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A random 5-year-old Wordle game is getting 200k App Store downloads a week

Wordle
Wordle (Image credit: Josh Wardle)

What you need to know

  • An old Wordle game has been downloaded 200,000 times in a week as people look for the viral word game.
  • The game's developer has offered to give the money earned by their app to charity.
  • The Wordle everyone is looking for is still only available on the web — no app exists currently.

You'd need to have been living in an Internet black hole to have missed the Wordle drama over the last few weeks. It's a word game that's taken the world by storm and it's being talked about just about everywhere. That kind of buzz generates downloads. Except it's generating downloads of a completely unrelated app that's been sat in the App Store for five years.

Wordle, a game by Steven Cravotta, is currently doing huge numbers. It's available in the App Store (opens in new tab) now but isn't the Wordle everyone is looking for — that isn't stopping anyone from downloading it or, it seems, leaving negative reviews.

Developer Cravotta has been sharing the details in a Twitter thread, including the fact that the game has now been downloaded 200,000 times in the last week. And it's making money — money that he's asked actual Wordle developer Josh Wardle what he'd like to do with. A donation to charity seems likely.

You can read the thread for the ins and outs here:

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Unlike the clones that have popped up hoping to make a quick buck, this particular Wordle app has been around longer than most and is obviously being found by people searching for the game they're hearing so much about. Remember folks, the Wordle you're looking for doesn't have an app — but you can play it on your iPhone at this link just fine.

There is of course a happy ending here — everyone who bought this app's in-app purchases have inadvertently given some money to charity. And got a new word game along the way, too.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.