How to play '2048,' the addicting smartphone game Travis Kalanick is obsessed with

Paul Sakluma/AP; Avery Hartmans/Business InsiderFormer Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is reportedly hooked on ‘2048.’

Travis Kalanick’s latest obsession is the puzzle game “2048.”

A new piece out Thursday from Bloomberg details Kalanick’s final few months as Uber CEO and what he’s been up to after being pushed out of the company – and that includes a new addiction to the popular smartphone game.

Kalanick’s last few months at Uber were contentious, Bloomberg reports, and before his tenure was over, tragedy struck: Kalanick’s mother was killed in a boating accident, and his father was seriously injured.

According to Bloomberg, Kalanick is using his newfound downtime to set up a family office, spend time with his father – and play plenty of “2048.”

Kalanick even confirmed he loves the game on his Instagram back in September:

Just got on the '2048' train… might not go outside for days

A post shared by traviskal (@traviskal) on

But “2048” isn’t a new game – or a particularly original one at that. It’s easy to learn, and even easier to get hooked on. So here’s how to play “2048,” the game that’s taking up a lot of Kalanick’s free time:

“2048” came out in 2014. It’s similar to another popular mobile game, called “Threes.”

ScreenshotThat’s ‘Threes’ on the left and ‘2048’ on the right.

Back in 2014, the developers behind “Threes” even wrote a lengthy blog post detailing their frustration at the similarities, since “Threes” came first. But “2048” likely became so popular because it’s free – “Threes” costs $US2.99 these days.

“2048” was originally created by a developer named Gabriele Cirulli, but the mobile version most people play these days is from Ketchapp Games.

Your goal in “2048” is to add up all the tiles to get to the number 2048.

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The game takes place within a 4×4 board – you’ll start off with two tiles each bearing the number “2.”

When you swipe one of the tiles toward the other, they will combine to make one tile. They will also combine their values, so you’ll now have a tile that says “4.”

Here’s a look at the game in action:

Every time you make any sort of move, you’ll be given a new tile. It’s wise to make as few moves as possible so your board doesn’t fill with tiles.

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As the game goes on, the numbers will get bigger and bigger. Here’s my board — halfway to 2048!

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If every square on your board is filled with a tile, you lose.

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I had all the necessary tiles to win the game, but nowhere to move them.

The game keeps track of your high score and urges you to try again. Plus, there’s no limit on “lives,” which makes it hard to resist playing again and again.

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“2048” is free to download on the App Store and Google Play Store.

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