Acclaimed puzzle designer known for weird games gives Wordle some competition: "I have been working on this project, in secret, for almost 2 years"

(Image credit: Puzzmo)

Following the wake of the Wordle phenomenon, celebrated puzzle game designer Zach Gage (creator of SpellTower and TypeShift) announced that he's made a new game that looks to become a mainstay in the modern space for crossword puzzles.

With Puzzmo, designers Zach Gage and Orta Therox have soft-launched a new hub for players to tackle puzzles and word-based challenges. And you can sign up for the waitlist on the official site right now.

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As a new puzzle game platform designed for all ages, its creators say that it "combines newspaper favorites like Crossword Puzzles, modern classics like Typeshift, and some brand-new puzzles created by me and a small team of artists and designers."

Currently, Puzzmo is in beta, and will only focus on a smaller audience before it releases to a wide audience later - each day will add 500 new users who are on the waiting list. When players log into Puzzmo, they can play various puzzle games such as SpellTower, TypeShift, and Really Bad Chess. While some of the batch of games on Puzzmo are based on Gage's previous efforts, Puzzmo also introduces new games such as FlipArt, which tasks users to fit different shapes into a frame.

Puzzmo players will be able to compete against others on leaderboards, to see who can get the high score. While playing Puzzmo is free, players can also opt for a $40 annual subscription to get early access to new games and other features.

In an interview with Digital Trends, Gage stated that his intent was to modernize the crossword and puzzle mediums to help it better reflect the current audience that enjoys casual and enthusiast-level play.

"The crosswords that we're running are not just good crosswords, but really modern ones that reflect how people are these days," said Gage in the Digital Trends interview. "We're trying to come up with something that feels like it's not about golf and yachts and plays. We want to be able to do something that's more rooted in contemporary culture. And that makes our hint button serve a dual purpose, because if you're new to crosswords, you can use these hints. But if you've been solving crosswords for a long time, we have a lot of content that you might not be familiar with, so these hints are helping you access this newer culture."

So for, Puzzmo seems like a promising concept for a new type of puzzle experience. As many developers and companies have tried to make the "next Wordle," Puzzmo looks to go in a different direction by removing barriers for entry to get into casual puzzles, which is an intriguing idea. We'll see if it manages to tap into the same level of hype that Wordle attained when it made its explosive debut.

Check out our guide to the best iPhone games if you're looking for more casual ways to spend your time.

Alessandro Fillari

Alessandro is a freelance writer and editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area who has covered the games, tech, and entertainment industries for more than 13 years. Having previously worked at GameSpot, CNET, and various other outlets writing features and coordinating event coverage, Alessandro enjoys playing games on PC, but also gives plenty of time to his Nintendo Switch. You can find him on various socials at @afillari.