I’ve gotten pretty hooked on a game called Twenty, developed by Stephen French. The first few days, I really couldn’t put it down at all. Note: I played this on my phone, but you can actually play the game online, for free.

The rules are pretty simple: combine two squares with the same number, and they’ll turn into a single square with a higher number. So combine two 4’s together, and you’ll get a single 5.

The first few levels are fairly straightforward, but things get complicated once you hit your first 9 or 10. The numbers begin locking together in small groups, and you end up needing to do a lot shifting around to make good progress.

Like Tetris, if your screen fills up to the top – it’s game over.

I lost… a lot of time to this game. How much time, you ask? Well, both times over the weekend when my vision got blurry, I had also been playing this game a lot. To the point where I wondered if my staring at my phone for so long could have caused the blurriness.

That’s how much I was playing it.

For anyone looking for advice on how to actually get to 20… my strategy was this: I ended up keeping the rightmost and leftmost columns reserved for certain numbers. On the far right, I’d stack numbers 1-9. And on the left, I’d stack anything 10 and higher.

For the right hand column, after a while I wouldn’t actively try to match anything. If it looked like a single digit number, I threw it on the top of the column. Maybe every third or fourth square, I’d find a match and the column would slowly narrow itself down.

Using the far right column as a kind of temporary storage space, helped.

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