2048 is a rather unique and absorbing puzzle game, which, admittedly, makes writing a list of similar games somewhat difficult.
If you’ve never played it, you should give it a shot; 2048 is fiendishly addictive, despite its simple setup, meaning you can easily lose hours of your life to it.
However, if you’ve decided to seek your puzzle pleasures elsewhere, you will find games that might scratch the same itch. Here are the 20 best games like 2048 to play right now.
Of all the games like 2048 out there, Threes! is probably the most similar.
Much like 2048, all you do in Threes! is swipe; you’re trying to make multiples and addends of the number three, and you must simply keep swiping until you reach those numbers.
Of course, as you’ll know if you’ve played 2048, that’s a deceptively difficult thing to do, so this is a great game for those who need a 2048 fix.
Sudoku is so wildly popular that you’re almost never going to struggle to find it out there on an app store or browser.
The game involves inputting different numbers into grids; each grid (and each line) must contain the numbers 1 through 9, but they can’t repeat vertically or horizontally.
Like the best puzzle games, a simple premise gives way to fiendish, head-scratching difficulty in Sudoku, especially in larger grids.
Combining cute aesthetics with innovative puzzle mechanics, Alphabear is a real sleeper hit.
If you can imagine a cross between Scrabble and 2048, then you’re not a million miles away from the kind of cerebral thrill Alphabear offers.
You must combine letters to make words, and as you do so, you’ll create bigger and bigger bears, earning you more points into the bargain and extending your play time.
In Hexic, your goal is to rotate tiles so that patterns can be created.
While the gameplay may not seem superficially similar to 2048, you’re essentially swiping symbols in order to match them up, which is a similar loop to the one 2048 offers.
Naturally, Hexic is a more colourful and geometric affair than 2048, so if you need something with a little more visual flair, this is the game for you.
Okay, we know that Tetris isn’t super-similar to 2048, but hear us out.
Much like Hexic (which was actually designed by the original creator of Tetris!), this game is about clearing shapes by connecting them to one another, which feels similar to 2048.
You’re not working with numbers here, but the insanely addictive core gameplay loop of Tetris still feels spiritually akin to that of 2048 as far as we’re concerned.
6. Triple Town
Triple Town essentially offers the tile-matching gameplay of 2048 combined with a city-builder.
You must match tiles with one another, creating more advanced tiles as you connect tiles of the same type. By doing so, you will slowly construct a city.
Watching your city progress through stages of advancement gives Triple Town a visual thrill that the basic and simplistic presentation of 2048 can’t quite match.
7. Cubes 2048
You’re not going to find a lot of 2048 clones or ripoffs on this list, because we believe in a better standard of quality than that.
Cubes 2048, however, is a slightly more interesting take on the formula that effectively combines Slither.io with 2048; you’re moving around a map looking for numbers to add to your trail, merging them as you go.
It’s more active than 2048, and while it’s not quite the same game, it may well scratch the same itch for you.
You may have already encountered nonograms out there in the wild in various forms; you might know them as Picross, for instance, and they’ve got various other names on the internet and app stores as well.
Nonograms involve checking off squares on a grid by using a process of logical deduction, slowly assembling a picture as you do so.
In this way, they offer similar contemplative numbers-based fun to 2048.
Your goal in Atomas is to combine elements in order to score points, with more complex chains awarding more points.
Each game begins with a simple string of elements, and you must move atoms in order to combine them into elements with greater atomic numbers.
Much like 2048, this is a game of swiping and combining, so it’s perfect if you want something like 2048 with a more science-based slant.
Sumaddle is effectively reminiscent of Sudoku, but with slightly more interesting and arcane rules.
In Sumaddle, your goal is to fill a 5×5 grid. Each line must contain the numbers 1, 2, and 3, as well as two blank spaces, and lines and columns cannot contain any of those things more than once.
Clues are also awarded for each row and column, and depending on what clue you get, you’ll need to adjust your strategy accordingly.
1010! is what would happen if you combined the addictive swiping mechanics of 2048 with the block destruction of Tetris.
The setup is very simple indeed; you’re given three shapes, and you must place them onto a grid. When all three are placed, you’re given new shapes.
You must clear lines like in Tetris, but you’re not limited by constantly-falling blocks; you can place them pretty much anywhere you like.
12. Human Resource Machine
We’re moving a little outside the realms of 2048 here, but this is still a numbers-based puzzle game at its core.
Created by The Tomorrow Corporation, Human Resource Machine blends that studio’s signature skewed take on the world with a sort of programming-inspired puzzler.
What follows is a bleak and harrowing odyssey into the world of disposable office drone culture, but it’s also a rather fine puzzle game in its own right.
13. 7 Billion Humans
Hey, look – it’s another Tomorrow Corporation game, and a followup to Human Resource Machine at that!
Like its predecessor, this is a game based around numbers and programming, but this time, you’re automating the workers of a machine to complete tasks for you.
Again, the fun is in the skewed aesthetic and the satirical take on modern working environments, but even if you strip that out, you’ll still find a great puzzler in here.
14. Square Worlds
The goal in Square Worlds is to place tiles around a grid in order to achieve the maximum point value possible.
Placement of tiles matters a great deal; placing tiles in different ways will net you different scores, so you must be clever with how you place your tiles.
This is a great game to learn as you play, because you’ll quickly start figuring out optimal combinations and strategies, and that’s when things get really fun.
If the part of 2048 that most appeals to you is its focus on grid-based logic and strategic thinking, Knotwords is for you.
It’s a sort of cross between a crossword, Scrabble, and Sudoku; you must fill a grid with words according to prompts you’re given on the keyboard.
You’ll need to think through each of your moves carefully in order to achieve success, though, as you can’t just type in whatever you want and expect to win!
16. Infinity Loop
Again, we know that we’re slightly outside the remit of games like 2048 for this one, but we think this has a similar feel to it.
In Infinity Loop, your goal is to rotate shapes until you can create a closed shape. Things start off simply enough, but it’s not long before the difficulty ramps up.
It’s all wrapped up in a meditative presentation that means things can never get too frustrating, making this a perfect “just one more try” game for your lunch break.
17. You Must Build a Boat
You Must Build a Boat is a rather innovative mixture of endless runner and match-three puzzler that’s ideal for an idle few minutes’ worth of play.
You must…well, build a boat, but it’s a little more complex than that. Each run has you battling monsters and obstacles, collecting loot as you go.
After doing so, you’ll then work on your boat in order to add elements to it and improve your attributes for your next run.
What more needs to be said about Bejeweled? It’s one of the most famous match-three puzzlers out there, and for very good reason.
If you play Bejeweled and don’t feel a visceral satisfaction every time you clear a line, then you might want to check to make sure you’re still breathing.
Put simply, this is one of the most fiendishly addictive games out there.
19. Simon Tatham’s Portable Puzzle Collection
If you don’t mind a simple visual presentation and just want some abstract puzzle games to space out with, this is an excellent choice.
The collection consists of a ton of different puzzle games, including a charmingly lo-fi version of the classic game Minesweeper.
They don’t look particularly impressive, but that’s part of the fun!
20. Flow Free
If you’ve ever played a mobile phone game, the chances are good that you’re already familiar with Flow Free.
You must connect matching pipe colours in order to create one of the game’s signature Flows, and pairing all of the colours on a board will clear it.
It might sound simple, but you can easily lose hours of your life to this one.