2048 – tile merge feedback comparison across games

This article takes a look at how different 2048 games provide feedback when a player successfully merges tiles and how those feedback choices affect player perception of their success and progress.

The whole tile gets bigger for a short time

It is the most commonly used feedback type. It works well. There are variations in how subtle the animation is. The first three examples are easy to perceive both when looking at the tiles or with peripheral vision. The fourth example with the blue cats on the other hand to a lot more subtle and the feedback is hard to perceive with peripheral vision alone. In the Doge example, the tile does get bigger, but so fast that it is hard to see. While the feedback is there, the aimation

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The items inside the tile get bigger for a short time.

This is a good way of shoring the feedback, but can be less visible depending on the content of the tiles. In the following examples, the cat’s feedback is very visible and pops out even if you’re using peripheral vision to catch multiple merges. The cupcakes have a more subtle change, and are less obvious and need to be looked at, making the player potentially less aware of peripheral changes.


The tile disappears and a new tile grows bigger inside the tile slot

Any animation will probably work, as long as it is long and visible enough. That being said, some will be easier to understand than others. In this example, the animation for the merge is similar to the creation of a brand new tile. It may or may not lead to confusion, but the risk can easily be avoided by using completely different animations for different events. Because players are likely to be used to a different approach, they may still find it more confusing if the conventions are not followed.


The points gained by each tile merge appears above the new tile

On top of a tile getting larger, City 2048 also displays the number of points each merge adds to the total score. This additional feedback also provides meaningful information that can motivate the player to focus on combining more advanced tiles and keep them engaged in getting further in the game.