Tech

Wordle clones invade the app store

If you’ve spent any time on Twitter over the past week, chances are you’ve seen emoji box grids take over your feed. It’s because of , a new puzzle game that has become an obsession for many since The New York Times a little over a week ago.

Like other viral games, Wordle is deceptively simple: you have six chances of guessing a new five-letter word. And that’s about it. There is only one puzzle per day, and it’s free and ad-free. Its creator, a software developer named Josh Wardle, is apparently by the popularity of its game. But the fact that the game has no application allowed the developers to create their own counterfeit version of the game.

A particularly egregious example comes from developer Zach Shakked who created an app called “Wordle – The application.At first glance, the app, which is captioned “Word game Everyone is playing!“Could easily be mistaken for the original. The word grid looks almost the same and even uses the same color scheme. But Shakked’s version also requires players to purchase a ‘pro’ subscription which costs $ 29.99. $ after a three-day “free trial”.

But between the name of the app “Wordle” and running search ads against the term in the App Store, Shakked seems to have managed to capitalize on the popularity of the game originally created by Wardle. “This is absurd. 450 tries at 1 a.m. last night, now at 950 and getting new ones every minute,” he wrote in a tweet that has since been made private. “12,000 downloads, ranking pun # 28 and result # 4 for “Wordle” in the App Store We’re going to the fucking moon.

Screenshot via Twitter

Shakked and Wardle did not respond to questions from Engadget. But Shakked isn’t the only developer trying to cash in on the popularity of Wordle. Its application is one of at least six Wordle clones launched in the App Store within eight days of the original New York Times article on Wordle. Another, called “What Word – Wordle,” who charges an in-app purchase of $ 0.99 to remove ads, claims to be the “No. 1 word game” in his App Store screenshots. . (It’s actually ranked # 7 in word games, according to its App Store list.)

Fraudulent counterfeit apps capitalizing on the popularity of a viral game are nothing new, of course. Game developers have been the practice for years. Apple did not immediately respond to questions about Wordle clones in his store. But, thanks to the emails released during Epic v. Apple test, we know that copy apps have long been a source of frustration for Apple executives. “Does anyone review these apps?” Does nobody look after the store? “Wrote Phil Schiller in . Three years later, he complained that “I can’t believe we still don’t have” automated tools to find scam apps.

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