The seed of inspiration planted by Wordle has flourished beyond the stage of germination to take extensive roots and give birth to many variants along the way. While Wordle stands at the top of the chain, its variants are racing against each other to join it at the top. For the most part, these spin-offs bring forward a refreshing game framework or theme that keeps players engaged and hungry for more.
Heardle is such a Wordle variant, born as a tribute to the original but unique enough to stand alone as an exciting alternative for the populous community of music lovers to partake in.
What is Heardle?
Heardle is a guess-that-song- game modeled loosely on the viral Wordle game. In all honesty, Heardle can be taken as an independent game of its own rights if not for the lingering shadow of similarities that remind you of its true origin. True to Wordle, Heardle is also a daily guessing game where players are presented with the challenge to guess the song of the day that is revealed in rationed portions over 6 chances.
The Heardle creators call it a “respectful homage to Wordle, with a musical twist.”. The tracks used in the challenge are popular songs by celebrated artists, selected on a criterion that is partly random and partly systematic. It truly tests your spontaneity to see whether you have the ear to recognize a soundtrack with the least cues and within the shortest span.
To play Heardle, you need more than luck, but prove your mettle as a music enthusiast with an extensive and eclectic personal library of popular music. If you also manage to read the well-hidden hints within the game, then there is an almost sure chance of landing a win every time to create a streak… but, before we get into the gameplay, let’s learn a bit more about its background and rules.
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Where to play Heardle?
Heardle, like Wordle, is an online game that can be played on the webpage heardle.app by anyone on the internet on a web browser from their computers and smart devices (smartphone, smart TV).
No, even though the Heardle game site has a .app domain, the Heardle game is not an application you can download from any app markets like Play Store or App Store. It is completely web-based and free for anyone to visit and play. The possibility of it being modified and detailed enough one day to become a mobile game app can not be ruled out, though.
The game resets every day with a new challenge at 12 AM (local time) for all players. Heardle is a newborn in the Wordle community, but it has been receiving an overwhelming amount of love from players and media for its refreshing spin on the viral word guessing game.
Understanding the Heardle game rules
As discussed, every player gets only one challenge each day. The challenge is a song selected from Soundcloud and everyone gets 6 chances to guess the song correctly. But of course, these are all familiar attributes that directly evoke the Wordle game. Let us start exploring unfamiliar elements and rules unique to the Heardle game now.
On Heardle, there are no grids to make word guesses on even an on-screen keyboard to enter letters, rather, there are 6 boxes to make an entry of the song you guess to be the answer. The clues in the game are not handed out using the green-gray-yellow colors. In fact, the relevance of colors is negligible if not non-existent in the game. Then, how do you even guess the song in 6 guesses, you ask?
Easy! The hints on Heardle are audible in nature, where fractions of the first 16 seconds of a song are revealed to the player at intervals to stimulate and inform the player. This goes hand in hand with another peculiar attribute of the game, you may trade an attempt to get another fragment of the song for a hint, but never both at once. In other words that you may either use a chance to enter a guess or skip the chance to get an audio hint.
You might think it is an easy choice to make, I mean, audio hints for the win, right? Or not! Because, here come the visual hints of the game.
Every game comes with a pre-determined list of songs that show up as prompts when you enter your guess in the search box; if a word or letter you enter appears in any song in the list, they will all appear are prompts for you to pick from.
These track title prompts still pale in comparison to the weight your musical knowledge bears in making headway in the game. In Heardle, you cannot rely on highlighted words but only the audio clues and that is all the rule you need to truly clutch onto when you take on the hurdles in Heardle.
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How to play Heardle: 5 Tips to snag a clean win
You start every Heardle challenge with a 1-second audio hint of the song of the day. If you luckily manage to figure out the song using that barely-there snippet, then what we are about to discuss might not be of interest to you. However, if we place our bet on probability, most players might need at least 2 or 3 tries to figure out the songs in a game streak.
There are a few ways to light up the dark roads on the Heardle board, let’s break them down.
1. Grok the rhythm
The Heardle team has emphasized that its solution list only comprises tracks belonging to the pop genre. But, pop is very liberal by definition, as it gels inextricably with all other genres; hence, think “hit tracks of the past decade”, when you listen to the clues.
Songs that have graced the ears of minorities thus swiped left on, reframe your mind to the bustling front of hit stations– the song could be one you very likely heard, and quite often too, on the radio. But, 1 second is still too short to guess a track, particularly so when we consider sampling and the common and inevitable phenomenon of resonance and similarities songs share with each other in beat and rhythm.
2. “Skip” a guess
Here is how the system of guessing is designed in Heardle — when you make an entry or skip the guesses, a snippet of the song is leaked to you in second-by-second fractions. If you “skip” the first attempt, then you get an additional second revealed to you; if you skip the second guess, 2 more seconds of the songs get released, 3 seconds if you skip the third guess, and the length of the audio hints increase by seconds corresponding to the turn you’re at.
If the track is the kind that you would describe as ‘inescapable from during its heyday‘, then 2 seconds might even be enough to make you cry ‘Eureka’!
3. Take it slow or race against time
There is no compulsion to skip a guess, as Heardle is a very generous dealer. It gives you sound fragments with each guess — skipped or used. Then, what is the purpose of the skip button on Heardle? Doesn’t it work against the very postulation to finish the game in fewer moves?
Not really, because, even though the score grid shows the number of guesses it takes you to figure out the song, Heardle also shows the time taken to solve a challenge in your personal result board. In addition, there is no requirement to make wrong guesses to further in the Heardle game, as opposed to the ‘must guess a valid word to get another turn’ rule stipulated by the Wordle game system.
If you do not want to make your public scoreboard be ridden with black titles indicating skipped turns, then, you can enter whatever random word as the entry, it doesn’t even have to be a song! In a nutshell, skipping or using a guess is purely a means to pace yourself in the game, which you can use in ways appropriate with your personal preference.
4. Coax the song “search-box” into revealing more hints
The search box at the bottom of the SoundCloud bar that you use to submit the answers to the system has all the tracks hidden in it, and the developers themselves recommend players to choose songs from the song list. Here’s the reason — when you listen to a hint fragment and guess it to be a certain song, you enter it in the search box to submit the entry. However, if the song you enter is not even on the Heardle track list, you can directly eliminate it from the candidacy.
Although you cannot find any relevant clues from the song list other than confirming the occurrence of a track in the game’s library, the search box prompts could grant a spontaneous burst of revelation like the name of an artist or the title of a song. It is a long shot, though, because you really need to know the track to earn a legitimate win on Heardle, exceptions excluded.)
5. Heardle cheat tool
If we represent it numerically, the audio clues available to the players looks like this 1+1+2+3+4+5 (measured in seconds)– by the 6th and final guess, 16 seconds of the song is out for you to make a pretty informed guess. If you choose to skip the final guess, that means game over, so, if you find yourself grappling with the mysterious tune while latching onto the final guess, then it might be time to bring out your cheat tool! Hello, Shazam!
There are only a few songs on the planet that Shazam cannot identify, but the Heardle list of the pop songs through the past decade shouldn’t be among the “not discovered by Shazam” list.
Related: What Does Wordle Score Mean?
How to unlock past games and region-locked sounds on Heardle
Heardle uses embedded SoundCloud tracks in the game — an excellent and probably the only way to avert copyright strikes and legal conundrum. But, using SoundCloud also cripples the game to an extent from expanding its reach to more players because of the existent region-locks imposed on certain platforms or tracks.
The obvious way to sidestep region-related complications is to use VPNs, and we have covered all about it in the article linked right below. If you live somewhere VPNs aren’t blocked, then you can fake your IP address, thus, to unlock the challenge-track on Heardle web.
When it comes to playing Heardle past, the only current means is to change the system clock on your mobile phone or computer manually to effect a spontaneous time-traveling episode. Until any of the loyal Heardlers or the developers take mercy on us and give us a Heardle archive, we just might have to resort to the traditional notion of time (and the loophole in machine logic) to play older games. Check out the article on playing older Wordles by changing system time to learn how to use the trick to play older Heardle games.
Heardle Score and Stats: Overview
There is nothing too fancy about the Heardle result sheet or scoreboard but it is impressive in its simplicity, nonetheless. The results board from a player’s perspective has three highlights — 1)the winning guess for the current game, 2) the time taken to solve the daily challenge, and 3) the game streak and stats. Of these, the latter two are visible only to the players.
The shorter the time taken to solve the challenge, the greater the sense of accomplishment, although time doesn’t play any role or restrictions in the gameplay itself. It is purely to stroke your ego as a walking-talking-living Shazam, that is all there is to it! However, the result can be shared using the share button to compare and compete with other Heardlers on social media. The fewer guesses you make, the more bragging rights you take!
Instead of grids, there are 6 columns in a horizontal line, each depicting a guess. The red columns indicate a wrong entry, black ones indicate a skipped guess, and finally, the green column represents the guess made to win the challenge.
Back on the game page, you can also analyze your game stats and all the data related to the total number of games played, games won, winning percentage, overall game progress, and your current and max streaks. Nothing new, here, we are all familiar with these elements. However, the layout itself exudes a chic, techno vibe which honestly made me eyeball it a couple more times in appreciation.
A spin-off that started as a private, little music appreciation game inspired by Wordle among friends suddenly shot to popularity — that is the story of Heardle in a gist. Players are flocking in such large numbers that the developers are struggling to keep their servers alive. If that doesn’t say anything about how good of a game it is, I guess only playing it in person will help you understand. If you haven’t played it yet, it is about the right time to make your way over to heardle.app…right now!
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