Written by. Ryuki Ishii based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-01-27 19:03 JST)
Japanese game developer Rikito Ohnishi has released a Japanese version of Wordle called Kotonoha Tango (ことのはたんご). It can be played on your web browser for free. The premise of the game is pretty much the same as Wordle, but it uses the Japanese Katakana syllabary instead of the English alphabet.
Your goal is to find the correct five-character word, and since Katakana consists of 81 characters, which is way more than 26 letters in the English alphabet, getting the correct word can be quite difficult. Simply put, there are way more possibilities than in English. They take this difference into account and allow you to guess the word up to 10 times per day instead of 6 in Wordle. A new word will become available each day.
Other than that, the basic rules are the same. After each guess, the color of the tiles will change to show whether the characters are in the correct spot or not. The tiles will change to green if the character placement is correct. Yellow if the character is in the word but in the wrong spot.
It is heavily inspired by Wordle, a browser game created by Josh Wardle. Wordle went on to become a worldwide hit, with more and more fan-made versions in other languages becoming available, including Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Copycat games recently flooded the App Store but were taken down in bulk after community backlash (Polygon). Wordle became so famous that an old puzzle app of the same name (Wordle!) saw a sudden surge in popularity as well.
There’s even a lewd version of Wordle called Lewdle, created by the renowned screenwriter/author Gary Whitta.
Ohnishi created Kotonoha Tango after realizing that guessing English words can be quite difficult for Japanese users who are not well versed in English. Kotonoha Tango isn’t the first Wordle-inspired game in Japan, though. A developer named aseruneko previously released a similar game called WORDLE ja. However, words used in WORDLE ja aren’t limited to valid words, so the feel of the game is quite different. Kotonoha Tango aims to provide an experience closer to the original Wordle by limiting the answers to valid words.
Wordle-inspired games are proliferating so much that it may set a new standard for word games. Now with the likes of Kotonoha Tango, Japanese users can join in on the fun as well. Although it seems way harder than the original.
Kotonoha Tango can be found here.