[2048] Three Simple Tricks to Win 2048 Tile Puzzle Game.

 The 2048 game is an amazingly simple and fun browser-based puzzle released by Gabriele Cirulli, a 19-year-old developer from Italy. Caution: The following …

 The 2048 game is an amazingly simple and fun browser-based puzzle released by Gabriele Cirulli, a 19-year-old developer from Italy.

Caution: The following link contains gaming material that may be addictive. Player discretion is advised. http://gabrielecirulli.github.io/2048/

This video introduces three simple strategies I came up with for winning the 2048 game.
1. Arrow restriction: basically use right & down, carefully up and never left
2. Always “fix” the 4th column
3. Always keep the 4th column sorted

The two arrow keys of your favorite could be different from mine, but it’s ok as long as the keys are adjacent; you are solving essentially the same problem.

By fixing, or filling in the 4th column (not the 4th row) with tiles, you can avoid a junk piece to come in to the tile[4][4] when you had to use the up key. Exception is when the tile-merging happens in the 4th column. In that case, avoid up and use down instead.

[Some Additional Tips]
– If you focus on building the 4th column, you’ll learn how best to build the 3rd.
– Advanced technique: left arrow (in my strategy) is useful to recover from the situation where the 4th column is unsorted. In that case, don’t forget to “fix” the 3rd and 4th rows by filling them in.
– Recovery tip: To recover from the situation like tile[3][4]=1024 and tile[4][4]=2, use arrows including Left and push 1024 into a different corner. Then do the “change-of-gravity” (change the arrow restriction accordingly).
– Concentrate and think ahead. One small mistake can ruin the game especially in the later stage of the game.

[Note on Chance of Winning]
2048 is very hard. Even with a sophisticated AI with what’s called “the iterative deepening depth first alpha-beta search” algorithm, the winning rate is not 100%, but 90%, according to the AI developer appeared on stackoverflow.
With the strategy introduced in this video, my winning rate is like 10% or so. It’s low but having some strategies is better than having anything at all.

EDIT (Mar 17): My winning rate is now 30% given results from the past 10 consecutive games: 2048 x 3, 1024 x 3, 512 x 3, 256 x 1. I stick to the same strategy introduced here, but learned some bad situations to avoid.

How well do you do? Consider leaving a comment!

[Useful Links]
– The AI version http://ov3y.github.io/2048-AI is useful for learning how to “recover” from bad tile positions. Try enabling the AI when tiles mess up and see how well it tidies up.
– Once getting used to winning it, why don’t us compete the highest scores? http://www.reddit.com/r/2048 is a good place for it and sharing strategies.
– Hacker News also has a nice discussion at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7379821
– Algorithm lovers: Here’s an interesting thread about the optimal 2048 solution, where one guy called ovolve, the AI version developer, achieved over 70,000+ points with his algo: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/22342854/what-is-the-optimal-algorithm-for-the-game-2048 Also see http://murgo.github.io/2048/ where you can plug in your own AI in js.

There are tons of variants of 2048.

[Variants of 2048]
– 2048 in super easy mode: http://jennypeng.me/2048/
– 2048 with undo: http://quaxio.com/2048/
– 2048 1D: http://tiansh.github.io/2048/
– 2048 3D: http://joppi.github.io/2048-3D/
– 2048 4D: http://huonw.github.io/2048-4D/
– 2048 5D: http://cesarkawakami.github.io/2048-5D/
– Speed 2048 http://balderdash.github.io/2048/
– Flappy 2048 http://hczhcz.github.io/Flappy-2048/
– 2048 Tetris http://prat0318.github.io/2048-tetris/
– 1on1 2048 http://emils.github.io/2048-multiplayer/
– MMO 2048 https://hnplays2048.herokuapp.com

[Other numbers]
– -512: http://hgentry.github.io/-512/
– 1: http://hgentry.github.io/1/
– 4: http://ehzhang.github.io/4/
– 11: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~s7395779/
– Fibonacci 1597: http://jmhummel.github.io/1597/
– 2584: http://mike199515.free3v.com/1597/2.htm
– Hex 16384 (2^14): http://rudradevbasak.github.io/16384_hex/
– 65536 (2^16): http://www.csie.ntu.edu.tw/~b01902112/65536/
– 2147483648 (2^31): http://cyberzhg.github.io/2048/
– 9007199254740992 (2^53): http://www.csie.ntu.edu.tw/~b01902112/9007199254740992/
– Infinite: http://aux.joshlf.com/2048/infinite/

(Collection of 2048 variants are summarized in this page: http://phenomist.wordpress.com/2048-variants/ )

You may also want to check the mobile apps called “Threes” which inspired “1024” which subsequently inspired 2048.

EDIT2 (Mar 20): I created another video on 1on1 2048 game play.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOc3uzVpbLs

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