Gruber: The App Store is (well, was) lousy with blatant Wordle rip-offs, but one of them takes the cake

John Gruber, Daring Fireball:

As of today, Apple’s App Store is lousy with Wordle rip-offs. I mean not just the concept — there’s a long history of “guess the word” games, including a defunct game show called “Lingo” that was clearly an inspiration for Wordle — but literally the name “Wordle” and its design.

If you’ve never played Wordle, take a minute and check out Josh Wardle’s totally free web hosted game.

Wordle is fun, addictive, but limited to once per day play, a feature that makes it all the more attractive.

Back to Gruber:

As I write this, the #3, #7, #14, and #15 word games in the iOS App Store are shameless Wordle clones stealing the name “Wordle”.

As John notes, Apple responded to the Twitter wave of anger by pulling all the Wordle ripoffs. Read Gruber’s post for more details on this shameless cash grab.

One interesting side note is that Josh Wardle apparently didn’t trademark the name or the game play. He also chose to avoid the whole profit issue by making the game free to play, at least for the moment. An old school passion project, ripe for the opportunistic developer to take advantage of.

Did these ripoffs break any laws, fun afoul of specific App Store rules? If not, was it purely the outrage that drove Apple to take these apps down?