Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Take It Easy comes back to me

Of all the game apps that became obsolete and stopped working when iOS got an overhaul, Take It Easy was the one I missed the most.

In part, it was because playing it in the tablet or phone was pretty much like playing it in real life except I didn’t get to hear everyone else at the table swearing. But it was also because I really like Take It Easy.

So when I saw that it had either been updated or flat out replaced (The new version is by Ravensburger but I don’t know if they were the ones who put out the last app), I was quite happy.

For whatever reason, I quite like the Bingo With Strategy/Honest To Gosh Really Multi-Player Solitaire school of games. As near as I can tell, Take It Easy is the first of the genre, coming out in 1983. And, in some ways, I think it is still one of the best, by virtue of being one of the most pure and simple. 

Oh, I think games like Koruba and Rise of Augustus and Limes/Cities do really interesting things with the concept. And I am really glad that they exist and that I have played them and hope to play them again.

However, the brutal, straightforward idea in Take It Easy that you are making lines of specific colors and if a line gets broken, it is done, that creates a game that is very easy to understand and teach but is also very tense and unforgiving. The ruthless simplicity really gives Take It Easy some oomph. Out of all the games like it, it’s the one I go back to the most.

And now it’s back on my phone and my tablet. 

One thing I have realized is that playing against AIs can be interesting and educational but I don’t find it very fulfilling. It isn’t actually playing the game for me. But if it is a solitaire game, then playing it on a device is real for me. And Take It Easy is solitaire enough to be real.

At the same time, the app makes it easy to play multi-player when we feel like that. Particularly when space is a premium, like on an airplane or a car or such. So having it back also gives us an easy way to play a game we both like.

Honestly, a lot of games end up getting limited play as app for me. I have stopped really actively looking for them and getting them. But this is one that I’m glad to get back.

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