Friday, September 30

Forget Wordle: Mathler is your new must-have daily game

Wordle is one of the year’s great success stories, going from nowhere to The New York Times in the space of a month. But if you’re more into numbers than words, then you’ll want to check out a new math-based game called Mathler.

It’s a cheeky clone of Wordle, from its design to its color scheme to the way it shares results on social media. In fact, it proudly proclaims “A Daily Wordle Inspired Math Riddle” at the top of the page.

But as similar in concept as they may be, it’s a bit more difficult than Wordle. Well, either that or we’re just not good with numbers.

What is Mathler?

A screenshot of Mathler, with the numbers removed so you can’t see the answer. (Image credit: Mathler)

like Wordle, Mathler is a simple game that can be played for free through its own website. There are no ads and it can only be played once a day (of course), with each new puzzle appearing at 7pm ET (midnight GMT).

Unlike Wordle, you get the answer up front, and in this case it’s a number. The challenge is to solve the equation needed to arrive at the number, using the digits 0-9 and the operations +, -, * and / placed in the six boxes.

However, that is much more difficult than it seems, because there are several ways to arrive at the answer on any given day. For example, if the answer is 20, then the solution could be 1*5+15 or it could be 30-8-2; the hard part lies in figuring out which path is the right one.

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As with Wordle, you get a few hints: if a digit is correct and in the right place it will turn green, if it is correct but in the wrong place it will be yellow, and if it is incorrect it will be grey.

(Image credit: Mathler)

Get it right and you’ll see a familiar pop-up listing games played, hit rate, longest streak, and guess distribution. And of course, there’s also a Share button so you can tell the world how smart you are, with the cleverly hidden solution.

It was created by a certain Daniel Tait and appears to be a new game, so here’s your chance to get in there before the rest of the world finds out.

What are Mathler’s rules?

As with Wordle (yes, we’ll say that a lot), Mathler is light on rules and very simple:

  • You have to guess the solution in six tries or less
  • Each equation you enter must be a valid answer. So if the answer is 20, your guess can’t be 50+5-2 because that doesn’t equal 20. Right off the bat, this is one of the hardest things.
  • A correct entry turns green
  • A correct entry in the wrong place turns yellow
  • An incorrect entry turns gray
  • Digits and operations can be used more than once

What is a good Mathler strategy?

(Image credit: Mathler)

This part won’t take long as we’ve only played one game so far, which we completed in 4/6 tries.

Based on that, the best strategy seems to be to work backwards. what do I want to say with that?

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Well, if you know the answer is 50, how could you get to that? A possible path would be 10*5, so let’s get on with that. The next step is to fill in the first part of the equation, so you end up with 10, maybe 18-8. Your equation would look like this: 18-8*5 = 50.

It will almost certainly not be correct, but as you reveal clues, your task will be easier: you will know that it may not have an 8 but it does have a minus sign, for example.

Of course, that also makes it more difficult in a sense, since it narrows down the potential paths; by the time you’ve ruled out various digits and operations, finding an equation that works for your guess can be tricky. Either way, you’ll need a combination of luck and logic to get the right solution, again like Wordle.

There is no shortage of math based puzzle games on the web, but it seems that Mathler has the right level of difficulty and by using the now familiar Wordle template, it won’t take long for people to learn it. But if you prefer to stick to puns, you can always check out our best Wordle alternatives.

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