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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Origins of 2048: The simple puzzle game that’s spawning clones in abundance

After the world had gotten over Flappy Bird, the game that literally drove people to make murder threats against the developer, everyone was waiting for the next great mobile gaming sensation. Even though Flappy Bird is set to return to our devices soon, this time it will have a newer, and just as addictive, game called 2048.

Calling it just one game is wrong and misleading, since 2048 has spawned hundreds of different variants on Android and on the Web. Created by an Italian programmer Gabriele Cirulli, the game was released on March 9 to the Google Play Store and quickly climbed the popularity charts. To play the game, all that a user had to do was to swipe number tiles to sum up two 2s or 4s or 8s and so on, till they get to the number 2048. With each swipe a new number pops up to add to the challenge and you have to keep clearing the board as the numbers keep growing. You can literally spend hours just swiping in any direction to see tiles combine. It’s fun and keeps you thinking. The beauty of the game lies in its simplicity; there’s no flashy interface or complex controls.

There was one problem though. The game which has been copied by so many other developers was itself a copy (or was it inspired?) by another game called 1024, which in turn was inspired by another game called Threes. Phew! Read that again to understand what you read.

Sirvo, creators of the game Threes, accused Cirulli and also makers of 1024 (Veewo studio) of copying their game in their blogpost. Sirvo takes a dig at its game’s clone and labels them easy to win. They even go on to explain how their game is still better than all the Threes-inspired games. Although they say that they are taking all in their stride, it is obvious the creators seem to be quite irked at all the copycats.

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