2048 (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Lex Firth 18.09.2014

Review for 2048 on Nintendo 3DS

2048 proved rather controversial due to its instant following after its release in March of this year, despite its creator openly admitting to it being a clone of other games and to having created it within just a weekend. Nonetheless, the game (strikingly similar to Threes!, a paid iOS app that launched just a month prior) went on to become even more popular as a mobile app and now makes its paid debut on 3DS. Issues of morality aside (the creator having originally stated he had no plans to make money from the game), this version of 2048 is virtually unchanged from the originals, for better or for worse.

For those somehow unfamiliar with the mechanics of 2048, the gameplay is as follows: a four-by-four grid slowly fills with numbered tiles that must be slid around with directional button presses or swipes of the screen into each other. Two matching tiles will merge into one with a higher number (for instance, swiping two tiles marked "2" will form one tile marked "4") and this must be repeated until the player reaches the 2048 tile.

The combination of its hidden challenge and its simplistic control scheme gripped mobile gamers earlier in the year, and it's this audience that publisher Cosmigo aims to capture: players looking for a quick portable fix. They are successful in this - 2048 is an admittedly solid puzzler and is completely functional here, with no performance issues being evident despite this version being released just a few months after the original.

Screenshot for 2048 on Nintendo 3DS

However, the game completely falls down when compared to its predecessors. The priced 3DS version does at least make an effort to make its own mark among its free-to-play siblings, but all of its additions are ultimately pointless. For instance, while the bottom screen displays the game in a way that 2048 players will be familiar with, the top screen opts for an angled view that displays the tiles as 3D blocks that rise as their number grows. It's an interesting idea but one that ends up being too confusing to use consistently, especially when larger blocks end up covering those behind them.

A 14-track playlist has also been included and, although it's an obvious improvement over the other versions' silence, it ultimately ends up becoming repetitive and annoying until players find themselves reaching for the volume slider. Cosmigo have also put achievements into the mix, but they are nothing special, ranging from reaching certain tiles to achieving a certain score. Similarly, the inclusion of three game "modes" is completely unnecessary, as each one ("1024," "2048," and "4096") plays exactly the same with the only change being the goal increasing or decreasing.

All in all, 2048 doesn't do anything wrong per se, but it doesn't do a whole lot right either, with harmless attempts to shake the game up turning out fruitless. With smartphones and PCs so commonplace, it's doubtful that many 3DS owners won't have anything on which to play the free version, making it difficult to justify this port as a purchase.

Screenshot for 2048 on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 5 out of 10


It's a shame to have to give a game like 2048 a low score because it's not intrinsically bad. However, the list of potential customers who would be willing to shell out money for a game that so many already own for free is short. The entry fee is admittedly miniscule, but it's still a difficult purchase to justify. However, although the price is a problem, the game itself lacks any kind of major flaw, and for that reason 2048's score falls squarely in the middle.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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