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Stardew Valley’s fishing minigame is now a Wordle-like

Guess which fish you just caught

A character in Stardew Valley fishing Image: ConcernedApe/Chucklefish
Nicole Clark (she/her) is a culture editor at Polygon, and a critic covering internet culture, video games, books, and TV, with work in the NY Times, Vice, and Catapult.

If you love Stardew Valley’s fishing minigame, as well as Wordle’s guessing mechanics, then you may love Pufferdle, a fan-made game that combines the two concepts. Its creator Abdullah Masud shared the game on a Stardew Valley forum, noting that fishing is their favorite part of the farming simulator. And on Aug. 23, Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone praised the game in a tweet.

Pufferdle opens with Stardew Valley’s fishing minigame, wherein you have to keep a green rectangle hovering behind a fish-shaped icon. The fish icon darts up and down within a long, narrow bar; and you click or hold down a button on your controller or mouse, to move the green rectangle up and down. Different fish move in different patterns and speeds.

Afterward you guess which fish you caught. Like in a game of Wordle, you’re given a number of guesses — and there’s a system for how close you are to an accurate guessing. In Wordle each letter in the word is lit up red, green, or yellow, depending on whether the letter is in the word and in the accurate spot; in Pufferdle, the silhouette of the fish you guessed will be green, yellow, or grey depending on whether that fish can be caught in the same season, weather, location, or time as the correct fish. The official rules give a few examples:

The official rules for Pufferdle, showing a range of examples. Image: Pufferdle

It’s a challenging task — that’s part of the fun. But thankfully Pufferdle shows the full catalog of fish when you’re guessing, and you can hover over each fish to view information about the season, weather, location, and time it can be caught in-game. Guessing becomes a process of elimination.

Because Stardew Valley’s fishing mechanic is divisive, Pufferdle also offers the option to guess fish without having to play the initial minigame. You simply watch the minigame, and then guess which fish it was afterwards.

Alternatively, there’s a hard mode, which removes the information about each fish (season, weather, etc.) from the selection menu. This is for only the most devoted of Stardew Valley players. If you fish a lot, you’ll notice patterns in how these fish move in the minigame. Rarer fish tend to move up and down more quickly, making it hard to keep the green bobber area under them. Their movement patterns also differ. Some of them shoot from the very bottom to the top, for example, while others seesaw more slowly to different spots.

Pufferdle offers daily challenges, for those who want to make a habit of it. Though, I’ll say, unlike Wordle, which can pull from a truly vast number of five letter words, Stardew Valley has a finite number of fish. And if you’d like to peek under the hood, Masud also shared the code publicly on Github. Good luck, and get catching!

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