doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

The 2048 Game

And now for something completely different…

I’m posting this on the weekend because it just wouldn’t be fair to get you started on something and then have to go to work.  The game is based on multiples of 2 – I wish that I could say that you could use this to teach binary numbers or something but that wouldn’t be right.

I put this game in the category of Flappy Bird.  Simple, easy to get started, easy to play, and it will have you addicted.  Can you hit 2048?  I started with the web version and was hooked.  Poking around reveals that there are many copies as well as portable versions.  The original is located here and can be played on your portable device so it really isn’t necessary to download a mobile version.


As the instructions say, just move the tiles with the arrow keys on your keyboard (or swipe on the web), merge the tiles, and try to generate the highest score.  Can you hit 2048?

As I started to poke around, it’s not without its controversy.  The original author attributes the design to the game THREES.  iOS Android

The authors of THREES share their thoughts in a blog post and their comments to those who they claim have ripped off their original concept.

It is there that I do see room for classroom discussion.  Where does original work end and rip off begin?  Are we better off with only one variation of a theme?  THREES…2048…1024…Numberwang 2048.  What about WordPerfect…Word…Pages…LibreOffice?

It’s a great discussion to have – provided you can put this addictive game down long enough to have it!

The code is open source and you can download to make your own or add to the project.

In the meantime, I’ve hit 256 but I have a plan…


7 responses to “The 2048 Game”

  1. Just before spring break, I showed the game and the code to my students. I then spent an inordinate amount of time playing it myself. I hit 4096. My daughter came up with a strategy that works about 80% of the time to hit 2048. I usually fail when I veer from the strategy.

    The controversy is funny since neither offers the game for a price, so neither is making money off of it as near as I can tell. I guess it’s just bragging rights. 🙂


  2. Andrew Forgrave Avatar
    Andrew Forgrave

    An interesting challenge, to be sure. Clearly the strategy to getting past the 256 tile will lie in having fewer 16 tiles filling the board.

    The 512 tile eluded me as well on my first two attempts — we’ll see if the challenge is sufficiently engaging (I wouldn’t classify this as Flappy Bird addictive) to reach the 2048 tile.



  3. I “accidentally” showed my 6th period calculus kids this app and it quickly became very difficult to teach…live and learn. I hit 2048 this weekend!!!


  4. I love/hate this game. That is all.


  5. I love too this game, is amazing!! You can play in


  6. I have written a free strategy guide on 2048 at:
    Hope it helps!
    Wishing you a great time playing 2048!


  7. […] is long, you may recall that I ended up becoming addicted to the 2048 game.  I looked and I blogged about it last March.  Has it really been that […]


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