this is going to be a quick post. i generally don’t pay much attention to what games have “gone viral”, as most of it is candy crush saga level fare that i have about zero interest in. however, my partner was playing a version where you can substitute your own photos and it looked intriguing. i quickly located the original version featuring numbered tiles instead of pictures, and spent a few hours on it before beating the main goal, which is to create a 2048 tile.
2048‘s creator freely acknowledges the originators of the addictive tile-merging mechanic, namely the game threes which i’d heard about because it’s one of the highest-ranking iOS games on metacritic. 2048 has a nice clean aesthetic, although it’s a one-trick pony: once you come up with a strategy the game can drag on a bit while you try to finish and once you beat it it has zero replay value. but as an afternoon diversion it’s perfectly acceptable and it’s easy to see why it went viral. a couple of days ago wired ran an article delving into the history of threes and showing the blood, sweat, and tears that go on behind the scenes of a hit game and perfectly pitched game mechanic. it looks like the creator of 2048 has avoided making money off of someone else’s idea, but in any case i’ll probably be checking out threes before too long.
one 2048 link:
– entry at wikipedia