Are you too good at Wordle? Of course you are. You know all strategies: Which words to guess first, which vowels to test right from the start. You’re probably fed up with embarrassing everyone on Twitter with all of your green squares. If Wordle feels too simple these days, you might want to try its twisted cousin, Absurd.
The game developed by qntm follows most of the rules like Wordle. You guess a five letter word; If you see a green square over a letter, you have the right letter in the right place; If you see a yellow square, you have a correct letter in the wrong square; and if you see a gray square then that letter is not in the word at all.
In Wordle, you have six chances of getting the word right. However, Absurdle gives you unlimited tries. Before you scoff, however, consider the other big difference between the two: every time you guess wrong in Absurdle, the solution to the riddle changes.
But that’s not all; Absurdle doesn’t just pick a word and see if you match, but choose as many similar words to your word as possible to keep your Absurdle game going, there long as possible. If your first guess was SPEAK, Absurdle will go through every word in its database that doesn’t contain these letters, and that vocabulary is its answer key. Hence, it is impossible to guess the word on the first try. Even with the second, it’s impossible to guess. According to qntm, the shortest possible absurdle game is four rounds.
What you’re really trying to do is corner the game; Once it is impossible to find unique words that do not contain any of the guessed letters, yellow and green squares will appear in your guesses. Absurdle will still switch the possible words, but that pool gets smaller and smaller as you keep guessing. At some point there will only be one word left based on the progress of the game and essentially it will then be converted back to normal Wordle.
One important thing to keep in mind about Absurdle is that it is completely deterministic. Unlike Wordle, which has a fixed answer that changes from day to day, using the same guesses in Absurdle always leads to the same result. The game is designed in such a way that there is no “answer” from the start.
If these rules sound a little confusing, don’t worry; qntm has an advanced explainer how it all works. However, the best way to understand Absurdle is to play it.