Photo: Jakayla Toney

By: Nick Gambino

The moment it was announced that The New York Times was buying the free-to-play Wordle game for a low seven-figure price, those of us who are dedicated to solving the puzzle on the daily feared we were in for some changes. Would they start charging? Would they switch up the layout? What will they do to our beloved word game?

The NYT promised us they wouldn’t change anything. “At the time it moves to The New York Times, Wordle will be free to play for new and existing players, and no changes will be made to its gameplay,” they said in their press release.

If you’re paying attention to that slick journalistic wordplay, you’ll notice it’s entirely possible that they will put the game behind a paywall and change the way we play in the future. Well, it didn’t take long.

Yesterday’s Wordle highlighted a pretty major change and this one is to the predetermined word list itself. You see, all of the forthcoming Wordles have already been set. Wait. Let’s back up in case you don’t understand how the game is played. Perhaps you’re just as confused as the rest of us once those little green, yellow and black squares started clogging up your social media feed.

Wordle is a simple word guessing game where you are given six attempts at guessing a five-letter word. After your first guess, you’ll be shown which letters are correct and whether or not they’re in the right place in the word. That’s it. The appeal is in its simplicity. There is only one word a day making it even simpler. Most avid players come back the next day to try and maintain their streak.

As I said before, the words are in a predetermined list that you can find online if you really care to. Yesterday marks the first departure between the original list and The NYT list. The original word was “AGORA” while the NYT word was “AROMA.”

“We are updating the word list overtime to remove obscure words to keep the puzzle accessible to more people, as well as insensitive or offensive words,” the NYT explained to ABC Reporter Michael Slezak.

In addition to changing the word list, they’ve removed words from the ones you can guess. That means, not just the solution to the daily puzzle but the guesses on your way to the solution.

Now, I know I’ve so far maintained a surly tone about this change, but I’m going to be real with you – I don’t really care. I’ve been playing the NYT Wordle for the past week or so and I’m happy with it. It feels the same and I’m not missing the future words that have changed or the offensive words I wasn’t planning on guessing anyway.

And for my friend who is playing the original game and had a hell of a time with “AGORA,” maybe it’s time to join me on the dark side and switch over to the NYT.