if you thought so wordle was old news, here’s something even older: Dialup.net made and released windlea Wordle clone designed to run on Windows 3.1 and the early 1990s PC hardware that would have run Windows 3.1.
You could run Windows 3.1 and its apps on modern hardware within a virtual machine or DOSBox, but to maximize authenticity, windle is built and runs on period-appropriate hardware with period-appropriate tools. The PC used was a Gateway 2000 4DX2-66V with a 66MHz Intel 80486 DX2 CPU, Windows 3.11 for Workgroups and the very first version of the Borland Delphi development environment. Running on the original hardware revealed issues that may not have been apparent in a virtualized version of Windows 3.1, such as a system failure that would occur if the entire dictionary was loaded into memory by a 66MHz processor, e.g. .
windle is designed to match Microsoft Entertainment Pack games like chips challenge† jezzball† minesweeperand The Revenge of Rodents, making the aesthetic instantly recognizable to anyone growing up surrounded by the bulky beige PCs of the early ’90s. Like those games, it also works well in early 32-bit versions of Windows like Windows 95 and 98. I tested it with an installation of Windows 98 Second Edition that I set up in DosBox-X to run old games and other software. feed.
If you want to run windle without digging up an old PC or setting up a virtualized Windows environment from the 90s, Dialup.net also offers a 32-bit build of windle that will run on modern 64-bit versions of Windows 10 and Windows 11, although it “doesn’t look as classic as it does on Windows 3.1.” The 64-bit versions of Windows cannot run 16-bit software without some form of virtualization or emulation.
windle is not the only retro wordle clone that exists – the game has also been ported to the original Game Boy and various Palm PDAs† Hardware limitations keep these ports from using the same dictionary and user interface as the web version, but the basic gameplay is so simple that even the Game Boy’s monochrome screen can convey the basics.