Take It Easy is a lightweight puzzle game from Ravensburger. There is a multiplayer mode, which while disappointing when played in “classic” sandbox, becomes fast-paced and highly competitive fun in puzzle mode. There’s also a solo puzzle mode in the game, where pieces have been pre-placed and you must finish the board by swapping them around to achieve above a certain score; it’s both relaxing and addictive. Puzzle mode is where the game really shines.
This will be the shortest gameplay section ever. You have a hexagonal board and lay hexagonal pieces onto it. Each piece consists of 3 coloured lines of varying point values, which when fully matched with pieces either side creating a contiguous line of that color from wall to wall of the board, give you points. Each color is worth different points, such a that a completed line gives you the point value multiplied by the number of pieces. You can place pieces such that a line is broken, but that invalidates the whole line and prevents you from getting points. The game therefore is competing with yourself in sandbox mode for an ever higher score, or following the pure puzzle mode to try and complete the pre-built puzzle templates.
As would expected from a big publisher, the interface is sound; responsive, well designed, and simple to understand. There’s very little that could go wrong with such a simplistic game though, to be honest. While I’d usually judge a game on the quality of the tutorial, this title doesn’t really need one. There is a single dialog that pops up on your first game explaining how to play, and that’s really all that is needed; puzzle mode explanations are also obvious enough. There’s a pleasant ambient sound track, and some sparkley sound effects when you complete a line; it’s all nicely polished.
Puzzle mode is unlocked after you get 75 points in sandbox mode. The first 20 or so levels are far too easy; just line up some high point values to be whisked to the next level. Then the game introduces more challenges; get a certain number of vertical lines, or achieve a certain high point value. I found this mode to be highly addictive.
There is a multiplayer mode, for up to 4 players on the same iPad or via GameCenter, but I had trouble finding anyone to play with online. Again, I found multiplayer puzzle mode to be far more compelling that starting from a blank board in classic mode; the relaxing pace of solo puzzle mode suddenly becomes a frantic battle to finish before your opponent.
I’m not really a big fan of such simplistic, Solitaire-type games, but this was a pleasant surprise. As an iPad conversion, it stays true to original and reacts responsively to touch controls, with a simplistic interface. The puzzle mode is where this game really shines; both single and multiplayer providing a radically different and compelling experience.
Can I recommend it? For those of you who limit your interests to strategic board games and like a lot of meat and few veg, probably not. For young children, those of you who enjoy Solitaire, puzzle games, or are already fans of the original boardgame – certainly. 7/10