If you type Waffle into Google you will no longer find a delicious square breakfast treat covered with syrup and powdered sugar as the number one result. Instead (at least in the US and UK) you will find Waffle, one of the many daily word puzzle games that were inspired by the sudden smash-hit success of Wordle.
That's pretty impressive—waffles have been around since the 14th century and Waffle only popped up in February of 2022.
Granted, if you want to eat a waffle you probably just go and eat a waffle, you don't look it up on Google it first. But Waffle (the game) is still pretty darn popular. According to Waffle's creator, James Robinson, the game now has roughly 450,000 daily players, and that success hasn't gone unnoticed.
Speaking to gamesindustry.biz, Robinson says he's received a number of offers from parties who wanted to buy Waffle, similar to how Wordle was purchased by the New York Times shortly after it became a hit. Unlike Josh Wardle, creator of Wordle, Robinson hasn't sold his creation.
"One of [the offers] was a life changing amount of money," Robinson said. "I could have done that and finished it there. But I have always wanted to make more games, and if I was to sell it, I wouldn't have that platform to make more. It's a decision I still think about every day. But… we are keeping it independent."
Play a few games of Waffle and it's easy to see why it's become such a popular daily word puzzle. Instead of an empty Wordle grid, Waffle is already filled in—though most of the letters are in the wrong place. And instead of one word, you're trying to solve six intersecting words (the grid has four gaps in it, giving it a waffle-like appearance, hence the name). You swap letters by dragging and dropping them, trying to solve all six words before you run out of moves.
It's fun, tricky, easy to understand, and unlike Wordle, even if you run out of moves you can still finish the puzzle. You just won't get any stars for your efforts.
As for its rise to popularity, it began on Reddit where Robinson posted the game and watched it slowly spread across the internet. Waffle even made it onto PC Gamer, in our list of the best games like Wordle, which Robinson says "bumped the numbers to a new high." Soon it was featured on sites like CNET and Lifehacker, and eventually Robinson was even approached by Amazon to create a version just for Prime members, which became Waffle Royale.
As for how it took Google's top spot for the word waffle, winning out over actual, literal waffles, Robinson said he isn't really sure: "That's from no effort on my part. My cousin asked me about SEO advice, but I can't give him any. I didn't do anything to get it up there."
"It shows to me that the internet works," he said. "As an amateur, you can put something on the internet and if enough people are interested in it, it can get up there."
Robinson is currently working on a standalone app for Waffle. In the meantime, you can play Waffle daily right here—and unlike Wordle, you don't have to stop at one play per day. The complete Waffle archive is yours for the puzzling.