Threes vs. 2048 Review
Threes is a classic puzzle game where you slide numbers together to add them up. But there is another game, called 2048, that’s takes “inspiration” from Threes but is easier, and free. So which game should you get Threes, or 2048.
We’ve spent quite a bit of time playing both 2048 and Threes and think both have something to offer. Our Threes vs. 2048 review let’s you know which game you should play on your iPhone or iPad.
- Threes review: A superbly addictive and well-executed iPhone puzzle game
- You're never alone with a clone: How the App Store got taken over by copycats
What is Threes?
Threes is a surprisingly enjoyable card-based Puzzle game. You slide numbers around the grid and match them up. As you slide cards around in Threes they combine together which removes cards from the board; meanwhile each ‘slide’ causes an extra card to appear from the sides. Cards match together in pairs, so you can slide a 6 card into a 6 card to make a 12 card; and two 12 cards slide together to make a 24. No mathematical calculation is required; it’s more of a game of snap and match.
You start with a blue-coloured 1 card, and a red-coloured 2 card; slide these together to make a 3 card.
Threes is a very quick game to pick up and play. We found it to offer a lot of challenge because the process of matching cards together is linked to the new cards appearing. So you need to judge whether to slide cards to mix them together; or slide cards to get a new card to appear in a good position. Eventually you will become overwhelmed with new cards filling up from the side of the screen and run out of moves. You can see at the top of the screen what card will appear next, and it always appears on the same line as the card you are moving; so you can plan your moves out in advance.
What is 2048?
When it comes to reviewing 2048 there is something of a problem. The game is, in the words of Threes’ developer a “rip-off”. It’s an open-source game that started out as a clone of Threes called 1024, and then when that didn’t offer enough challenge it turned into 2048. No single person makes 2048, as such, it’s more of a homebrew project based upon the original idea by Threes. While it’s an open-source game nobody is responsible, but it has been turned into a free game (that contains adverts) and is available on the App Store.
If you put aside the politics of the situation, 2048 is a free game that many people have found to be a fun. That’s what we’re reviewing here.
In terms of gameplay, 2048 is similar to Threes, you get a number ‘2’ card on the screen, and match that to another number ‘2’, which becomes a ‘4’. Match duplicate ‘4’ cards to get an ‘8’, and so on. As you slide cards around new ones appear on the sides.
There are quite a few differences, however. To our mind 2048 is an easier game to understand at first, partly because adding even numbers is simpler than a mixture of even and odd numbers. In 2048 there is no ‘1’ and ‘2’ make ‘3’ which duplicate to make ‘6’ then ‘12’ (which is the case in Threes).. Instead it’s just ‘2’, ‘4’, ‘8’, ‘16’, ‘32’ and up.
It’s easy to figure out a pattern in 2048 where you slide numbers into the corner and then just keep moving them up and left (or right) to grow up. The new cards appear randomly, so it doesn't really matter which card you slide around.
We managed to get all the way up to 2048 within a few days; and then realised that the challenge was gone. Threes offers much deeper and nuanced gameplay.
Which is best Threes or 2048?
To our mind Threes is clearly the better game. Threes offers more long-term challenge than 2048, and we are still the king of new techniques and approaches months after first playing it. 2048, on the other hand, quickly became repetitive to us, and we soon figured out how to beat it.
Threes is also a prettier-looking game, but you do have to pay for it; while 2048 is free. So you might want to investigate 2048 and see if you like the basic premise. Then pick up a copy of Threes.
But if you’ve been playing 2048, and enjoyed it while it lasted, then consider getting Threes. It’s the same thing, but with infinitely more challenge and strategy.