Appy Mondays – 2048

james-authorBy James Clifton (@cliffioo)


2048 is a simple and addictive game originally created by Gabriele Cirulli, which has been copied by countless mobile app creators, and it was originally a github project which he then ported to ios and android. Of course this can also be played on a windows phone just by visiting the site on your mobile and using the web app.

The premise is simple, you swipe up, down, left and right to move the tiles in the desired direction, when a tile collides with a tile of the same number it doubles up (e.g. 2 and 2 turn into 4, 4 and 4 into 8 and so on). The aim of the game is just to get to 2048. Some of the copies of the game keep going and will proceed to reach the target of 4096 or even unlimited.

So overall it’s a simple and addictive game which any user can pick up and just run with, but how did it hold up in our review criteria?


One of the charms that i love about this app is it’s incredible simplicity. Using soft pastel tones and colour coding for the different stages of values on the tiles as you get higher and higher keeps the app looking fresh and easy on the eyes.
Overall it can’t get much cleaner or simpler than it is, it perhaps lacks a bit of personality, but for an app like this it doesn’t require that much.





Simplicity is the key word with this app. It’s really intuitive and swiping your thumb in the desired direction to move the tiles around the grid is as simple as it gets. I have used a couple other versions of this app and the only thing I would say is that on this version, the grid may be a bit small on larger screens. I use a HTC One (M8) so there are smaller screen mobiles, but it would have been nice if the grid was a bit bigger and maybe more centred on the screen rather than being anchored to the top. Due to this, sometimes my thumb can get a bit lazy and end up moving down the screen a little, which means that the swipes aren’t recognised. Other versions use bigger grids which cover most of the screen so this doesn’t tend to be an issue.

The navigation controls are simple, a restart button, a back button and menu options, doesn’t get much simpler than that. And due to the sheer simplicity of this navigation, no contextual navigation UX design is required.

One of the main elements that make this so great is the fact it can be played with one hand, which means you don’t need to be holding the phone with the other hand or multiple fingers to play it. So it’s great on those slightly more cramped commutes.




Fun Factor

This game is great fun, it’s engrossing and the sense of reward as you manage to get further and further in multiplying those tiles is great. There is also a time trial mode which instead of just simply trying to reach the target goal, the added element of being against the clock makes it that bit more interesting.

Overall it’s simple, fun and has good longevity, as I said before, a bit of personality is lacking here to give it top marks, but great effort nonetheless.



Addictive / Reusable

This game is highly addictive. Be prepared to lose hours and hours out of your days playing this game (it tends to take up most of my commute), you can play a whole game, which can take about 30-40 minutes and you may not actually reach the 2048 goal (it took me quite a while to get it), but somehow you will just find yourself tapping that restart button and going again. It’s highly addictive and great fun. Top marks here.




The app is completely free. There is a small mobile banner ad that’s at the foot of your screen throughout the game, but this is far from intrusive and doesn’t tend to get in the way when i’ve been playing. However some other versions of the app are completely ad free, but considering this is produced by a single developer and originally a github project, you’d expect them to try to gain some income from this app and a single ad is probably the most acceptable way of doing this.




Overall the app is addictive, fun, simple to use and looks great. And whilst perhaps it’s not actually the best version of the game that I have played on my android device, it is of course the original and without it, there may not have been those other versions.

This app is simplicity at its best and even though I have managed to reach that all difficult 2048 goal many a time, I will still continue to come back to this game when i’m looking for that quick time killer, it hasn’t let me down yet and it’s just so addictive that I can’t see it letting me down anytime soon.