Knotwords is a genius combination of Wordle and Crosswords


After-wordlethe game that went viral earlier this year — word games have gone ballistic. They really are everywhere.

And for better or worse, most are Wordle clones† There’s Quordle, Orcordle, Dordle, Sedecordle, Waffle… that’s just the beginning. There Lewdle, that’s like Wordle for swear words. There’s Heardle, that’s Wordle for music. Framed is Wordle for movies. Oh, and we can’t forget Worldle (no typo) which is Wordle to geography buffs. My personal favorite? Quarrel, that is essentially Wordle Battle Royale and one of the most chaotic games I’ve played this year.

It’s getting out of hand.

But Knotwords is different. You should definitely play Knotwords.

What is Knotwords?

First and foremost, Knotwords is a word game. It combines the DNA of crosswords with anagrams, blending them seamlessly in a manner similar to Wordle. But unlike the hodgepodge of Wordle clones currently competing for space online, Knotwords feels unique and distinctive.

This is what a keyword looks like…

This is what a node looks like in the beginning.

Zach Gage and Jack Schlesinger

Knotwords is essentially a series of anagrams that fit together seamlessly like a crossword puzzle. It’s one of those magical puzzle games that – at first – seems downright impossible, but once you start breaking things down into discrete little units, the whole puzzle comes together in a way that is extremely satisfying. Like the best puzzle games, Knotwords gently guides you, but also makes you feel like a fucking genius.

Who made Knotwords?

Knotwords starts out rough, but quickly ramps up the difficulty.

Zach Gage and Jack Schlesinger

Knotwords is the brainchild of Zach Gage and Jack Schlesinger. The pair have a history of creating fascinating new versions of existing, age-old classics. Gage made headlines in 2016 with a game called Really Bad Chess. He’s also created weird spin-off games based on Solitaire.

Where can I play Knotwords?

Unfortunately, playing Knotwords requires an app download. Given the success of pure browser games like Wordle, I expected that Knotwords could be played directly from a website, but you will have to download this game for free from the App Store or Google Play. It’s also available on Steam, but only as a full-price game.

Unlike Wordle, Knotwords has wisely monetized from the start. On mobile, you can pay for an annual subscription or purchase the game directly. Both options offer additional puzzles and access to archives.

What’s so great about Knotwords?

Knotwords is just incredibly polished and well designed. As a core puzzle game, it works effortlessly. It’s easy enough to pick up, but challenging enough to require full focus from the player. I eventually got tired of Wordle, mostly because the same strategies worked most days. Knotwords is more layered and requires agile thinking at all times.

It’s also incredibly sticky. It’s beautifully executed and tactile, especially in the form of a mobile app. I found Knotwords a joy to play with its small sound effects and soft Wii Sports-esque soundtrack in the background. The presentation is pure perfection.

Knotwords also has a great difficulty. The daily challenges are nice and light, but if you want to be challenged, Wordle can quickly kick things up a notch. Definitely worth a try.

Wordle is now available on the App Store, Google Play, and Steam.

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