Hey, have you heard about this game called Wordle? You probably have. At this point, the only people who haven’t heard of Wordle are folks with no internet access, and honestly, it’s likely some of them have heard about it, too. And now, thanks to one clever and bored hardware hacker, the daily word puzzle game has become playable on the Nintendo Game Boy, thereby continuing its conquest of the globe.
Yesterday, IT security researcher and hardware hacker Stacksmashing shared his latest creation with the world: Wordle reimagined as a playable Game Boy ROM. As with most Wordle-related things these days, his tweets explaining the project quickly went viral.
Due to the limitations of the Game Boy’s considerably older hardware, this retro-inspired port isn’t the exact same game as the original super popular browser-based puzzler. As Stacksmashing explained in his Twitter thread, the limited ROM size forced him to ditch the full Wordle word list.
“Instead,” Stacksmashing said, “I’m using a bloom filter to check (with, admittedly, currently a very high error rate) whether an entered word is one of the 8000 most common English words.”
Even though it’s a bit limited compared to the real Wordle, it’s also totally playable on real Game Boy hardware. To do so, you’ll need to download the free ROM created by StackSmashing and then toss that onto a Game Boy-compatible flash cart. Once you’ve done that, you should be good to go. The ROM will also work on Game Boy emulators and even the Analogue Pocket. Someone even tested if it works on the Super Game Boy Player and yup, it sure does.
Stacksmashing explained to Kotaku that he created this port because he was stuck inside over the weekend due to terrible rain. So stuck indoors, bored—and feeling inspired by a similar project to port Wordle to a Palm handheld device—he spent a few hours creating this Game Boy Wordle clone.
According to Stacksmashing, it ended up being a nice way to distract himself for three hours and have some fun during a dreary Saturday.
Wordle has quickly become a phenomenon, leading to numerous clones and tons of strategies and tips. People also have begun creating their own spins on the idea of a simple, daily puzzle game, including a recent creation focused on the New York subway system. Last month, the creator of Wordle ended up selling the game to the New York Times for a large amount of money. But if you are worried that Wordle might end up locked behind a paywall, you can easily download the whole game and play it offline for free.