Play 2048 as an OS X Notifications Center widget

OS X Yosemite has an enhanced notifications panel at the right side of the screen and it is able to display widgets - mini applications. If you are a fan of 2048 games, you can add a 2048 widget to the Today pane in the notifications panel and have a quick play any time you like.

There are dozens of 2048 style games for OS X, phones and tablets and this is partly because of its popularity and it is a lot of fun to play, but  also partly because it is so easy to write. Any half decent programmer could write one in a few days.

If you have not yet tried one of these games, it is played on a 4 x 4 grid. Two number 2s are placed on the grid. Using the arrow keys, they can be slid to the top, bottom, left or right edge. With each move another number 2 is added. When two 2s bump together they make a 4, when two fours bump they make 8, when two 8s bump they make 16 and so on.

The aim is to keep doubling up and to get a tile to 2048 and win the game, solve the puzzle or whatever this is. It is strange for the first minute or two, but once you understand how it works, it is very addictive.

As you slide the number tiles left, right up and down, two tiles become one and an extra space is created, sometimes you can combine two sets of numbers, a pair of twos and a pair of 8s, freeing up two tiles as they combine to produce a single 4 and a 16. Many times you will be down to one single square remaining and the numbers will fall into place and free up space and you can play on. It is fascinating.

Type 2048 into the search box in the Mac App Store and there are lots of these games. I chose 2048 Tile! (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/2048-tile!/id851153911?mt=12), partly because it is free (ad supported) and partly because it works with the new Notification Center in OS X Yosemite on the Apple Mac.

Download the 2048 Tile! app from the Mac App Store and then open Notification Center by clicking the icon in the top right corner of the screen. Click the Edit button down at the bottom and a double panel opens. 2048 Tile! is on the right.

2048 Tile! for OS X

Click the green plus button to add the app to the Today tab of the Notifications Center and the game looks like this:

2048 Tile! for OS X

Now you can have a quick game whenever you like. Just open Notification and start playing. It isn’t quite perfect and it seems to start a new game each time Notifications is opened rather than remembering the game state. However, games usually last no more than five minutes anyway, so it isn’t that important.

2048 Tile! can be run from the Applications folder as a desktop app too.

2048 Tile! game for Apple Mac

The game is fun, addictive, free, works in Notification Center or the desktop, and uses Game Center to track high scores. That’s all you need.

Program: 2048 Tile!
Developer: Enrico De Michele
Size: 2.6MB
OS: 10.6 or later, 64-bit
Rating: 4/5

 

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