LinkedIn Enters Gaming Arena with Release of Three Puzzle Games

LinkedIn has joined the trend of gaming in a move to enhance interaction among its vast user base, exceeding one billion individuals, as part of efforts by the company owned by Microsoft.

On May 1st, the professional networking service introduced three novel puzzle games – Pinpoint, Queens, and Crossclimb – accessible worldwide via LinkedIn’s mobile app or website.

These games, characterized by their intellectual nature, can be found within the My Network section on both mobile and desktop platforms, as well as within the LinkedIn News segment on desktop devices.

The launch of gaming features by LinkedIn follows the remarkable popularity of the puzzle game Wordle, which subsequently inspired numerous imitations aiming to capitalize on the sudden surge of interest in word puzzles.

Following its acquisition of Wordle in 2022, The New York Times observed a significant increase in user engagement, time spent on the platform, and digital subscriptions, partly driven by their expanding selection of games.

LinkedIn launch new games

The development of LinkedIn’s games was spearheaded by its News team, which recently welcomed Paolo Pasco as a games editor. Before joining LinkedIn, Pasco contributed to a subscription-based weekly crossword known as American Values Club Crossword and emerged as the champion of this year’s Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.

LinkedIn’s games, oriented toward cognitive challenges, are accessible through the My Network tab on mobile and desktop platforms, as well as through the LinkedIn News section on desktop devices. 

Players are allowed to engage with each game once daily and can view which of their connections have participated on that particular day. Additionally, leaderboards for schools and companies will be available.

What are the mechanics of these games?

Pinpoint involves identifying a common category among five displayed words within a grid. However, only one word is disclosed at a time, requiring users to guess the category using as few words as possible.

Queens, inspired by Sudoku, requires users to strategically place queens (represented as crowns) within a grid. Each row, column, and designated region must contain only one queen, with the added challenge that no two queens can be adjacent to each other. Players must accomplish this within a specified time frame.

Crossclimb, a trivia game, combines elements of crosswords and word ladders. Players utilize their knowledge of trivia and vocabulary to fill in ladder words. As words are entered, players must rearrange them so that each successive word in the ladder differs by only one letter, ultimately unlocking two final clues to win the game.

“We’ve designed each game to only take a few minutes, and fit right into your work schedule — whether it’s prepping your mind on the commute in, taking a quick mental break between meetings, or unwinding after a long day,” stated Lakshman Somasundaram, LinkedIn’s director of product management.

Pasco creates new Pinpoints and Crossclimbs daily, while Queens grids will be contributed by a rotating lineup of notable creators, commencing with Thomas Snyder, a three-time World Sudoku Champion, Somasundaram mentioned.

LinkedIn launch new games

Furthermore, the LinkedIn News team will regularly post about each game, providing opportunities for engagement with the broader puzzle-solving community on LinkedIn, including sharing tips and tricks, interacting with creators, and making new connections.

The introduction of these puzzle games may lead to heightened user engagement as individuals spend more time on the platform. Additionally, it could reinforce existing connections by encouraging interaction through gaming.

“You’ll likely notice people you haven’t caught up with in a while are playing too, reminding you that it’s time to grab coffee again,” noted Somasundaram.