Wordle in Minecraft took some wild math to pull off

It was inevitable. We've had Nerdle (Wordle-but-math), CrossWordle (Wordle-but-reversed), and Squabble (Wordle-but-multiplayer), and now the phenomenon has crossed the streams with another. Yep, it's Wordle-but-Minecraft.

The official name of the map is Word Hunt, and it was created by urgle_gurgle (thanks, PCGN). As in Wordle, the goal is to guess a five-letter word in six tries, with the letter colors changing after each guess to give you clues. This map is for the vanilla version of Minecraft and can be seen in action above (download here).

Wordle-in-Minecraft can be played competitively, boasts a leaderboard feature for especially dedicated blockheads, and resets with a new daily word at midnight UTC time (it can also be played as much as you like in offline mode).

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There's some clever math behind getting this to work, primarily because Minecraft isn't designed to store and recover words, all of which urgle_gurgle explains in detail. Even serving up a new word at the same time every day was tricky, because the only way for Minecraft to detect time is "from one specific feature in player heads" that's stored alongside the player's name and head textures. The catch is that that info is encoded, and the process of extracting the data is so complicated it "sounds like black magic." Sounds like a lot of work just to deliver a new Wordle puzzle every 24 hours.

Wordle creator Josh Wardle recently gave a talk at the Game Developers Conference as part of which he discussed the game's wild success and why he felt, in the end, he had to sell it to the New York Times. Most amusing was his list of the rules Wordle breaks: playable once per day, a website rather than an app, bad URL, no links in the sharable scorecards, and so on.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."