We’re big fans of Wordle here in the SoyaCincau office, with a number of us comparing our scores on a near daily basis. However, if your only electronic gadget to access Wordle happens to be a computer from the mid-90s, you’re in luck, as someone has created a clone of Wordle for those running Windows 3.1.
Now we don’t actually recommend you bring out your dad’s old PC from the store room to try it, seeing as you could just run Windows 3.1 on a virtual machine or on DOSBox. However, the unnamed creator of Windle notes that he actually coded it using a period-authentic Gateway 2000 4DX2-66V PC running Windows 3.11 for Workgroups, complete with an Intel 80486 DX2 processor running at a rapid 66MHz.
Incidentally, because he used period-authentic hardware, he ran into issues that someone using a VM to run Windows 3.1 wouldn’t have discover, including rediscovering just how slow a 66MHz CPU is.
“One thing that shouldn’t have been a surprise, but something that I’d almost forgotten, was the fact that a 66MHz CPU is slow. I was initially relying on reading the entire dictionary into memory on startup, but had to quickly replace that with a binary search through the file on disk since it took multiple seconds to load Windle while the UI hung,” – Windle creator
Windle was also coded to look like it was made in 1992 too. Its creator designed its UI to look like classic Solitaire, Minesweeper and other early games that came with the Microsoft Entertainment Pack. So if you’re into this retro computer aesthetic, you’re going to want to be posting your Windle scores on social media instead. For those who want to try out the actual 16-bit game of Windle, you’ll need to use either Windows 3.1, Windows 95 or Windows 98. However, the creator has also provided a 32-bit version of Windle that will run on modern 64-bit copies of Windows 10 and Windows 11 too, but it won’t look as retro as the actual 16-bit version.
Also, if you’re big into retro programming, the creator of Windle documents how he coded Windle using an ancient version of the Delphi programming language too. This meant having to deal with stuff like no code completion, while the Tab key wouldn’t indent either, instead needing to manually indent his code manually. It’s a fascinating deep dive into retro technology and if you want to check it out or perhaps even try Windle for yourself, you can click here to visit its website.