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The following guide pages cover material needed for this assignment:

Project 4 - Wordle


The beloved word-guessing game WORDLE is back! And you get to implement it.

You will write all of your code in a python script named We have given you an empty file named to get you started.

Command line arguments

Your program should take two command line arguments:

  • word bank : the file name of the word-bank file
  • guesses allowed: the maximum number of guesses allowed

For example:

python wordle-answers-alphabetical.txt 6

This tells the program to use wordle-answers-alphabetical.txt as the word bank, and 6 as the maximum number of guesses allowed.

The word bank file contains a list of 5-letter words, each word on it’s own line. We have provided you with a file called wordle-answers-alphabetical.txt that you can use to play the game.

The player can guess up to the maximum number of guesses. For example, classic WORDLE gives you 6 guesses.

Playing the game

  • The program picks a random word from the word bank that the player will guess
  • For each attempt:
    • The program prompts the player with the text: "Guess # {attempt}: \n" where {attempt} is the round the player is on.
    • The player guesses a word
    • The program shows the player the result of their guess, using the following characters:
      • A ! indicates that the letter matches the answer exactly
      • A ? indicates that the letter is in the answer, but it is in the wrong position.
      • A * indicates that the letter is not anywhere in the answer
      • See the examples below
    • If the guess is correct or the number of allowed attempts has been exceeded, the program concludes
      • Otherwise the user is prompted for a new guess
    • At the end of the game, if the last guess is correct, the program displays Way to go!, otherwise Maybe next time. The answer is {answer}.
      • where {answer} is the secret word chosen from the word bank.

Important notes on the rules

The logic for scoring a guess differs slightly from the original WORDLE game. The primary difference is in how duplicate letters are handled.

For this project, use the logic described above. Note that if a guess contains two occurrences of the same letter, and one of them is in the right place, then the second occurrence will still show ?. For example:

Secret: topaz
Guess: tooth
Result: !!??*

The first t and o match the secret word exactly, so they are replaced with !. the second o and t are not exact matches, but because t and o are present in the secret word somewhere else (the locations matched by the first t and o), they are replaced with ?. Finally, the h does not match the secret word at all, so it is replaced with *.


Here is an example showing the program being run from the command line.

$ python wordle-answers-alphabetical.txt 6
Guess # 1:
Guess # 2:
Guess # 3:
Guess # 4:
Guess # 5:
Way to go!

The secret word was occur. alien matches none of the letters anywhere, so it was completely replaced with *****. For tours, the o, u, and r match, but not in those positions, so they are replaced with ?; the t, and s don’t match at all, so they are replaced with *, resulting in *???*. Etc.

Another example:

$ python wordle-answers-alphabetical.txt 6
Guess # 1:
Guess # 2:
Guess # 3:
Guess # 4:
Guess # 5:
Guess # 6:
Maybe next time. The answer is facet.

And another:

$ python wordle-answers-alphabetical.txt 2
Guess # 1:
Guess # 2:
Maybe next time. The answer is buggy.

In this example, the player passed 2 on the command line, indicating that only 2 guesses should be allowed. After those guesses, the game is over.


The test_files folder contains a few word bank files that contain a single word. These are very useful for testing and debugging your program. contains 10 tests that try different functionality in your code.

  • test_wordle_one_try_one_guess_win
  • test_wordle_five_tries_one_guess_win
  • test_wordle_two_tries_two_guesses_win
  • test_wordle_three_tries_three_guesses_loss
  • test_wordle_correct_letters_but_wrong_spots
  • test_wordle_duplicate_letters_one_correct_one_close
  • test_wordle_correct_word_has_doubles
  • test_wordle_numbers_and_symbols
  • test_wordle_six_guesses_loss
  • test_wordle_real_game


10 points for each test listed above.

Manual Grading

Refer to the Quality Code guide page for detailed explanations and examples on each of these rubric criteria.

Intent The intent of this project is for you to read files and process strings using the topics covered in Unit 4.

You should use zip for coiteration of lists and strings, not indexing. You shouldn’t convert strings into lists of characters before zipping them.

Do not use system arguments outside of if __name__ == "__main__":.


Above and Beyond

Those looking for an extra challenge can try the following. Copy to another file (e.g. Then implement the scoring rules from the original WORDLE.

Specifically, the rules are the same as above, except that when doubles are guessed, if the secret word has only one occurrence of the letter, then only one of the guessed letters gets scored and the other gets *.

If the secret has a double occurrence, then both of the occurrences in the guess get scored.

Priority is given to exact matches, and then from left to right.


Secret: store
Guess: tooth
Result: ?*!**

Secret: kitty
Guess: tooth
Result: ?**!*