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These Wordle Clones Are Causing An Uproar

It's been weeks since "Wordle" first confused Twitter users with its mysterious green and yellow blocks. Now, "Wordle" has taken over the internet with endorsement from celebrities and "Candy Crush" moms alike. In fact, the daily puzzle game has become so popular that other creators seem to want to profit off that success with their suspiciously similar creations. "Wordle" clones have arrived, and fans of the original are furious.

First off, "Wordle" doesn't cost any money to play. However, these clones have similar enough names and rank high enough in search results that they confused the fakes listed on iOS App Store with the real thing. Some commenters argued that "Wordle" itself copies the British television show Lingo. However, considering the proximity of the so-called "Wordle" clones to the success of the original, it's more suspicious that they popped up so soon with very similar designs and mechanics. 

Most developers didn't publicly post about their "Wordle" clones online, but one shamelessly did. Twitter ripped him apart for boasting about his copycat app and "going to the f****** moon" in a now-deleted tweet. His app has also since been removed from the App Store. However, the problem isn't just about copying "Wordle" or having bragging rights. It's also about the money. 

Life is a free-to-play, pay-to-win game

Some of these "Wordle" clones require payment to download or feature in-app purchases and ads, which smear the intentions of the original creator's wishes to offer a relaxing, free-to-play pastime. Joshua Wardle, the former Reddit software engineer who created the app, recently told BBC Radio 4 in an interview that he intends to keep the game ad-free and without charge.

"I don't understand why something can't just be fun," he said. "I don't have to charge people money for this and ideally would like to keep it that way."

"Wordle" apparently started as just a way to entertain Wardle and his wife. Players have six tries to guess a five-letter word (a.k.a wordle). Green tiles mean that the letter is in the correct place in the word, yellow tiles mean that the letter is in the word but not in the right place, and gray means that the letter is not included in the word.

Apple seems to have taken action against the "Wordle" copycats, as some of them have already disappeared. However, it might take a bit longer to completely scrub the App Store of all the word puzzle clones. If Apple can mess with Epic Games in court, it definitely isn't going to let "Wordle" impostors run free.