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Knotwords rules and you should play it.
Post-Wordle, the game that went full viral earlier this year — word games have gone ballistic. They’re absolutely everywhere.
And for better of worse, most are Wordle clones. There’s Quordle, Orcordle, Dordle, Sedecordle, Waffle… that’s just the beginning. There Lewdle, which is like Wordle for swear words. There’s Heardle, which is Wordle for music. Framed is Wordle for movies. Oh, and we can’t forget Worldle (not a typo) which is Wordle for geography buffs. My personal favourite? Squabble, which is essentially Wordle Battle Royale and one of the most chaotic games I’ve played this year.
It’s out of control.
But Knotwords is different. You should definitely play Knotwords.
First and foremost, Knotwords is a word game. It splices the DNA of crosswords with anagrams, mixing them seamlessly in a way that’s sort of similar to Wordle. But, unlike the smorgasbord of Wordle clones currently vying for space online, Knotwords feels unique and distinct.
Here’s what a knotword looks like…
This is what a Knotword looks like in the beginning.
Knotwords is, essentially, a series of anagrams that connect seamlessly like a crossword puzzle. It’s one of those magical puzzle games that — in the beginning — seems outright impossible, but once you start breaking things down into discrete little units, the whole puzzle comes together in a way that’s extremely satisfying. Like the best puzzle games, Knotwords guides you gently, but also makes you feel like a goddamn genius.
Knotwords starts out cruisy, but quickly ramps up the difficulty.
Knotwords is the brainchild of Zach Gage and Jack Schlesinger. The pair have a history of creating fascinating new spins on existing, age-old classics. Gage made headlines with a game called Really Bad Chess back in 2016. He’s also made weird spin-off games based on Solitaire.
Unfortunately playing Knotwords requires an app download. Given the success of pure browser games like Wordle, I expected Knotwords to be playable direct from a website, but you will have to download this game for free either on the App Store or on Google Play. It’s also available on Steam, but only as a full price game.
Unlike Wordle, Knotwords has wisely been monetized from the get go. On mobile you can pay for an annual subscription or purchase the game outright. Both of these options provide additional puzzles and access to archives.
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 complete focus from the player. I tired of Wordle in the end, mainly 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 mobile app form. I found Knotwords a joy to play with its little sound effects and gentle Wii Sports-esque soundtrack bopping in the background. The presentation is pure perfection.
Knotwords also features a great difficulty curve. The daily challenges are nice and breezy, but if you want to be challenged Wordle can quickly crank things up a notch. Definitely worth a try.
Wordle is available now on the App Store, Google Play and Steam.