2048 games

The Game of 2048

2048 is a single-player, math-based, sliding tile puzzle game that tests your arithmetic abilities.

From Weekend Project to Global Hit

While the name 2048 makes this game sound like it’s from the future, it was originally developed in 2014 by Gabriele Cirulli, a 19-year-old Italian designer. Cirulli wrote 2048 alone over the course of a single weekend simply to challenge himself, not expecting anybody to pay it any attention. He published the game as open-source software on Github and was blown away when he realized that 2048 had attracted four million visitors in under a week.

Unlike the creators of other small, viral hit games, Cirulli has refused to monetize 2048 as he never intended to use it to make money but simply to see if he could write an entire game from scratch. The Italian designer has also repeatedly stated that 2048 isn’t his concept and that it would therefore be wrong for him to try and profit from it.

This despite the fact that the game has gone on to become seriously addictive for millions around the world and has led to uncountable legions of spin-offs, themed versions and apps, some of which are even monetized. Cirulli himself has embraced these copycat games and as an inevitable part of creating open-source software and has said that he’s happy as long as the new games bring something new and creative to the 2048 formula.

Copies of Copies of Copies

Cirulli based 2048 on another game called 1024, saying he’d essentially cloned the earlier game with only minor tweaks. Confusingly, there was a second, earlier puzzle game which was also called 2048, but that was quite different from the 2048 that Cirulli wrote and wasn’t something he based his own 2048 game on.

1024, the game that the 2048 that we play was based on, was itself a free-to-play clone of the iOS game Threes. Threes was another very well-received math puzzler, which also used a sliding tile interface to combine the values on tiles to make certain numbers. Threes was a phenomenal success both critically and commercially and gave rise to legions of tile-based number games, of which 2048 was one.

2048 Gameplay and Goals

So, what do you have to do? In basic terms, you slide tiles around the screen in a 4x4 grid, making them bump into one another. Tiles that bump into each other combine, making a new tile with the sum of the previous two on it. You get points for the value of all such tiles, and the aim is to reach a high score.

After each turn, a new tile will appear in a random empty space on the grid. The game continues either until the player gets a tile with a score of 2048 or when there are no more moves possible because the grid is full.

As the tiles can only be increased in value until a tile of 2048 is created, good math skills are essential. If arithmetic isn’t your strong suit when you start playing, you may find that it quickly improves as you do. 2048 is addictive and the quick math that it demands from you soon becomes second nature.

Ways to Win

Like most basic math puzzle games, there are certain strategies that can help you tackle the game of 2048. Keeping the board as clear as possible is an obvious goal but how best to do that is a matter of personal playing style.

Many players suggest trying to group the largest numbered tile in one corner. One way to do that is by keeping the row or column that the tile occupies filled with other numbers. Doing so means that you can keep that large number tile in place while you move the smaller numbers around the grid.

Making a series of rapid left-and-right sweeps at the start of each game can also be a good tactic, as it will set you up with a few rows of lower-numbered tiles, which usually make it easier to build larger tiles more quickly.

Throughout the game, focusing on combining the smaller tiles is generally worthwhile, as a good range of mid-value tiles is generally a better position than one or two higher values that you add to more slowly.

Of course, the beauty of simple math puzzle games like 2048 is that you don’t need to have a grand strategy in mind at all. Gameplay is quick and intuitive, and sessions are usually pretty short, so there’s no reason not to just dive in and see what happens. Like the arithmetic involved, you’ll quickly find that managing the grid becomes an instinct, with the tiles themselves seeming to speak to you.

2048 Games Here at Gamepix

You can test your mental arithmetic here on Gamepix, thanks to our selection of 2048 games, all of which are presented for you here. Like all our other browser puzzle games, our selection of online 2048 games are completely free and will run on any device with a web browser. There’s nothing to download or install and you can play for as long as you like at zero cost.

There’s a huge selection of variants and formats of 2048 online here for you to choose from. No matter what variation on the original 2048 math game you’re looking for, you’ll find it here. With this much choice, all available for free, you can have hours of addictive, math-based puzzling fun.

Whichever flavor of 2048 you choose, you’ll be chasing the one thing that matters – sliding those final two tiles together and seeing “2048” flash before your eyes.


Why is the game called 2048?

The game is named after the value of the tile needed to win it. Players of 2048 try to combine tiles in such a way that they add up to the coveted value in the title.

Is 2048 a math game?

2048 is generally considered to be a puzzle game, but it is one heavily based on math, specifically mental arithmetic, as players must quickly add the values of the sliding tiles that they want to combine.

What are the most popular 2048?

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