If you can’t get enough of Wordle, The New York Times might just have a solution to quench that insatiable addiction to the puzzle game.

Starting today, the game division of the newspaper will offer access to the Wordle archive of 1,000-plus past Wordle puzzles to subscribers. Those will include both brainteasers published since The Times took over Wordle in January 2022, as well as puzzles from the game’s independent days, which stretch back to June 2021.

The new Wordle archive [Image: The New York Times]

“It’s been long in planning,” Jonathan Knight, general manager of New York Times Games tells Fast Company. “We have been hearing from users it’s top of list among their requested features.”

The archive will arrive on mobile and desktop platforms today, with plans to launch on the Games app in June. 

While you’ll need a subscription to either New York Times Games ($6 per month) or an All Access New York Times subscription ($25 every four weeks) to play the Wordle archives, the new daily Wordle games will remain free for everybody.

Perhaps just as important to power players, playing archived games will not impact your streaks or other statistics.

It is, in some ways, a bit of catch-up on the part of The Times. Many of the Wordle imitators that have popped up in recent years launched with the ability to play archived games, which some users stream on TikTok and other social media platforms. And while putting together an archive of past Wordle puzzles might not seem like a difficult decision given the game’s phenomenal success, because the game has had very different owners since its foundation, it wasn’t as easy as you might think.

When Josh Wardle debuted the game in October 2021 (after testing it with friends and family since June of that year), he, of course, didn’t expect it to be the success it quickly became. The game, as it was coded then, was a piece of JavaScript, says Knight, with answers stored in your local browser. If the user got a new phone or cleared their cache, it rebooted their stats.

Importing those puzzles into the current framework was “a bit of a technical challenge, if I’m being honest,” Knight says. Work began on creating the archive last year.

One note: Just as you can’t replay the current day’s Wordle once you’ve completed the puzzle, you won’t be able to replay archived Wordles once you’ve won or lost them. Scrolling over to a date you’ve already played in the archives will just show you that day’s puzzle and score.

Knight says the possibility of replaying puzzles you’ve completed may be considered in the future.

Community is at the heart of the movement to bring back these old puzzles. Wordle, like The Times’s other games, has a human curator and that creates a constructor-solver relationship. (The Times mandated that change in November 2022.) There’s a component of one person trying to trick the player—and whether you succeed or fail on any particular day, it makes you want to return. At the same time, there’s a large community of players sharing their triumphs and upsets—and chatting daily about the puzzles on Times-run forums.

Of course, if you prefer to see how you do against nonhuman opponents, there’s the WordleBot tool, which looks at your completed game and analyzes it—giving you a score for luck and skill—and lets you know how it would have solved that day’s puzzle. (WordleBot will be added to the Games app at the same time as the Wordle archive. It has been available to web and mobile players since April 2022.) 

Wordle has inspired a slew of other puzzle games that emulate its formula, from Vulture’s Cinematrix to a variety of options recently introduced on LinkedIn. Despite the competition, though, it has remained the most successful NYT puzzle game, with daily users topping the paper’s vaunted crossword puzzle. (The NYT doesn’t give precise user numbers, but Knight says “tens of millions” of people play each week.) The Times has also seen success with Spelling Bee, which launched online in 2018 and debuted in The New York Times Magazine in 2014; Connections, which launched last July, has also quickly found a loyal audience. 

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