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Should Wordle Clones Be Allowed on the App Store?

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Wordle has risen to the heights of popularity at the start of 2022, taking the internet by storm. But with this popularity, Wordle has been subjected to various copycat apps and even some downright clones.

While Apple has been quick to remove most of these from the App Store, it does bring out the topic of whether or not Wordle clones should be allowed on the App Store. Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is Wordle?

Wordle is a web-based word guessing game. Players must correctly guess a five-letter word, and they have six attempts to do so. The game gives hints as to whether you’ve used the right letter and if it’s in the right place.

Unlike most games, there is only one word to guess on Wordle per day. Each day, the game generates a new word for players to guess.

Related: What Is Wordle? The Word Guessing Game That Has Gone Viral

Even if you haven’t played Wordle, you’ve likely seen its influence floating around online. You know those green and yellow squares that keep popping up on your Twitter timeline? That’s the Wordle grid.

Should Wordle Clones Be Allowed on the App Store?

When it comes to cloned apps, the decision on whether they should be allowed usually comes down to ethics. Are these copycat developers simply trying to jump on the bandwagon with a clone that doesn’t break copyright? Or are they maliciously copying apps to earn a quick buck?

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The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Neither Wordle’s design nor premise have been copyrighted, trademarked, or anything else of that nature. Technically, that means the game is within the public domain and free for people to replicate.

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In fact, Wordle itself isn’t entirely original. You can draw some similarities between the game and other popular ones such as Lingo, Boggle, and Scrabble. The difference is, Wordle just takes inspiration from these apps rather than outright copying them.

An exact copy of an app is rather unethical, whether it’s technically allowed or not. It’s just like copying someone else’s homework. Still, it remains to be seen, does the demand for the game justify the app?

Moreover, most of these clones become more unethical by the fact they’re rolling out monetization features. They’re implementing advertising or subscriptions to make money off downloads.

Regardless of whether you believe copycat Wordle apps are ethical or not, there is actually a definitive answer here. Apple’s App Store Developer Guidelines explicitly prohibits developers from copying other apps.

Related: Should Google Act Faster to Remove Malicious Copycat Apps?

Now, there is some room for debate here if the copycat apps start to introduce new features and changes. But, most of the Wordle clones we’ve seen aren’t doing that–they’re just copies.


As a result of breaking these rules, many of the Wordle clones have been removed from Apple’s App Store. You may find the odd one or two poking around, but the company has taken action.

Should People Even Use Wordle Clones?

When it comes to whether people should even use the Wordle clones, we’ve probably got a pretty clear-cut line. Why would you want to use a knockoff, when you can use the original for free online?

If people are so desperate to play the game that they can’t deal with only one puzzle a day, there are online alternatives such as sweardle and Absurdle. And if people really want to pay for the premium of an app on their iPhone, the choice is down to them.

What is not acceptable by any standard are the copycats claiming to be the original and charging people. One Wordle copycat set a subscription of $30 per month for unlimited puzzles.


If someone wants to pay that, it’s their own decision. A pretty poor decision, but a decision nonetheless. But, if clones are tricking less savvy consumers into thinking they have to pay for the original, they must be stopped.

A Wordle a Day Keeps the Clones at Bay

Regardless of whether or not Wordle clones should be allowed on the App Store, there is still a way to keep them at bay. By continuing to use Wordle rather than these clones, copycat developers will become demotivated to make these clones.

Hopefully, Apple continues to remove these clone apps, and in the meantime, players can continue to show their support for the original Wordle in the easiest way possible–guessing a word each day.


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