, resulting in 1.1M searches from those who prefer equations over words.

Nerdle is the number-crunching cousin of Wordle, designed to challenge your mathematical skills and logic. Imagine Wordle, but instead of letters, you’re presented with an empty equation with eight slots. These slots can be filled with numbers 0-9, basic mathematical symbols (+, -, *, /), and an equals sign (=). The objective is to guess the correct equation within six tries.

After each guess, the game provides color-coded feedback similar to Wordle. Green indicates a number or symbol in the correct position, purple signifies a correct number or symbol in the wrong spot, and black means it’s not part of the solution at all. So, dust off your mental math skills and see if you can crack the code and solve the Nerdle equation!

8. Waffle (1.1M searches) 

Mixing it up, Waffle challenges players to rearrange letters in a waffle-shaped grid, garnering 1.1M searches for its novel word puzzle layout.

Waffle takes the familiar concept of wordplay and scrambles it into a delicious brain teaser. Unlike Wordle, which presents a single word to guess, Waffle offers a jumbled mess of letters arranged in a waffle-shaped grid. Your task? To rearrange these letters to form valid words horizontally and vertically, much like a crossword puzzle.

The game typically allows 15 moves to solve the “WAFFLE,” with color-coded feedback after each rearrangement attempt. Green indicates a letter in the correct position within a word, yellow signifies a valid letter used in the wrong spot, and gray means the letter isn’t part of any solution in the grid. With its unique visual twist and emphasis on anagram skills, Waffle offers a fresh challenge for word game aficionados.

9. Spelling Bee (1M searches) 

Popularized by The New York Times, Spelling Bee has users make as many words as possible from random letters, attracting a million searches from word game aficionados.

This online game throws it back to the classic classroom competition, but with a digital twist. Instead of buzzing in with your answer, you use the provided letters to form as many four-letter or longer words as possible. The game typically presents a honeycomb grid with seven letters, some of which may be mandatory to include in your solutions. There are often bonus points offered for longer words or using all the letters in the grid.

Spelling Bee is a great way to test your knowledge, discover new words, and keep your mind sharp as you race against the clock or compete with friends to see who can create the most impressive word list.

10. Crossword (891K searches) 

A classic staple, digital Crossword draw 891K searches, appealing to a diverse audience seeking daily brain teasers.

Online crossword puzzles offer a classic word game experience in a digital format. They come in a variety of difficulties and themes, catering to both casual solvers and crossword aficionados. The familiar grid format remains, with black squares separating white squares where letters are filled in. Clues are provided horizontally and vertically, testing your vocabulary, knowledge of trivia, and ability to think laterally.

Online crosswords often offer interactive features like the ability to click on a clue for a definition or synonym hint, making them a user-friendly way to enjoy this timeless word game. Many online platforms also offer daily or weekly crossword puzzles, providing a fresh challenge for regular players.

11. Framed (866K searches) 

Offering a cinephile’s twist, Framed challenges players to identify movies from still images, drawing 866K searches from movie buffs and trivia lovers.

This visual puzzle presents you with a single, enigmatic image – a scene, a close-up, a symbolic object – alluding to a specific film. With each incorrect guess, Framed unveils another image, offering more clues bit by bit. Your task is to decipher the imagery and identify the movie title within a set number of attempts. The fewer clues you need, the higher you score!

Framed is a fantastic way to test your memory of iconic movie moments and discover hidden gems you might have missed. So, rack your brain, unleash your film trivia prowess, and see if you can guess the movie before the credits roll (on your guesses)!

12. Dordle (767K searches) 

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Doubling the challenge, Dordle has players simultaneously guess two words, attracting 767K searches from those seeking more complexity in their daily puzzle habit.

Dordle takes the wildly popular Wordle concept and doubles the challenge! Instead of guessing one secret word a day, Dordle throws two five-letter mysteries at you simultaneously. Think of it as playing Wordle twice at once, but with a twist. You get the same six guesses as in the original, but each guess applies to both hidden words.

The color-coded feedback system also gets a double dose. After each attempt, the game highlights correct letters in the right or wrong spots for both words you’re trying to solve. This means you need to strategize your guesses carefully, juggling two solutions at the same time and using the clues from both words to avoid getting stuck on the wrong path.

13. Scrabble (416K searches)

The classic board game turned online favorite, Scrabble engages players in creating words from individual letter tiles, with its online variants drawing 416K searches.

You’ll find a familiar playing board with squares offering bonus points for double or triple letter and word scores. Your turn involves using your assigned letter tiles to form words across the board, strategically leveraging these bonus squares to maximize your points.

Online Scrabble offers a variety of features that enhance the experience. You can choose different game lengths, difficulty levels, and even themed dictionaries depending on the platform. Many online versions offer built-in chat functionality, allowing you to chat with your opponent and add a social element to the competition.

14. Word Search (375K searches)

A beloved classic, digital versions of Word Search, the grid-based word-finding puzzles, pull in 375K searches from fans of all ages.

This classic brain teaser translates perfectly to the digital world, offering endless puzzles to keep you entertained and sharpen your vocabulary. Presented with a grid filled with jumbled letters, your task is to find and circle (or click) all the listed words hidden within the grid. These words can run horizontally, vertically, diagonally, and even backwards, making it a fun challenge for all ages.

Online word search offers a variety of features that enhance the experience. Many platforms allow you to choose from various difficulty levels, with larger grids or shorter word lists for beginners and more complex puzzles with obscure vocabulary for seasoned word searchers. Some versions offer themed word searches focused on specific topics like hobbies, historical events, or even current pop culture. With its simple rules and engaging gameplay, online word search is a perfect way to unwind, stimulate your mind, and expand your vocabulary.

15. Hurdle (335K searches) 

Adding a musical challenge, Hurdle tasks players with guessing a sequence of songs, with 335K searches indicating its growing popularity among auditory puzzle solvers.

Think of Hurdle as a musical version of Wordle, but instead of letters, you’re dealing with notes! The game presents you with a scrambled sequence of musical phrases from a mystery song. With each guess (or skipped attempt), you’re given a rearranged version of the same musical sequence, offering more clues to the melody.

Your objective? To identify the song title and artist within a set number of tries. Hurdle relies on your ability to recognize musical patterns and recall familiar melodies. It’s a fantastic way to test your musical knowledge, sharpen your ear for detail, and discover new tunes you might have missed. So, put on your headphones, unleash your inner music maestro, and see if you can solve the Hurdle before the music ends!

16. Words with Friends (265K searches) 

A staple in social gaming, Words with Friends allows friends to compete in Scrabble-like matches, and its enduring popularity is reflected in 265K searches.

The gameplay stays true to its roots. You’ll take turns placing letter tiles on a crossword-style board, aiming to score points by forming high-scoring words that utilize bonus squares for double and triple letter or word values. Just like Scrabble, strategy is key! You’ll want to leverage your tiles effectively, create opportunities for bonus points, and block your opponent from building high-scoring words.

Word with Friends offers exciting features that complement the classic gameplay. You can chat with your opponent during the game, adding a social element. There are also options for different game lengths and difficulty levels, allowing you to tailor the experience to your preference. Whether you’re a seasoned word game champion or a curious newcomer, Word with Friends offers a convenient and engaging way to enjoy this timeless game of vocabulary and strategy.

17. Lewdle (174K searches) 

An irreverent, adults-only take on Wordle, Lewdle has players guessing words with a risqué twist, resulting in 174K searches from those seeking a cheeky word game alternative.

Instead of guessing everyday words, Lewdle focuses on naughty or profane terms. The core gameplay remains the same: you have six tries to guess a five-letter word, with color-coded feedback indicating correct letters in the right or wrong spots.

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Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on

Here’s the catch: due to the nature of the words, Lewdle won’t accept traditional five-letter words as answers. If you try to guess a non-lewd word, the game will reject it with a shake of the red squares.

18. Squirldle (125K searches) 

Capturing Pokémon fans’ nostalgia, Squirldle invites players to guess the silhouette of a Pokémon, with 125K searches highlighting the enduring love for the franchise.

19. Absurdle (121K searches)

An adversarial take on the Wordle format, Absurdle actively tries to avoid giving away the answer, intriguing players and leading to 121K searches.

20. Wordscapes (118K searches) 

Combining crossword-style puzzles with a nature theme, Wordscapes provides a relaxing game experience that has attracted 118K searches from casual gamers.

Online Puzzle Games

The pandemic-era surge in online puzzle game visits, especially on news sites, highlights a digital evolution in entertainment. Traditional games like Crossword and Sudoku have successfully migrated online, now forming a core part of many digital media strategies, as seen with The New York Times’ impressive game visit numbers.”

Wordle’s immense popularity, propelled further by The New York Times’ acquisition, demonstrates not just a game’s success but a cultural shift. It’s more than entertainment; it’s a daily ritual, a tool for social bonding in a digital-first world, showcasing the unique role of word and puzzle games today.

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