I was in two minds about giving 2048 more publicity, but consider this review (EDIT: woah, incoming rant alert) an unofficial advert for the excellent Threes! A month ago I said: “Threes! is one of those games that makes you wonder: how did no one think of this before? Simple on the surface, it’s actually a surprisingly deep – and addictive – puzzle game. This will easily be one of the best smartphone games of 2014.”
With Threes! costing an entirely reasonable £1.49, various parasitic developers have spied an opportunity to take advantage, specifically by releasing clones that don’t cost a penny. You mother f…
The 2048 story actually gets more complicated the more one looks into it. The App Store description concedes: “Inspired by Gabriele Cirulli game available on the web: http://gabrielecirulli.github.io/2048/”.
Head over to that site, and Gabriele yells: “This site is the official version of 2048. You can play it on your phone via http://git.io/2048. All other apps or sites are derivatives or fakes, and should be used with caution.”
However, in turn, Gabriele concedes: “Based on 1024 by Veewo Studio and conceptually similar to Threes by Asher Vollmer.” Hmm, "conceptually similar", you say? The game is virtually identical except it uses multiples of two instead of three.
Ok, so first came Threes!; that much is clear. It was apparently followed by 1024, which in turn inspired 2048 and a series of unofficial 2048 apps.
I say “a series”; doing a quick search for “2048” on the App Store currently brings up 1, 2, 3… 40-odd 2048 apps. Hang your heads in shame.
I realise that derivative apps are nothing new. Recently we had a flood of Flappy Bird clones, going into overdrive when the game was pulled by its developer.
The problem I have here is that Threes! costs £1.49, and these apps are blatantly looking to take advantage of the fact that there’s no official free alternative.
This version of 2048 in particular (no, I'm not linking to it) is riding high on the App Store’s Top Free Games chart, and presumably the developer, Ketchapp, is seeing a significant amount of ad-based revenue. How can you sleep at night?
Even worse, there’s a 1024 app that states in its description: “No need to pay for ThreesGames. This is a simple and fun gift for you, and it’s free.” Very good, Jason Saxon. Next you’ll be stealing clothes on the high-street and handing them out to would-be shoppers. How very Robin Hood of you, you ****ing **** hole.
Anyway, yes, you get the idea: go play Threes! It’s very good, well worth your £1.49, and infinitely better than these half-hearted, money-grabbing clones. And no, I'm not sorry that I've emphatically failed to "review" 2048.