The newest addiction

2048 hooks students into a world of tiles

The overpowering ringing noise radiating from people's smartphones might make you think you're inside a casino.

With a touch of your finger, you slide a two square to connect to another two to make a four square. You quickly slide that four square into another four to form an eight square. Each time you make a move, the ringing noise goes off, again and again.

Addiction begins to settle within your body. But what is this new game, anyway?

"2048 is a great game that is simple enough to understand how to play," said Kaylee Gordon, a student at Buffalo State who has been playing 2048 since April.

One of her friends recommended the game to her. At first, she refused to play it at all until hearing about how addicting it was.

"She told me I would love it and that it was a very addicting game to play," Gordon said. "So hearing that, I needed to find out what the hype was all about."

Created by Ketchapp, 2048 presents players with a four-by-four tile spread - 16 tile spaces in total - to play on. Players swipe tiles left, right, up or down to try to touch tiles of the same number. When two tiles with the same number slide into each other, they merge into one larger number. Once the player is out of moves and the board is filled with tiles, it's game over. The goal of the game is to get to the 2048th tile or higher.

The game's popularity has even caused a number of spin-offs, including one with Justin Bieber's faces and another with Benedict Cumberbatch and Otters.

"When I figured [out] a method on how to beat it, I started to play it more often," said Yomi Onadipe, a senior health and human services major.

Onadipe first read about the game in an article and gave it a try after his roommate began playing it.

"When I first got it, I played for two days straight," Onadipe said. "2048 is a time killer and is something to do to procrastinate."

At times, Onadipe said he doesn't realize how long he has been playing 2048. He typically plays when he is either in class or in the bathroom. Once a round ends, he will look at the time and be astonished. Then he plays again.

"I'll get to 1024 and realize how long I've been in the bathroom and then throughout the day I'll get to 2048," Onadipe said. "Then I'll try to get to 8192 but that hasn't happened yet."

Some students, like sophomore business major Hee Kyung Jeon, thought they would lose interest the instant they reached the 2048 title. But they found the game far more addicting than they had anticipated.

"When I really concentrate in the game, I last quite long," Jeon said.

As 2048 is the only game on her phone, Jeon's rounds typically start to either kill time on the bus or in class.

Once she got the 2048, she immediately went for the 4096 tile.

Few players will "beat" the game on their first try. It takes time and skill for players to get a grasp of the game's mechanics. When she started playing, Gordon knew she wasn't going to be the best - her score was in the low 400s.

"Because I'm a very competitive person ... I was determined to get at least in the thousands before I stopped playing," Gordon said.

With every game, there tends to be some sort of tension or anxiety that soon leads players to strategize or panic.

"When the game gets toward the end and there is only one or two spaces left, I begin to panic and really try to strategize the moves I make, hoping it will help," Gordon said.

The game may look simple, but it has players all over campus hooked.

It's fun. It's easy. It's simple, and it will leave people playing for hours. It can be found for free on Google Play and the App Store.