Wordle up – What makes consumers love puzzle games?
March 8th, 2022, Rishad Dsouza

Wordle up – What makes consumers love puzzle games?

In light of the incredible global popularity of Wordle, we dig into YouGov Profiles data to understand a little more about puzzle gamers.

Over half of all consumers in each market we looked at tell us that they derive a sense of accomplishment when they complete puzzles in games, suggesting that feeling smart may be a big part of the appeal of this type of game.

South Africa leads the pack, with four in five consumers (82%) saying they feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete puzzles in games. Around three-quarters of people in the US (76%), Britain (72%) and Germany (74%) also agree with the statement. Just over three in five people in the UAE (63%) share the sentiment about accomplishment derived from puzzle games.

This sense of accomplishment may explain why puzzle games are the most popular category of mobile games in all three markets where YouGov Profiles tracks that data (GB, US and Germany) - other games may not offer the same sense of immediate achievement for participants.

Apart from being classed as a puzzle, Wordle also has a foot in the word game category and YouGov Profiles covers that base too; Word/Number/Brain games are also among the three or four most popular categories in these markets.

About one in seven Germans and Brits play Puzzle/Breakout games on cell phones (15%) as do one in six Americans (17%). About a tenth of the American (11%) and German (10%) populations report playing Word/Number/Brain games, compared to one in 13 Brits (8%).

There are other factors that determine the virality of online products of course. Wordle’s shareable graphics with coloured blocks, which divulge information about a users’ gameplay without revealing spoilers, has been key to its success on social media for example. But a sense of accomplishment is likely to be a key driver for success – at least for those of us with a winning streak to defend...

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YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.