I'm a sucker for puzzles/games with little squares. There's the daily Sudoko I religiously fill in after lunch every day and the crossword puzzle from my USA Today that I complete every evening. My theory is these aren't time wasters; they're exercises for my brain cells. I rationalize well.
Lately, I've added another set of boxed brain aerobics to the mix although it doesn't enjoy the same regular play, mostly because I tend to get lost in it and sit there far too long playing it. It's a fun diversion when I'm killing time in a hotel room or waiting for the washer to finish it's last cycle.
It's quite simple really. It starts with numbers appearing randomly in two of the sixteen boxes in the grid and you use your arrow keys (or swipe the screen on an iPhone) to move them around, a little like a slide puzzle. The object is to combine two identical tiles to make a bigger number, hoping to build up to a 2048 tile...hence the name of the game.
Swiping doesn't just move a single tile however, it moves the entire row and then some. So in the example screen, a swipe to the left would combine two "2's" into a "4" on the bottom row and two "4's" into an "8"on the row above it. Those new tiles would be on the far left side. Swipe to the right and you'd still get the same new numbers but the "8" would be next to the "8" that already exists. Swipe right again and the two "8's" become a "16." Each move puts another tile on the screen so you have to keep combining them or you run out of room. It's been described as Candy Crush for math geeks but really the game does all the math for you. You just have to figure out the strategy.
Wayne plays it too. In fact, he managed to obtain the coveted 2048 tile first but I claimed the first 4096 tile. A message comes up on the screen with the 2048 tile telling you you've won but you can keep on playing until you run out of moves.
The game was already loaded on his laptop but I downloaded a free app from iTunes. There are free versions you can play on the Internet as well. Don't blame me though when you become hooked on landing that 2048 tile; it's addicting.