Who’d have thought that a game based on the times table could prove so infuriatingly addictive – and wildly popular? Or that rail journeys could be such a perfect fusion of leisure time, brain-training and a break from more mundane matters.
2048 – an ongoing breakout hit – is such a game, and your mission is simple. Crash identically-numbered blocks into one another to create a new block that’s double the value of the originals. Two 2s make a 4 block; two 4s make an 8; two 8s make a 16 and so on – until you run out of time, space on the board or patience.
Or… as the name of the game suggests, you reach the magic number of 2048. You can play on past 2048 and even tackle challenge modes if you find the original task too easy.
What makes it so hard? Well, every time you slide a tile you create another tile, whether you were successful or not in merging it. So as you play the board fills up. You’ll need all your powers of observation, problem-solving and, yes, maths, to triumph.
Available free on Android and Apple devices, 2048’s genius lies in its simplicity, but your mental dexterity gets a rigorous workout as the value of the blocks increases and their number multiplies. Think of it as Tetris with numbers if it helps – and don’t blame us if you miss your stop.