Developer: Zabu Studio
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.6
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

When it comes to portable gaming, the puzzle genre is king. The drop-in, drop-out nature of playing on a phone lends itself well to quick, metered challenges, which developers are more than content to provide in droves. One such title is aptly named Take It Easy, which seems to take the job of helping the player relax so seriously, it put it in the name. Will this brain-bender help the masses ease their minds, or are the challenges better left for those with a bit more free time on their hands?

If one were to make a snap judgment of Take it Easy, purely off of first impressions, it would look like nothing more than a standard fare tile matching game. While this may be initially be a correct assumption, as players begin to immerse themselves in certain challenges and the puzzle mode, it proves to be far more complex than simple line drawing. The crux of the game is simple: line up tiles in a way that will create lines of the same color that run from one side of the hex grid to the other. Doing so, awards the player with the cumulative value of all of the tiles a given sequence.

Through the title’s three game modes, points accrued play only a small role in successfully completing stages. In puzzle mode, a series of different goals are set out, many of which are not score related at all. For example, in one scenario players must make a specific pattern on the grid, using the colored lines to outline a shape. In another situation it is necessary to draw one horizontal and a diagonal line going each direction. This is just scratching the surface, but it begins to show the variety of challenges that await.

Along with the standard multiplayer modes that increase in difficulty over time, there is also the option for both local and online matches. All of the online multiplayer uses either GameCenter matchmaking or simply challenging friends. Both the Classic (high score) and previously detailed Puzzle modes are available for up to four player madness.

Addictive puzzle mechanics and infectiously fun challenges make Take It Easy an unexpected runaway success. Featuring one hundred and thirty stages across all modes, it easily justifies the ninety nine cent price tag. Just be careful; all it takes is that first taste to completely derail a productive afternoon.

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