2048 – 8/10


2048 is an awesome free game that is one of the most addicting free apps out there at the moment.  The game itself is quite simple, however the strategies that go into actually becoming successful and perhaps even winning run incredibly deep.  The game consists of a 4×4 board that starts out with two tiles filled, either with 2s, 4s, or one of each.  The goal is to combine like tiles, at which point they add together and become one new, larger tile. For example, if I’m started out with two 2 tiles and I combine them, I’ll now have one 4 tile.  After each move, a new tile spawns on any empty space on the board.  The new tile will either be a 2 or a 4, but there is a 90% chance of getting a 2, and only a 10% chance of a 4.  The way the tiles are moved, though, is not just by sliding one tile left, right, up, or down.  When you swipe in any of the four directions, all tiles will slide to that wall.  Obviously if you swipe left but your top row is already completely filled, that row won’t change, but all the tiles that have room to move left will slide to the left wall.  You win the game by creating a 2048 tile.  This is extremely hard to do because the more high numbers you have, the longer it takes to get them a match, and even if you have a match, it sometimes takes hard work to get them to touch and combine.  Therefore, as you get further into the game, the game itself becomes harder and harder, making achieving the 2048 tile a pretty impressive feat.

I really like the whole concept of 2048, although it’s not completely original.  The game runs smoothly with a small banner advertisement on the bottom of the screen that is the most unintrusive ad ever, so that’s a great thing.  Honestly, you’ll get so caught up in the game that you may never even notice the advertisement.  I also really like how every different number tile is uniquely colored.  The 2 and 4 start out as grays, then as they go on to become 8s, 16s, 32s, and 64s, they become darker and darker shades of red.  Then once you reach 128 the color switches to yellow, and from there on forward, they become darker and darker shades of yellow.  The sounds are definitely annoying, but they can be disabled.  I’d maybe like to see some intense focus music playing in the background, but that’s just being picky, the game works fine with the sound disabled.

For this very rare occasion, I will share my own personal strategy for beating 2048, something that never really ends up in the app reviews, so listen up closely.  To start, just swipe right, up, and if needed, left, with no pattern until you get a nice high numbered tile in the upper-right corner.  Then it’s time to start really paying close attention.  The strategy is basic, but still 2048 remains very challenging: move only left, right, and up.  Never move down!  Combine tiles upward when possible and try to always leave your highest numbered tiles on the top row, with the highest in that upper-right corner.  Most of your work will be done on the bottom two rows, with the upper two usually filled with higher numbered tiles.  Just remember, combine upward and never go down.  But, if you get stuck in a pickle where you have the top three rows filled up solid and nothing on the bottom row, don’t fret.  Yes, your only move is to swipe down, which is a no-no in my strategy, but there is a minor glitch in the game that acts as a solid work around.  The glitch, which I’m certainly not complaining about because it’s saved me numerous times, though admittedly it’s not completely fair, is that if you’re in this situation and you swipe down then up extremely quickly, the game doesn’t put a 2 or 4 tile on the top row, which would have been the only place to put it once you swiped down.  Instead, it just gives you two tiles on the bottom row, saving your top row from the presence of a common 2 or 4 tile, and allowing you to continue on as if nothing had ever gone wrong.  So that’s the gist of my strategy, use it if you so choose.  It’s a good one.

There you have it.  2048 in a nutshell and a strategy of how to get to that cursed 2048 tile.  Because this game is so simple (everything from the menus to the app icon to the sound effects are not very thoughtful) and still leaves some room for improvement, it receives an 8/10!  But it’s still high on the recommended games list and even if you’re not a numbers person, 2048 is a solid game to kill time with.

-TheAppEmperor *sliding* out


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