Think you have a strong password? Everyone on Twitter is obsessed with a new game called ‘The Password Game’ and this challenge will make you lose your mind too – guaranteed.
The Password Game is so hard, even its creator hasn’t beaten it. Think you can do better?
What is The Password Game?
Coder Neal Agarwal released The Password Game on his website this Tuesday, and ever since then people have been flocking to the challenge. You can play The Password Game for free in your browser, on Neal’s website, and you’ll definitely lose some sleep over it because it.is.so.difficult. If you’re at the office or have a deadline coming up, we’d strongly recommend avoiding the Neal.fun website for the moment, because every single project Agarwal released is a fun, addictive experience.
Still, you probably want to play The Password Game because, well, everyone is doing it, so here’s what you need to know.
This is like a simulation of all the bad password requirements used ever and all those cursed captchas not letting you see a web page.
“The idea itself has been on my bucket list for years, and as password rules on the internet have gotten weirder, I felt like now was a good time to finally make it,” Agarwal told Polygon in an email, saying he only got to level 28.
The good news? If you were wondering how many rules there are in The Password Game, the answer is just 35 rules. Still, it will be tough to get there but we’ll do our best to guide you through.
How to Play The Password Game?
The Password Game starts simple enough. You see a mostly blank page and you have to choose a password that’s just 5 characters long.
Then, every level, here called a “rule,” the developer Neal Agarwal added another complication.
So, here are the rules for the password game as far as we could take them – to the bitter end.
- The Password Game rule 1: Your password must be at least 5 characters.
- The Password Game rule 2: Your password must include a number.
- The Password Game rule 3: Your password must include an uppercase letter.
- The Password Game rule 4: Your password must include a special character.
- The Password Game rule 5: The digits in your password must add up to 25.
- The Password Game rule 6: The Password Game rule 7: Your password must include a roman numeral.
- The Password Game rule 8: Your password must include one of our sponsors.
At rule 8, you’ll get three logos and have to name one of them, at which point I personally burst into tears of laughter, considering that’s probably what’s going to happen to most websites in the next few years or so. Thank you, ad lords!
Anyway, the Password Game gets crazier from here.
- The Password Game rule 9: The roman numerals in your password should multiply to 35.
Here, my password guess was G12796!Marchxxxvpepsi and I thought that “xxxv” multiplied by “i” would work but it didn’t. Here, you have to start getting creative. Fortunately, PrimaGames put together a few helpful tips, including a guide on Roman numerals for Password Game. They suggest using either XXXV (35 directly) or V and VII (5×7=35) but that didn’t work for me, so here I was stuck until I figured out that my choice of month, March, had an M in it (roman numeral). After switching to June, I proceeded to Rule 10.
- The Password Game rule 10: Your password must include this CAPTCHA.
Get to this and you’ll get a CAPTCHA with numbers, which will make your Rule 5 not apply. Just subtract the numbers in the CAPTCHA from 25, then tinker with the beginning of the password so you get to 25 taking all digits into account.
- The Password Game rule 11: Your password must include today’s Wordle answer.
- The Password Game rule 12: Your password must include a two letter symbol from the periodic table.
Just google ‘periodic table symbols’ and pick something that fits – be careful to avoid using any letters that look like Roman numerals.
- The Password Game rule 13: Your password must include the current phase of the moon as an emoji.
What?? Many quit The Password game at this but this website put together a helpful list of emoji for the current phase of the moon, so just copy and paste each of them until it lands – no need to look up astronomy charts.
- The Password Game rule 14: Your password must include the name of this country.
Here, the Password Game makes you guess a country based on a Google Maps street view image. Don’t bother guessing based on the looks of the cars or houses, just google the street name and you’ll get it. In my case it was “Philippines”.
- The Password Game rule 15: Your password must include a leap year.
2024 is a leap year but be careful, since this might break rule 5 and you’ll have to tinker with the numbers again.
- The Password Game rule 16: Your password must include the best move in algebraic chess notation.
Good lord! Believe it or not, I used to be a chess champion back in middle school, I recognized this particular play, and this still gave me the sweats – all because I was too lazy to remember the algebraic chess notation thing.
Those are, K for King, Q for Queen, R for Rook, B for Bishop, N for Knight, followed by X for Capture, + for Check and ++ for Checkmate.
Still, even with that, I couldn’t personally move past Password Game rule 17, so what follows is what I gathered from friends and online.
- The Password Game rule 17: Protect Paul.
According to ScreenRant, When players reach Rule 17, the text box will offer players an egg to protect, this is Paul. No matter how tempting it might seem, do not delete this egg from the text box after you’ve inserted it, as it ends the game, and players will need to start all over from the beginning. Upon deleting the egg, players will be greeted with a message saying, “Paul Has Been Slain.”
- The Password Game rule 18: The elements in your password must have atomic numbers that add up to 200
You can find some clues here.
- The Password Game rule 19: All the vowels in your password must be bolded.
As you can see in this video, no, you can’t use markup to bold letters (the symbol *). You also can’t use special bolded characters or html tags like </b>.
- The Password Game rule 20: Oh no! Your password is on fire. Quick, put it out!
On this forum, someone says that when you get to the “Oh no! Your password is on fire. Quick, put it out!”, the game fills up a bunch of fire emojis in your password input box. Apparently, Paul can burn if you do not clear the fires fast enough.
- The Password Game rule 21: Your password is not strong enough *strong man emoji*
No idea what to do here but you can use the weightlifter emoji.
- The Password Game rule 22: Your password must contain one of the following affirmations: I am loved / I am worthy / I am enough
- The Password Game rule 23: “Paul has hatched! Please don’t forget to feed him, he eats three worms every minute.”
Here, the egg emoji turns into a chicken emoji and you have to add 3 worm emojis, also known as the bug emoji. Once the chicken eats the emojis, they’ll disappear from the password.
- The Password Game rule 24: “Your password must include the URL of a 24 minute 7 second long YouTube video.”
- The Password Game rule 25: “A sacrifice must be made. Pick 2 letters that you will no longer be able to use.”
Here, you’ll get a keyboard and you have to decide which letters you can’t use anymore.
- Rule 26: Your password must contain twice as many italic characters as bold.
- Rule 27: At least 30% of your password must be in the Wingdings font
- Rule 28: Your password must include this color in hex
- Rule 29: I was not able to see it in any screenshots.
- Rule 30:”The font size of every digit must be equal to its square.”
- Rule 31: “Every instance of the same letter must have a different font size.
- Rule 32: “Your password must include the length of your password.
- Rule 33: “The length of your password must be a prime number.”
- Rule 34: “Uhhh let’s skip this one.” and is automatically checked off
- Rule 35: “Your password must include the current time.”
After rule 35, The Password Game asks you to confirm your password, aka input your password again. Unfortunately, no copy/paste is allowed and you have only two minutes until a bomb explodes, so you’ll have to be very fast and very accurate.
Even the creator can’t believe The Password Game can be beaten!
The Password Game reactions
As you can see, this is one tricky game. Some users are reporting that the Password Game chess challenge is randomized, as well as the country one and a few others, so no guide can actually get you there 100%, you’ll have to experiment.
Who can you thank for all these wasted hours?
Not only is The Password Game a viral sensation on Twitter, actual Twitter users influenced the development of the game after Neal Agarwal asked for help devising even more diabolical rules.
Curious to see what Troy Hunt, the legendary security expert behind Have I Been Pwned, thinks of this.
I look forward to a potential expansion, I still have a few stray hairs left to pull…
Until then, check out some of these hilarious password memes to chill a bit before playing again, and read what the experts have to say about choosing strong passwords, how long it takes a hacker to crack a password and the stupidest passwords ever!).