The sensational word puzzle Wordle has not been left without imitators. One of the most notable was Wordle — The App, which among other things has a paid mode. The clone managed to collect more than 12 thousand installations and came under a barrage of criticism from other developers before Apple removed it from the App Store.

Wordle — The App

Wordle is a game in which the user tries to correctly guess the word of the day from five letters in six attempts. After each attempt, the game colors the letters in the proposed variants in different colors. In green — if the letter is in the word of the day and is placed in the same place. In yellow — if there is a letter in the word, but it should be in a different place. In gray — if the letter is not in the word.

The puzzle was developed by Josh Wardle. The game was released in October 2021, but it became popular towards the end of December, when they began actively writing about it on Twitter. You can read more about Wordle here.

While the original Wordle is distributed only in the browser, clones have decided to take its place in mobile stores. Developer Zack Shakked, among others, tried to make money on the popularity of the puzzle.

On January 10, Shakked wrote on Twitter that he likes Wordle so much that he made his own version of this game for iOS called Wordle — The App. His title looks and gameplay almost completely copied the original puzzle. But it also has a “zest”. The word of the day in his Wordle — The App can consist not only of five letters, but also of four, six and seven. In addition, Shakked added a paid mode to the application. For $30, a user can buy a version with an unlimited number of attempts.

The idea was successful. According to Shakked, in just a few hours Wordle — The App was downloaded 2,300 times. A day later, the number of downloads has already reached 12 thousand, and the title itself has become the 28th most popular word game in the App Store. To which the developer stated that he was going to “make a hell of a lot of money” in 2022.

However, the clone made by Shakked was not appreciated on Twitter. American TV presenter Adam Conover (Adam Conover) said that he does not understand how you can be proud of stealing someone else’s work. Andy Baio from Skittish said that Shakked’s act “turned plagiarism into an outright money grab.” Cable Sasser from the indie publisher Panic wrote that he “can’t wait to show the real author of Wordle how to delete in the App Store.” And indie activist Rami Ismail just sent the developer away.

Shakked himself tried to justify himself by saying that Wardle did not register a trademark for Wordle, and therefore he has all the rights to create his own game. In addition, he pointed out that Wordle is also plagiarism (Lingo games). His statement caused even more criticism from the gaming community, after which Shakked had to close his Twitter account.

On January 11, Wordle — The App disappeared from the App Store. There was no official confirmation that Apple had removed the app. However, Shakked himself said that it was Apple that did it unilaterally.

According to The Verge, last night Apple began removing puzzle clones from its store. It is known that in addition to Wordle — The App, at least two more applications were removed from App Stora: What Word — Wordle and Wordle — Daily Word Game. Whether Google does the same is not reported.

The author of the original Wordle did not comment on the incident.