Candy Crush may have gone public today with an estimated worth of $7,000,000,000 (that's BILLION DOLLARS), but it's already old news. There's a new game everyone's playing and it's called 2048. 

2048 is a sort-of math puzzle, created by 19-year-old Italian developer Gabriele Cirulli, that's played online (here!) or on a smart phone. The site explains the rules to the game as such:

HOW TO PLAY: Use your arrow keys to move the tiles. When two tiles with the same number touch, they merge into one!

That's a little simplistic and it takes a while to get the hang of it, but more or less you knock together tiles to eventually create a 2048 tile. So a 2 knocks with 2 = a 4 tile. Two 4 tiles knock and you get an 8 tile. Two 8's gives you a 16 and so on and so forth until you get two 1024 tiles to knock together and win.

It's insanely hard. And insanely addictive.



The game is a knockoff of the app 1024 by Veewo Studios and inspired by the game Threes! (which uses multipliers of three, instead of two). And now there are knockoffs of the knockoff: 2048 has inspired Doge2048, a Flappy Bird-style game, and 9007199254740992, for foolish people who like an impossible task. 

There's also a "saucy" Tom Hiddleston version, where Tom gets saucier and saucier the more tiles you knock together. The further we've gotten is Tom stroking himself. This is our favorite version of 2048.

And where Candy Crush is downright infuriating (here, let us count the ways), 2048 just...isn't. The fact that it's numbers and not a bunch of little colored candy blobs makes you feel kind of smart (or, at the very least, like you're not actively melting your brain, even as you zone out for hours on end playing).

Plus, if you got mad every time you lost, you would pretty much be mad all the time.

The game has been online for less than a month, but Cirulli says four million people have already played it some 42 million times. Of those 42 million, only 347,000 games have ever ended with the 2048 tile. That's less than one percent.

But we will be part of that one percent. Oooh, you can count on it.

Now excuse us, while we get back to playing... PLAY 2048 HERE.

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