# 2048 APPLICATION IS NOT MATH, BUT IT IS ADDICTING

JACOB BELGUM

jbbelgum13@ole.augie.edu

I’m not sure everyone loves a good puzzle game, but I’m certain everyone salivates over an addicting one.

2048 fits the latter qualification. Nicotine seems tame compared to this game of numbered squares that slide across a 4×4 square game board.

Tiles begin at values of two or four, and the goal is to merge two tiles into one, thereby doubling the value of the newly-created tile (for example, two tiles with values of “two” merge to form one tile of “four”). As the title explains, the user emerges victorious when he or she merges two “1,024” tiles, yielding the desired “2048.”

Sounds fun, right? This game will bend one’s mind and may have one wondering, as I myself did, “Does this game take any skill at all? I feel like I’m doing everything right, yet I will attend grad school before I reach the holy grail of 2048.”

With some brainpower (or Google for all the over-achievers out there), the concept, or trick, if you will, will eventually become evident and beating 2048 will be effortless.

SPOILER ALERT: One must isolate the high-valued tiles to beat the game. This can be easily achieved by only sliding up and to the right, for example. The swipes must stay consistent. Once one segregates the high-valued pieces, the game really plays itself.

As time-consuming as this game can be, the concept is imperfect. Here are a few negative observations:

1. 2048 pimps itself as being mathematical. The truth is different: the tiles could simply be differentiated by color, or by having different faces of “Hell’s Kitchen” cast members. The game is “numbers-based” in that numbers help the player keep track of his or her progress. It is “numbers-based.” It is not “mathematical.”

2. Once one discovers the pattern, the games instantly loses its luster. This game fails the “re-playability test” for savvy users (or, as referenced earlier, lazy and impatient Googlers).

But before one ascertains the pattern, this game is addictive and (mostly) enjoyable. My buddy, a freshman at Concordia College (Moorhead), published a tweet a week ago that sums up 2048 best: “Downloading 2048 was the most detrimental thing I’ve done to my education thus far.”

So if someone desires some mindless fun or wants to procrastinate from writing that devastatingly boring research paper, 2048 will provide the entertainment he or she cherishes. And for a while, it certainly gave me mine.