A new puzzle game with a seemingly simple premise has taken the internet by storm. Built over the course of a weekend and launched last week, 2048 challenges players to do one task: combine matching number tiles until you reach 2048. 

Set on a 4×4 grid, the game begins by giving you two 2 tiles. Hit an arrow key, and all the tiles move in that direction. Match two tiles and they combine. Two 2′s will make a 4, two 16′s make a 32, and so on. The game ends when you combine a 1024 with a 1024. It seems almost trivial at first, and you quickly have a board of 16′s and 64′s. New 2′s are spawning after every move though and you quickly find yourself trapped and unable to move. Game over.

2048

The game thrives on the fact that it is easy to learn, but hard to master. If you have a child practicing exponents, they will know the first 11 powers of 2 within an hour of this game. The game is challenging but not frustrating, which leads to an addicting combination. There is no time limit or leveling system, and if you get a game over you need to start from the beginning, but don’t worry. You will start to pick up on patterns, and develop new strategies, and instead of seeing 64′s and 128′s, 256′s and 512′s will start populating your screen.

The game was created by Gabriele Cirulli, a 19 year old UI (User Interface) Designer  living in Northern Italy. He said he was influenced by other games and apps: 1024 by Veewo Studio and,  Threes by Asher Vollmer which challenges users to add numbers together to create multiples of 3. After creating 2048, Cirulli  posted it looking for feedback, and then it skyrocketed. To date, the game has been played more than 50 million times.

After playing 2048 several times I started to get the hang of it, but still have not won. Can you beat my high score?

There are already several videos that have strategies to help you reach the goal if you need a little help, but see if you can do it on your own first!

You can play 2048 here. While the creator does not plan on building an app for the game, it is playable on mobile devices here.

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About The Author

Peter Spain

Peter Spain is Assistant Editor of Learning Liftoff. A graduate from George Mason University, Peter has worked for several years in the education and entertainment industry. He strives to make learning fun for children of all ages by organizing our Games & Activities section and keeping an eye out for advancements in edutainment.