Puzzle games are known to trigger the intelligent mental processes of the brain. Although many will agree to them acting as factors to increasing intelligence, not a lot of them end up being thrilling to the point of always losing track of time while playing. Numbers and shapes rule the puzzle game universe, and the most popular of them, Sudoku is of the number variety.
Sudoku’s case makes for a pretty good reason why 2048 becoming popular is not shocking. 2048 has all the bells and whistle of a super-addictive game—stringent criteria, healthy competition with a geographically decentralized gaming crowd, and a very efficient user interface. Its popularity may actually owe thanks to an older game of this kind, 1048 that gained good traction.
2048 game play is really simple, add up a number of random even numbers that are double multiples of the immediate preceding number (starting with 2) in a 4 x 4 square grid till you get the sum of 2048, in which case more random numbers are thrown at you and you have to repeat the feat again and again for as long as you can. Failure to achieve the sum before all 16 grid boxes are filled yanks in a “Game Over” screen.
If you think it sounds easy, then you’re not alone in your thoughts. Although I must warn that, you may begin to change your conception when you progress to more difficult stages of the game. And what’s in play here is your skill in math and adequate response, strategy and luck. But to understand the game 2048 in a thrilling perspective, you have to do a close comparison with the classic sandbox adventure game GTA Vice City.
Both appear to have emerged from parallel worlds, but there’s something we all agree they share in common—a thrilling and addictive experience for their player base. First off, 2048 engage its players by offering full-on restrictions on the environment of game play. While Grand Theft Auto: Vice City appear to be the opposite, but the less appreciated fact is that while 2048 limits you to a 4 x 4 grid, GTA Vice City limits you to the confines of Vice City, a pre-determined plot that must be followed to gain progress in a select number of missions that are restricted in groups, and a lifestyle. It is this controlled gaming environment that keep people coming back for more.
Another point for comparison is the strategies involved. During the first tries of 2048, many different combination of number additions in different directions lead to your end-point, 2048. However, as the game progresses, you have to set-up a clear-cut strategy that fits your perception of the possibility of fulfilling the game’s primary objective. Thus, later in the game you begin to understand that making certain movements can irremediably stymie your game, and so you begin to effect controlled additions that fit your strategy. This is in close relation to meeting the plot in GTA Vice City. At first, it is fun to have the freedom to do whatever you want, but mission objectives overtly lead you to developing strategies that see you fulfilling the game’s primary objective—following the story of Tommy.
Whether it’s swiping from dawn till dusk or skipping meals while driving around Vice City, it’s all about different means to an end. Getting all the information that is available on 2048 is important if you want to be anywhere near the leaderboard, or beat your friends in a multiplayer setting.