I, like millions of others, decided to join the Wordle hype train a few weeks ago. Seeing everyone I know tweet a mosaic of greens, reds and greys somehow draws me into the browser game – wait, no – broken Writing just five letters a day went mainstream.
It even took me into the wide world of Wordle spinoffs! Hours later, I plunged into the growing genre of brain-busting games that tested my knowledge of geography, math equations, Pokemon, and professional cyclists. My brain has never felt so smooth and bump-free. While there are plenty of short-term treats for these cute alternatives, the classic Wordle pulls me back like I’m Michael Corleone, pretty much free from the damn thing.
My love-hate relationship with Wordle led me to set my sights on The New York Times’ online selection of games, the new home of the soon-to-be internet giant. I didn’t even know they had a game section! To get one step ahead of Wordle, I scoured the pre-existing selection to see if there was anything else that would take my attention away from my traditional morning routine of browsing Twitter. If only I knew I would trade something shorter and sweeter for something worse.
I’ve replaced the funky new hot with crossword puzzles. I’m officially old, but it’s not my fault! The intersection is there, right in the middle of your first login to the site. Of course, you need a subscription, but it’s like five pounds a month. Once you enter, everything is perfectly laid out in front of you, with huge squares on the left and clearly visible clue columns on the right. I thought; “I’ve been writing, I can guess right?” Thirty minutes passed before I realized the state I was in – refusing to take clues or automatically check anything until I was done No bathing and ill-clothing seconds before work starts.
If you can believe it, things are actually going to get worse. Once I was done with a crossword puzzle (perfect, I might add), I noticed the full crossword archive at my fingertips, written by someone as smart as Byron Walden. If you’re reading this Byron, I don’t care that you’re a mature and successful crossword creator: you ruined my otherwise unproductive mornings and forced me to look into hair loss treatments years in advance.
If you like other browser games that don’t suck your youth like crosswords, the NYT site also has some cute games like Tiles. I love tiles! A calming title, you just have to match the pictures together. It even has a Zen mode for those looking for a relaxing distraction. For me, I somehow found myself in an abyss surrounded by two equally addictive time vampires – it remains to be seen if I can escape either.