I promised myself I wouldn’t write about Wordle today. It didn’t matter how clever the spin, how cute the twist on the theme, I was determined. And then I discovered the existence of Squirdle, a Wordle-like guessing game about Pokémon, and I’m helpless.
Now, creator Sergio Morales Esquivel (Fireblend) could have taken an easy route here, just picking, say, six-letter Pokémon and then copy-pasting the rest of the code. But instead, to its credit, Squirdle is a much more complex game, one that really requires a decent standard of pocket monster knowledge to be played well.
This means the game is open to your guessing at all 898 of the beasties (the list excludes regional variants, mega-evolved forms, etc.), in just eight turns, which clearly requires some specialist feedback to begin the whittling process. So it is that the game provides five points of feedback: Generation, Type 1, Type 2, Height, and Weight. Should you get either of the types correct with your guess, you’ll get a green box, if they’re wrong, a red, or if there’s one that applies but it’s in the wrong position, a yellow. Then when it comes to the first and latter two, it’ll tell you if you need to guess higher or lower.
Yes, that’s enormously confusing to read, but the only confusing aspect is the types. Essentially, if you guess a Ground type, and the right answer is a Fire/Ground type, then you’ll get a yellow and red block.
Squirdle Daily 28 - 5/8
This is a neat way to approach things. I’m too new to the world of Pokémon to know which monsters are from which generations, and despite a year-and-a-half of pretty intensive Pokémon Go play, am still terrible at remembering which are which type. (I don’t really PvP, see.) But I can still be guided by the information, and better driven by the height and weight stuff. You, an altogether better class of human being, will find the game far more enjoyable as a result of your greater knowledge.
There’s a Daily version, like Wordle, that gives the whole world one Pokémon to guess every 24 hours. But there’s also an option to play as much as you like, with the game just randomly picking monsters. It even allows you to restrict it to just Gen 1, for you old fogey purists.
I’m left cheating, just as I am with Globle, but this time with Bulbapedia open instead of Google Maps. Because hell, I don’t know which Pokémon are the exact same height as Meowth! I’m damned proud I have enough Pokémon names in my head to be able to start playing at all, given that before the pandemic I would have been hard-pushed to spell Pikachu, let alone know a single other breed.
This actually ends up being a rather satisfying process. Trying to work out another Pokémon that’s 1.2m tall, with a secondary Fire type, from Gen 3, or whatever it might be, is no simple feat, and had me researching across multiple tabs.
I also really like that it doesn’t require knowledge of exact spellings, instead pulling up a list as you type, letting you select the one you meant. That’s a lovely touch.
And you know what? Screw Grumpy Comment Person Who Is Obliged To Read Every Post Even Though He Knows He’s Not Interested From The Headline—I hope more and more of these Wordle-alikes keep popping up, because we’re all having so much fun with them!