Try My Game!

About seven years ago, I made a web-based clone of an commercial word puzzle app I liked, but with extra game tweaks I wanted to have (like hints). That little project got me hired at Amazon, actually. I just updated it, gave it a new name and website: https://clever.io.

All the puzzles are generated automatically by pulling in the 30,000 most used English words in Wiktionary, and then grabbing the clues from Princeton's WordNet dictionary. (Filtering by the most used words strips out all the insane medical jargon and latin words that WordNet also has). The script runs an algorithm to divide up each puzzle into 10 words of varying lengths from 4-10 letters, and then chops them up into 2 and 3 letter chunks. The goal of the game is to figure out the 10 words from the letter chunks. If you're really stuck, you can click the clue and the first letter chunks will glow to give you a hint (and add 30 seconds to your time!).

The design of the game (which I claim no credit for) is genius, in that as you pick off the easy words, the ones left become easier because there are less letters to choose from. Even then, the way the word chunks are divided up, can make your brain just not work until you finally see it. For example the word "hothead" could be divided up into "ho", "the", "ad" and you'll stare at it for minutes before it finally clicks. I love it.

The project is open source and available on Github. There's already a version out there that uses the code to create a version in (I swear) Azerbaijani! My goal I think next is to allow multiple people to play the game at once as that's when it's the most fun. When someone else figures out a tough (usually innocuous) word, it's always a head slapping moment, which is fun.

For best results, use the 'Add To Home' option on your phone so it works like a regular app. When you finish a puzzle, you can click the 'share' button to send that exact puzzle to a friend or post it online!

Try it out and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

-Russ

P.S. This is my first blog post in over two years! I switched to AWS for hosting (from $100 a month to $5), but I had to created and edit all the web pages manually to make a post! Will have to look for or create some static blog software to use...

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