2048 (video game)
2048 mobile app icon
|Platform(s)||Browser, iOS, Nintendo 3DS, Android, Apple TV|
|Release||Web: 9 March 2014|
2048 is a single-player sliding block puzzle game designed by Italian web developer Gabriele Cirulli. The game's objective is to slide numbered tiles on a grid to combine them to create a tile with the number 2048. However, one can continue to play the game after reaching the goal, creating tiles with larger numbers.
2048 has been described as very similar to the Threes! app released a month earlier. Cirulli himself described 2048 as a clone of Veewo Studios' app 1024, who has actually said in the description of the app to be a clone of Threes!.
19-year-old Cirulli created the game in a single weekend as a test to see if he could program a game from scratch; he was surprised when his game received over 4 million visitors in less than a week, especially since it was just a weekend project. "It was a way to pass the time", he said. The game is free to play, Cirulli having said that he was unwilling to make money from "something that [he] didn’t invent". He released a free app version of the game for iOS and Android in May 2014.
As the source code is available, many additions to the original game, including a score leaderboard, an undo feature, and improved touchscreen playability, have been written by other people and subsequently made available to the public. Spinoffs have been released online, as apps and for the Nintendo 3DS, and include versions with elements from Doge, Doctor Who, Flappy Bird and Tetris; there has also been a 3D version and ones with bigger or smaller grids. Cirulli sees these as "part of the beauty of open source software" and does not object to them "as long as they add new, creative modifications to the game". In 2014, an unofficial clone of the game was published in the iOS app store by Ketchapp, monetized with advertising. It has also been included as an Easter egg in the search engine DuckDuckGo, accessible by typing '2048' or 'Play 2048'.
2048 is played on a gray 4×4 grid, with numbered tiles that slide smoothly when a player moves them using the four arrow keys. Every turn, a new tile will randomly appear in an empty spot on the board with a value of either 2 or 4. Tiles slide as far as possible in the chosen direction until they are stopped by either another tile or the edge of the grid. If two tiles of the same number collide while moving, they will merge into a tile with the total value of the two tiles that collided. The resulting tile cannot merge with another tile again in the same move. Higher-scoring tiles emit a soft glow.
A scoreboard on the upper-right keeps track of the user's score. The user's score starts at zero, and is incremented whenever two tiles combine, by the value of the new tile. As with many arcade games, the user's best score is shown alongside the current score.
The game is won when a tile with a value of 2048 appears on the board, hence the name of the game. After reaching the 2048 tile, players can continue to play (beyond the 2048 tile) to reach higher scores. When the player has no legal moves (there are no empty spaces and no adjacent tiles with the same value), the game ends.
The simple gameplay mechanics (just four directions) allowed it to be used in a promo video for the Myo gesture control armband, the availability of the code underneath allowed it to be used as a teaching aid for programming, and the second-place winner of a coding contest at Matlab Central Exchange was an AI system that would play 2048 on its own.
Comparisons to Flappy Bird
2048 has been compared to Flappy Bird by several commentators. Both games' success led to clones being created, and both games have been described as viral and addictive. JayIsGames compared it to Flappy Bird "but without the infuriating mindlessness". When asked if he was concerned that his situation would end up as stressed as that of Nguyễn Hà Đông, the creator of Flappy Bird, Cirulli said that he had "already gone through that phase" on a smaller scale, and that once he had decided against monetizing 2048, he "stopped feeling awkward."
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