While 2014 has been the year of the clone, with many a Flappy Bird ripoff and more 2048 clones of Threes than we can shake a stick at, there have been a few games that have managed to elevate themselves above the crowd. Meet 2048 Snake, a game that shamelessly combines 2048 and Snake to create something actually pretty clever.

2048 Snake 1At the start, this looks like just a clone of Snake. But this one takes place on a 2048 board, with green numbers able to be eaten that extend the snake’s body, and red numbers being bad, with many of each spawning up as the game goes on. But here’s where this becomes more than just a way to capitalize on 2048’s popularity: each number will combine with one of the numbers in the tail, replacing it with the combined number. That new number can then combine with the same number, and so on, making it possible to actually dramatically shrink the snake’s body as the game goes on.

And while the red numbers are always too big to eat at the moment, they turn green once that number has been achieved in the snake’s body, which can turn a dangerous part of the board safe again.

Point scoring isn’t based on highest number, but how many numbers are eaten, so there’s a tradeoff with eating smaller numbers: they may extend the body, but can crowd the board as well. The mechanics are all fairly familiar, but the combination of them makes the game feel like something new.

Of course, appropriately enough, the game has already been cloned: there’s 369 Train on Android. And this isn’t even the first game to combine Snake and 2048: Snake 2048 on Android is more just “Snake on a 2048 board” but I expect plenty of clones of 2048 Snake to come soon, because, well, everything comes around again; the serpent eats its tail.