Tired Of Wordle? Try Wendy's 404 Error Page

One of the great equalizers of the digital age is the experience of hitting a 404 — a dreaded indicator that the webpage you're trying to reach either doesn't exist or is lost in the abyss of cyberspace. UX designers will often pair a website's error page with a sad face, meme, or playful message to lighten the blow of the inconvenience, as seen on popular sites like Netflix, Slack, Pixar, and M&M's.

Likewise, hitting Wendy's new 404 page just might be the most fun you've had all day, even if your original goal was to see the ingredients in a Chocolate Frosty or place an online order for a Baconator. It appears that the third-largest burger franchise in the world has dominated the 404 challenge by introducing an interactive element that may be inspired by the popularity of Wordle, the internet word game that brings in hundreds of thousands of players each day and was recently acquired by The New York Times.

Don't let the hot dogs win

When you hit Wendy's 404 page, the frustration you might typically feel will likely be replaced by a mixture of confusion and delight as you read the message "Turn this 404 into a 444 in the game below," a nod to Wendy's 4 for $4 value meals. 

The "BurgerTime" error page — whose strategy and playful rudimentary graphics are inspired by the classic arcade game of the same name, per The Takeout — invites users to tap the arrow keys below the logo to get started. Much like the original arcade game, the goal of Wendy's mini version of "BurgerTime" is to "walk over fast food ingredients, which tumble downward to assemble a full meal once you complete the level," The Takeout explains. The challenge? Avoiding tiny, mean-spirited hot dogs who are trying to sabotage your food-assembly mission. It would be surprising to see "BurgerTime" reach Wordle-level popularity, but it's certainly a fun way to distract customers from a defunct internet domain.