‘Help! I can’t stop playing 2048’, “2048 Game is the most addictive game I have ever played!”, “Evil, EVIL game”, these were some of the tweets I heard across the Internet when 2048 first surfaced in early 2014. I absolutely loved this game and I still play it when I’m bored. While I’m a fan of the minimal design of this game, I still wanted to explore the different possibilities this game has brought. I played all the possible variations and clones and came up with the best 2048 Alternative Games. Let’s check it out.
Games like 2048
Let’s start with a game that retains the essence of 2048. Dotsup is a puzzler which would make you think out of the box. It doesn’t follow the traditional 4×4 box layout and presents you with unique layouts and a set target to achieve. Instead of numbers, you get boxes with dots which can be merged to form a tile of the sum of the previous tiles. Your aim is to achieve the goal in the least amount of time. If you’ve played in 2048, you’ll love it even more.
Play Dotsup on Android
2. Shoot n Merge
A classic bubble shooter merged with 2048 where you shoot numbers at a lowering grid. It uses both the mechanics to offer an interesting concept. You shoot tiles with numbers which stick to the grid on the top. If the adjacent tiles match in value then it merges and creates a tile of the greater value. Your aim is to create a tile 2048 before the grid lowers to the bottom. One interesting mechanic included in this game which makes it more fun is that it merges the tiles in two directions. If your tiles match it’ll merge all of them automatically giving you a significant advantage.
3. Age of 2048
Another take on 2048 which yields fruitful results. Age of 2048 is a similar game with a redesigned layout and instead of the number, you play with civilization elements. Your aim is to build a city and take the civilization forward. Start with merging fires to create a tribal hut, merge those to make a tribe, then a village, then a city, and so on. It is a fun game with a little bit of history mixed in.
4. Dead 2048
The Zombies have attacked and you have to defend your place by building a tower in this Tower building 2048 amalgamation. The game is set on a farm with 16 blocks and a gateway to the entry point of Zombies. You have to swipe and merge the defense towers to create a barrier to hold the zombies on the other side. You would have to use the resources carefully so that you don’t overcrowd the tower with redundant tiles. There would be times when a Zombie infestation would attack the towers and you can kill the zombies by dropping a tower on it. So what are you waiting for? Go build that damn tower.
5. Impossible Nine
Do you think creating a 2048 tile is hard? Well, If you can reach double digits on this game then I would consider a Pro. Impossible Nine is a 2048 style game where the rules are a little different. You only upgrade to the next number when three tiles with the same value have at least one side touching with each other. The game is played on a 5×4 arena and you can move individual tiles to a specific position given the path is clear on the board. You can stack the higher values together for later use and merge smaller tiles to create a high score.
Play Impossible Nine on Android
6. Kitty Cat Island
Imagine being on a deserted island and your only source of nutrition is fish. Doesn’t sound very good right? Now, imagine being a cat. It’s nothing short of a paradise. In this game, you play the classic 2048 and help the cats catch fish. Every time you merge a tile below the Cats get a fish to eat. Your goal is to reach the maximum number of fish caught. It has a few additional features which make it better than most 2048 clones out there. For example, You can use the net to clear out any useless tiles, use the fishing rod to eliminate a stuck tile, and an inversion tool to switch the tile with an adjacent tile. These tools would help you achieve your target quickly if you ever had trouble reaching 2048 before.
Play Kitty Cat Island on Android
7. 2048 Hexagon
So you think, you’ve played 2048 and reaching the score isn’t a big enough hurdle? Try the Hexagon layout then. 2048 Hexagon is the same core mechanics with a graphic redesign. Instead of a square Grid, it is played on a hexagonal board. You don’t swipe on the board but drag and drop the pair of tiles on the specific location. The game would seem easy at first but gets complicated really fast if you don’t put the tiles in order and merge them. Nevertheless, you’d be spending hours trying to make the high score.
Play 2048 Hexagon on Android
8. 2048 Bricks
The Tetris Effect is real, you can look it up and it has trickled down to 2048 and I must say it is best of both worlds. Instead of tetromino, you get a square tile which drops on the bottom. Your aim is to get to the tile 2048 by merging the similarly valued tiles. The tiles drop from the top, much like Tetris and you have to quickly free up space before the tiles reach the top or your game is over. I can’t stress enough you to click the play button, go play this now.
9. Hexic 2048
I know we’ve already covered hexagonal version of 2048 but this is a little different than the previous hexagonal 2048. It is a 2048 clone that is played on a hexagonal board. All the controls and mechanics are the same and you swipe tiles just like the original 2048. So, If you want to hone your 2048 skills, you better start playing this game.
10. 2048 Chromecast
When you’re frustrated because you just can’t seem to hit 2048 then all you need to do is look at the bigger picture. No, literally a bigger picture by casting the game to your Chromecast and play using the smartphone screen. While you can cast any game on the Chromecast, this game is specifically designed for that and you only get the game on the big screen and your smartphone becomes remote. Technology!
Play 2048 Chromecast on Android
11. 2048 Solitaire
Windows used to have decent games like Pinball, Mahjong, Solitaire, etc. Now, I certainly don’t miss Solitaire but it is interesting to play the game with a twist of 2048. Yes, Any game can be modified to be played as 2048 and I’m just as surprised as you are. Here, you get numbered cards which you have to place in one of the four decks. If the values are same then the cards would merge and you have to get to the highest score possible. It doesn’t follow the order used in the Original Solitaire and you can stack any card on top of any deck. It becomes challenging when the cards start to pile up. Give it a try, maybe you’ll like it more than the original one.
12. 2048 3D
This game is not for the faint-hearted and easily frustrated. I mean those words and if you have played 2048 and almost gave up then this would give you nightmares for days. It has a 3D arena with 3x3x3 area. The objective is the same but the gameplay is new. You can swipe up and down normally when only one face of the arena is visible but you would have to keep track of all the sides because the cubes are generated in the entire arena. Swipe using two fingers to move the arena around and one finger to move the blocks. I can’t stress enough how difficult this game is. You should still play this otherwise you won’t know If I’m being serious or just exaggerating.
13. 2048 CrossLine
If anyone ever told you Math and Geometry is useless and you wouldn’t use it in real life. Ask them to play this game. It is a different game and just borrows one element from the Original 2048, apart from the name. The game presents you with a line and it has a certain number of balls on it. Every Ball has a value and when two balls touch, they merge. You play by making a cut on the line and rearranging the ball order. If you think is getting tricker, you’re right and it gets even trickier. The balls on the obtuse angle side move first and the remaining balls follow. This is the crucial mechanic which would help you master the game. Don’t worry, the game has a tutorial to help you explain things. Check it out.
14. 2048 Ball Blast: Crazy Number
Another arcade style 2048 game where you play a game disguised as another game. The game area is a circle and in the middle is your shooter which shoots balls with different values. You can aim anywhere on the circle with an exception of other balls or you die. Two balls of equal value will attract each other and merge into one if there is no hurdle in the path. Your aim is to score highest and reach to the ball valued 2048 and above.
Play 2048 Ball Blast: Crazy Number on iOS
The game which inspired the OG 2048 and paved the way for an entire genre of games. Threes is also played on a 2D 4×4 board but it has different rules. The tiles with the same values merge only if the tiles are greater than 3 in value. Tiles 1 and 2 will only merge with each other. This makes the game so much trickier. Your objective is to keep the board clear and create the highest value tile.
16. Big House
This is more about city building than it is about 2048 and I really like this game for times when you’re just bored and feel like killing time. Your aim in this Facebook Messenger game is to build the biggest city possible. You start slow with a small piece of land and merge small huts to make houses, houses to mansions, and mansions to cities. As you play, you get random gifts and pieces of land to expand your territory. The animation is designed keeping kids in mind but I enjoy it as well.
Play Big House on Facebook Messenger
17. 2048 Hexagon Connect
Think of this game as 2048 with steroids. Instead of playing it on a square board, it has a 6×5 honeycomb layout. Your objective is to get the highest score by merging cells of equal value together. It does have a different logic to it. 2048 merged two tiles with equal values but here you have to put cells of equal values such that at least one side touches. When four cells of equal value touch each other, it forms a cell with a value of the sum of all the smaller cells. Go play this now, honey.
Play Hexagon Connect on Facebook Messenger
2048 on web
This clone is a research project by Milovan Šuvakov and he did create a fun game, to be honest. It has the same layout as a standard 2048 4×4 board but the tiles start with 1 as the lowest value. when you merge two similar value tiles, the result is the next integer instead of the sum of two previous tiles. Now you would think 11 as the objective isn’t difficult. Well, play for yourself and find out.
Play Eleven on web
Based on the Popular Math Quiz Show this version of 2048 is an absolute ride which I recommend you take. The layout is the same but the numbers are generated based on a very complex AI which determines which number will originate when you combine two tiles. The AI automatically displays if you’ve hit a NumberWang. The goal of the game is to go Wangernumb which I must tell you isn’t easy at all.
Play NumberWang on web
Every Game I listed above is played against the computer or ‘AI’ of some kind and your aim is to beat the game. Let’s change things up a little bit. You will play as the AI and the AI will try to create the 2048 tile. Sounds fun isn’t it?
Play 8402 on web
Games Like 2048 – Closing Word
These were some of my the games which I play when I crave 2048. I tried to list all the games that I have played at some point because I wanted to play 2048 but was bored with the original gameplay. You can check these out and share which games you like to play that are just like 2048 in the comments below, maybe a tweet?