Wordle alternatives — LinkedIn launches 3 new puzzle games

 Four phones in a line showing how users connect with LinkedIn Games.
Four phones in a line showing how users connect with LinkedIn Games.

In a puzzling move, LinkedIn announced today that the social media network is launching a games hub. Network users have a pick of three different puzzle games — Pinpoint, Queens and Crossclimb.

Each game can be played once per day and includes metrics like high scores, daily streaks, leaderboards and who in your network is also playing. Check out the games here.

To find the games on desktop, go to the News module on the LinkedIn home page or the MyNetwork tab. Links to each individual game are available. Games can also be played on the LinkedIn app.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how each game plays:

  • Pinpoint: A word association game. There are five clues in a ladder, which reveals itself one clue at a time. You get five guesses to figure out how the clues connect. The goal is to guess the category in as few guesses as possible. For those who like Connections in the New York Times app, it’s a slower version of that.

  • Crossclimb: A trivia game that also features a ladder of clues. In this one, each rung has a clue like “Term for a group of wolves, or a deck of cards.” Each subsequent descending rung has a new entry that is one letter different from the previous one. Once the five entries are solved, two new related rungs are unlocked at the top and bottom.

  • Queens: Lacks the ladders of the previous two. The game is a lighter version of sudoku utilizing queens and color grids instead of numbers. Each different color grid needs to have a queen. However, there can only be one queen in each row and column, and the queens can’t be touching; this includes diagonals.

GIF showing how LinkedIn game Queens works
GIF showing how LinkedIn game Queens works

For those who only use LinkedIn as a resume holder and job search engine, it’s easy to forget that the work-focused site is a social media network.

Why would LinkedIn add games, then? In its blog post revealing the games, Editor-in-chief Daniel Roth says, “Our goal at LinkedIn is to continue to find ways to bring professionals together to stay informed and connected…We hope that these games spark banter, conversations, and even a healthy bit of competition among professionals around the world.”

It is one way for companies to keep users engaged on their platforms. Normally, we’d associate it with newspaper companies. The New York Times bought Wordle for at least $1 million. Last year, the puzzle gaming site Puzzmo was launched in October and almost immediately gobbled up by Hearst Newspapers.

The LinkedIn games are free for now. We’ll see how long they stick around or if LinkedIn will expand the available games going forward.

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