obi-wan in star wars revenge of the sith

All About SWordle, the New ‘Star Wars’ Word Game

I've got word games, they're multiplyin'...and I'm losing...control.

If you were to tell me, a year ago, that we were about to enter the golden age of online word games, I would have thought you’d gone loopy from Covid quarantine. Why would people get into new word games when we’ve already got some perfectly fine crosswords and the New York Times Spelling Bee? Well, little did I know what the future held! Now, along with Wordle, Quordle, Heardle, and the other million online word games out there, we have SWordle: the online word game for Star Wars nerds, designed by Aurebesh Files.

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Wordle, in case you don’t yet know, is the game that spawned enough clones to power the Republic Army. In the original game, you get six tries to guess a five-letter mystery word. With each guess, the game tells you how many letters you’ve gotten correct, and how many of those are in the right spots. Part of the fun is to try to guess the right word in as few tries as possible, so that you can use its social media plugin to brag on Twitter. There’s also something called Wordlebot, which will analyze your game and rate how skillfully you played.

The one problem with Wordle, though, is that you can only play once a day. That’s part of the reason all the spin-off versions have popped up. Once you finish the main Wordle, you can just head over to another game and do it again. And again, and again, and again! Of course, once players figured out that the whole word list is in the source code, they started just changing the date on their computers to get early access to future games. But, for those of us with the patience to wait for the second marshmallow, we needed MORE CONTENT.

And it has been delivered. Look, the concept of the game is clever as hell in its simplicity—sparking the creativity of other game designers. It will never end, but also, do we want it to?

Wait, What’s It Called Again?

SWordle.

Swordle?

No, SWordle. With a capital W, so that the first two letters are the initials of Star Wars. Please try to keep up.

Sorry.

It’s okay.

So, How Do You Play SWordle?

The basic gameplay is the same as Wordle. You get six chances to try and guess a five-letter word. However, the winning word will always have something to do with Star Wars. What that means is that SWordle is as much a trivia game as it is a word game. The broader and deeper your knowledge of Star Wars is, the better your chance is of getting the right answer in six tries or less.

But wait, you might be thinking. Sure, there’s a lot of Star Wars content out there, but how many five-letter words specific to the Star Wars universe could there possibly be? That’s a good point! There’s “Endor,” “Clone,” “Force,” and, uh…”Windu?” It turns out it’s surprisingly hard to come up with Star Wars references that are limited to exactly five letters—although, again, hardcore fans are going to have a much easier time dredging words out of their subconscious than casual viewers will.

There’s good news and bad news on that front. The good news is that SWordle supplies a complete list of all the words it uses in its puzzles—just go to the top left corner of the screen and tap the green circle. That means you can scroll through the list if you need to jog your memory of any Star Wars words that might have slipped your mind. Although the list contains 14,000 words, only 400 of them are possible winning words. And 400 Star Wars references is actually pretty manageable, even if you haven’t seen every last episode of every last series. All you casual fans out there probably know more than you think.

The bad news is that, unlike Wordle, SWordle isn’t limited to letters. Many of the words in the word list are actually series of numbers and dashes, like “11-4D” and “2-1BS.” Those of you who know your droids are going to have a significant advantage here. (Pro tip: use the word list to check the dash placement in your favorite droid’s name. I was today years old when I finally noticed that Artoo’s name is spelled R2-D2, not R2D2. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that.)

Even wilder, there are entries in the word list like “209th” and “1970s.” There are also some common words like “relax” and “grist,” along with many, many names of characters and places.

Luckily, there’s one more tool in your tool belt when you play SWordle. After three guesses, you get access to a hint, which you can reveal by tapping the icon next to the circle in the top left.

What’s It Like to Play SWordle as a Young Padawan?

Today I got my butt kicked playing this nightmarishly difficult game, and I’ll record my experience here so that you can approach it as a savvier, better-prepared Jedi. I’ll list my guesses and the hint I was given, but I won’t reveal the correct word. Skip the next paragraph if you absolutely want to avoid all spoilers.

The first word that came to mind was “Endor,” and it got me two correct letters: E and N. That was the absolute end of my knowledge of five-letter Star Wars words that contain E and N but not D, O, or R. Next I put in “Sends,” knowing that I was sacrificing a letter, but that guess didn’t reveal any new letters. Then I tried “Grand,” thinking of Grand Moff Tarkin, and then “Trade,” thinking of the Trade Federation from the Prequels. You can already tell how badly I was flailing at this point. I knew the word list contained non-Star Wars words I could use to test letters, but I just couldn’t pull myself out of a Star Wars trivia mindset. The hint I got was “Designation from Prequels,” and that sent me into a spiral. Designation!? Like a call sign or a title or what? Was it Rogue? No, that didn’t make any sense at all. For some reason, I used “Niche” as my final guess. I suppose I knew I was going to fail.

When I saw the correct word, I groaned out loud. I got so caught up in deep dives like “Ieria” that I completely overthought it. I turned in my lightsaber and slunk away from my computer in shame. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t overthink it!

Anything Else I Should Know About SWordle?

It has cool Star Wars-inspired graphics! Yay!

(featured image: Lucasfilm)


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Author
Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>