When the web-based word game Wordle launched in 2021 it became super popular extremely fast. Several people have written entire features about why it struck such a chord, considering whether Covid lockdowns made us all desperate for fresh, new, and, crucially, simple challenges. Or whether it was the fact that scores were so easily sharable that made it a hit. Whatever the reason, I get it if Wordle is still close to your heart. But I also totally understand if you're sick and tired of it, too.
Like most people, I was swept up in the Wordle frenzy. But since then, I've been branching out into other minimal word-based games to see if I can improve my word-building, word recognition, and quick-thinking skills in other ways.
As you might expect, Wordle spawned many clones that weren't half as compelling. But I'll be sharing several of the best app-based word games I've found over the next few weeks. The one that I can't seem to pull myself away from at the moment is Apple Arcade's Knotwords+, available on iPhone and iPad.
How does Knotwords+ work?
To play Knotwords+ you'll be shown a grid and you'll need to arrange the letters in each section of the grid so that everything you see, reading vertical and horizontal, makes a valid word.
Open the Knotwords+ app and you're greeted with three choices, a Daily Mini puzzle, a Daily Classic Puzzle, and a Daily Twist puzzle. As you might expect, the Mini is a tiny version, Classic is much bigger and Twist asks you to play the game, but with some added rules, like not just creating new words, but hitting a specific number of vowels in each.
It's one of those word puzzles that seems tricky to get the hang of at first, but give it a few days and you'll be storming through them quickly – but if you're anything like me, you'll still feel challenged. And if you get through the daily puzzles, there are collections of puzzle books to try that feature past puzzles and new, similar challenges.
I'm not saying Knotwords+ has the same highly addictive quality as Wordle. But I love the minimal design and I've been enjoying it as a super simple way to get my brain in gear first thing alongside my morning coffee.
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Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.