If you’ve spent any time playing games your phone or ipad, you’ve likely heard of Wordle. The hit word game — in which you have six chances to guess the five-letter word of the day — is addictive in its deceptive simplicity.
The massive popularity of the game led to it being acquired by The New York Times, and you can still play it on the Times site or app for free. In the wake of Wordle going viral, a number of games with similar formats emerged, including Worldle (think Wordle, but with geography), Actorle (think Wordle, but with actors) and even Sweardle (think Wordle, but with naughty words).
But one of the newest and arguably the most entertaining Wordle spinoff is Heardle, which is essentially an updated version of “Name That Tune,” in a Wordle-like format.
If you’re looking for a stress break, but word games aren’t your thing, Heardle just might be your new game of choice. Here’s what you should know about the musical guessing game — and the amazing benefits that can come with playing it!
What is Heardle?
Heardle first launched in 2022, during the peak of Wordle-mania. It got so popular that it was acquired by Spotify, but in 2023, the streaming giant shut it down. While the original form of Heardle may no longer exist, there are still many versions of the game that come up when you Google it. (See our favorite one below.)
In all versions of Heardle, gameplay is straightforward. A short snippet of a song’s intro plays, then you have six tries to guess the song’s title and artist. With each guess, you hear a little bit more of the song, but the goal is to name that tune in as few tries as possible.
What kind of music is on Heardle?
The original Heardle songs were limited to top-streamed hits of the past 10 years — meaning those of us who weren’t up to date with popular music might’ve found the game extra difficult.
Now, there’s a version of Heardle for every musical taste. Heardle Decades offers a variety of fun games, all of which follow the same simple Heardle rules. Whether you love classic ’50s songs, new wave or hip-hop, there’s a Heardle out there suited to your musical tastes. Our personal favorite? Heardle 70s. (While Heardle 70s doesn’t have an app version, you still easily play on your phone or tablet’s browser.)
How do you play Heardle 70s?
Here’s what Heardle 70s looks like.
Make sure your volume is turned on, and hit the play button to start the song. You will then hear two seconds of the song’s opening.
The skip button takes you to your next turn and adds another second of the song. As soon as you start typing in your guess, options for the song and artist will auto-populate — for example, the below screenshot shows how it looks when you type in the letter “A.” As you type the name and artist, the menu will narrow down and the option will come up, allowing you to choose your pick from the menu.
If you name the tune correctly in six guesses or less, congratulations! You’re a Heardle pro. If not, well, better luck next time. There is a new Heardle 70s game to play every day. When you finish your game, it tells you how long it will be until a new game is up.
Benefits of playing music games like Heardle 70s
Heardle 70s and other music-based games aren’t just a fun way to pass the time, research shows it can also helps our mental and physical well-being — especially as we get older.
Lowers stress hormones
New research has shown that nostalgic music can have a particularly feel-good effect. In fact, it indicated that the body releases less cortisol, a stress hormone, when people listen to music. This same study referenced previous research stating that music had little measurable effect on cortisol levels.
Boosts brain power
Hearing music that inspires you to dance (such as Abba’s “Dancing Queen”) boosts thinking in 3 minutes, say Japanese scientists. Moving in time with songs that have a rhythmic groove activates the brain, improving working memory (needed to multitask), attention, planning and problem-solving skills.
A new University of Georgia study found that short bouts of low to moderate “good” stress, like during a fun cellphone game, activate brain areas to improve working memory. There may even be cognitive benefits to playing games, given the way they engage our memories and focus.
When you guess the right song, feel free to sing along! When women sang regularly each week, their ability to hear conversation (even in noisy areas) improved up to 20% in 10 weeks. Canadian scientists say singing trains the brain to search for musical notes, which sharpens your ability to hear sounds
Whether you’re looking for a new game or simply prefer listening over spelling, Heardle may be the one for you. The rules are easy enough to learn in minutes, yet the game itself can be surprisingly challenging. Still not convinced? The benefits of gameplay and music make a particularly compelling case for playing. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and name that tune!