Cine2Nerdle Is The Best Wordle-like For Movie Lovers

The explosion of Wordle-likes remains an under-discussed development in gaming's recent history. The sheer number of titles that have emerged in the proliferation of the genre since the daily word game became a hit has put similar booms — like 2017-18's trend-chasing in the wake of PUBG’s release — to shame. Back then it felt like the industry was being bombarded by battle royales. But, in Wordle’s wake, far more imitators have gripped their gliders than ever hit the island in that Fortnite-led assault.

That’s because Wordle-likes are much smaller and extremely focused. They only do one thing well, which makes it easier for solo devs or small teams to design them. That means there are now Wordles for just about every interest. Words, sure, but also geography, gaming, music, TV, and movies.

In fact, there have been quite a few about movies (I’ve written about two of the better ones here). Hollywoodle is Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon in virtual form. A game called Framed shows still images and asks you to identify the movie from which they originated. Actorle asks you to identify a performer from a redacted (but perfectly punctuated) list of movie titles from their career. And Box Office Game tasks you with guessing the top films at the U.S. box office in a given weekend, with most of the key information removed.

But, a newer movie game, Cine2Nerdle, departs so significantly from the typical mechanics of Wordles that it makes me excited to see how many more frontiers there still are left for Wordle-likes to conquer. Cine2Nerdle, unlike something like Framed, is not about identifying one movie. It’s about identifying the four or five movies that make up one interconnected puzzle.

At the beginning of each game, you have 16 gray squares with terms on them. What do Non-Human, Roulette, and Paul Newman have in common? Well, maybe nothing, but maybe something. Your goal is to sift through the 16 tiles in a 4-by-4 grid and make columns or rows of terms that all relate to a single movie. So, if you got Tim Burton and Barber, you could put the tiles next to each other and be halfway to identifying Sweeney Todd. Link Spielberg, Laura Dern, and Shaving Cream together and you’re three-fourths of the way to Jurassic Park. Find T-Rex to solidify your answer and the tiles will change color to indicate that you've got it.

The trick is that there are usually five answers in total, and only four rows. So, The Aviator and The Revenant might both be answers, but there's only one Leonardo DiCaprio tile. That means you have to organize those answers so that they overlap on their shared terms. It’s not too difficult in theory and, for the most part, fairly intuitive. But, occasionally you’ll start building two rows in parallel only to realize they should have been connected. You have to solve the puzzle in 15 swaps so, depending on when you realize your mistake, it may be impossible to get all five.

Cine2Nerdle is a welcome departure from the Wordle formula, while still playing within the genre. Like Wordle, it uses the colors gray and yellow to communicate progress or lack thereof. Like Wordle, a new puzzle is posted to the game daily. And, like Wordle, you have a set number of guesses before it’s game over. But, Cine2Nerdle moves the genre in a new direction, opting for a grid instead of individual rows for individual guesses. It’s different, but undoubtedly born from Wordle’s success. I'm excited to get to the point where there are no longer any tiles in common.

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