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“Contexto” creates new challenge for word game players

(Photo courtesy of: WikiHow) “”Contexto” is the latest entry in the word game craze.”

Savannah Baker
Connector Editor

The popularity of word games has been on the rise since The New York Times (NYT) captivated players with the development of “Wordle”. The NYT’s daily word challenges have inspired game developers around the world to create their own word games for players alike.

While most word games have an emphasis on spelling, the daily word game “Contexto” challenges users to think about the context and meanings of words. “Contexto” was originally inspired by “Semantle” and created by a Brazilian game developer, but the identity of the developer remains unknown. “Contexto” was created in late 2022 and has over 500 daily challenges. The game uses the Stanford NLP Group’s artificial intelligence algorithm to sort words based on their similarity in context.

“Contexto” is free for all users and can be played through any web browser. This allows for easy accessibility to play the game—whether an individual is waiting for class to start, riding the subway or relaxing on the couch, “Contexto” can be played from anywhere.

The objective of “Contexto” is simple: find the secret word. Each day there is a new secret word and players are given unlimited guesses to try and solve the challenge.

To start playing, a user must type a word into the text box. After entering the chosen word, that word will be given a number position and a color. The number corresponds to the similarity of the secret word—the smaller the number, the closer to the secret word a user is, and the larger the number, the further away a user is from the secret word.

The colors act similarly to the number with the options of green, orange or red. Red signifies that the chosen word is not close to the secret word, while green signifies it to be close in context, orange is then the middle ground. After the first guess, users just keep on typing words into the text box until they have figured out what the secret word is.

Although players are given unlimited guesses, “Contexto” does track how many guesses it takes a user to complete the challenge. After completing the game, users can see how many red, orange and green guesses it took to figure out the word. This adds an additional challenge for players who may be more competitive but does not impact the gameplay for casual users.

For players who are not as competitive, “Contexto” has a hint feature giving players a free word to help users out who may be stuck. The hint feature can be set to easy, medium or hard, but it is automatically set on easy. The easy setting means that the hint’s position will be half the position of the user’s closest guess—for example, if a user’s current closest guess is in position 48 then they hint they will get would be the word in position 24. If the easy setting seems like too much of a cop out, players have the option of changing the hint difficulty level to medium or hard. Medium gives the user the word that is in the position directly below the current closest guess and hard gives users a random word that could be in any position.

If a user has reached their playing capacity and cannot find the secret word, “Contexto” gives users the option to give up and forfeit the game. After completing the game or giving up, players can see all their guesses and even look through the 500 closest words.

The ability to ask for hints and give up if needed makes “Contexto” one of the more accessible word games. “Contexto” expands its accessibility by having three language setting users can pick between. The game can be played in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

“Contexto” also allows players to go back and play all the previous games unlike many daily word games that are one-and-done. Users have the option of selecting which daily challenge they want to play or using a randomization feature that gives the user a random challenge they have not yet completed.

“Contexto” is a great addition for players to add into their daily routine after playing “Wordle” or “The Mini Crossword”. It is an accessible game and still gives players a different challenge while appealing to the same audience of those who love the NYT’s daily word games.

Overall Grade: A

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