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Move over, Wordle — Knotwords is the new word game craze

Wordle walked so Knotwords could run

Unless you blipped out of existence over the past few months, you know that Wordle completely took over the collective consciousness for a while. Its simplicity and addicting gameplay led to huge success from small beginnings, and it seemed like you couldn’t look anywhere without seeing someone raving about the best new word puzzler. Of course, some grew weary of the game’s simplistic style after a while, and other variations began to pop up — there’s Lewdle, a cheeky NSFW version, Sweardle, one where you get to guess your favorite swear words, and the most creative ventured away from the word game aspect altogether by using music with Heardle or geography with Globle.

After all this time, yet another variation on the word puzzle has emerged, and this is the first one we’ve seen since Wordle‘s debut that might dethrone the game that started a phenomenon. I’m talking about the Wordle creator-approved Knotwords, which is a daily word game that’s basically a combination of Wordle, crossword puzzles, and position-based math logic puzzles. If that sounds kind of confusing, let me break it down for you.

The game presents you with a series of knots, which are small, almost Tetris-like sections that fit together. Each section has a series of letters associated with it, and those letters can go in any spot in the knot. The idea is to fill out each knot while being able to read the board both up-and-down and side-to-side, meaning each row and column makes a valid English word.

Knotwords also has a hint feature, which gives the player a definition of a word that’s somewhere in the puzzle with a three-minute time penalty to the in-game timer. Similar to crossword puzzles you’ll find in a newspaper, the puzzles start out easy on Mondays and ramp up in difficulty until you hit the Sunday edition. Ars Technica has a great breakdown of how to solve a Knotwords puzzle if you want to check it out in more detail.

While playing Knotwords on mobile platforms, players will have access to a new puzzle every day, as well as a “puzzlebook” that provides 30 more new puzzles for the month.

There’s also the option of buying the full version of the game for $12, which gives players access to an archive of old Knotwords puzzles, including the ones from before the player’s purchase of the game, as well as yet another monthly collection of puzzles. Daily “twist” puzzles are also included in the full version of the game, which switch things up even more with vowel counters on each row and column — a mechanic that feels vaguely like sudoku.

Unlike Wordle, you can’t play Knotwords in your browser, but the full version is available for purchase on Steam.

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