As part of a benchmark series, we will look at many 2048 games out there to see how they compare, and highlight best practices swell as common pitfalls for this type of games.
Next up, 2048 mania.
The tutorial of 2048 mania is pretty straight forward. It requires the player to perform both required actions in the game to progress: swipe horizontally and vertically, then explains to the goal of the game. While it doesn’t explain the full mechanics, it is enough to quickly get started and have fun.
Surprisingly, there’s an option to open the tutorial and to play, but the player will still need to complete a short tutorial when selecting play.
Being able to re-do the tutorial any time is good for players to recall how to play if they take a break from the game, and it is short enough that experienced players won’t find it annoying.
Like many 2048 games, low hanging fruits to improve the experience involve accessibility. The colour scheme of this game is hard to distinguish even for people with perfect sight. The numbers written inside the blocks are sometimes hard to read, for example the black number or a red background. The colour shades are all very similar and it requires a little more attention to distinguish different tiles in this game compared to many other 2048 titles out there.
Feedback & tile merging speed
Players who merge tiles will easily see the effect of their input, as the new merged tile appears larger and has a clear animation. The score also becomes bigger, attracting attention to its changes. the player doesn’t know however how much points each merge earns them, and they’re unlikely to do the math.
In this game, the players also tend to repeat a valid interaction when it has already been triggered. Unlike other games where players repeat invalid interactions multiple times before realising their mistake, here, they repeat valid interactions.
This means they don’t have the feedback that their interaction is taken in account soon enough, or they want to continue to the next interaction faster than the game allows them.
Adjusting the time it takes to complete the merges depending on the speed of the swipe motion would allow players to play at their own pace. It would make the game harder to read at high playing speeds, but it would definitely be interesting to test how it impacts the player experience for the most skilled players.