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Take it Easy

later German edition

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 15 minutes 1-4

Designer(s): Peter Burley

Publisher(s): FX Schmid Germany

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Product Description

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Game, 1997
Spiel des Jahres
Nominee, 1994
Deutscher Spiele Preis
9th place, 1994

Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.5 in 14 reviews

by Rebecca Bernhardt
Love this game!
November 03, 2009

My brother served a LDS mission in Germany and brought this game home to our family. We all love it! I have searched all over the place for it and can only find it on line. I think it is good for playing with my kids as well as with adults. it gets you thinking and using your math skills! I want to buy this game for all my friends to play with their families!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Bingo + A jigsaw puzzle
March 19, 2009

Recently bought this game for our library. It was bought as a math game and has turned out to be a great game. Take the fun of bingo and add the skill of doing a jigsaw puzzle and you have Take it Easy.

One other note if you have to make a mistake and an order a game twice this is one to do it with. Accidentally ordered two copies for the libraries but, now we have the ability to have a giant Take it Easy game. Another plus was that my coworker and I both got to test out the game at home. My nephew is getting one for his birthday. Gee, one game sold to the same person three times. That is a great game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Judd
GREAT party game -- beats the heck out of Bingo!
February 04, 2009

Design by: Peter Burley Published by: Burley Games / FRED
1 – 6 Players, 10 – 20 minutes
Review by: Greg J. Schloesser

Know someone who enjoys “Bingo”? If so, introduce them to Take it Easy. It will rock their world. What’s better, the game is FAR superior to Bingo, and seems to be universally popular. I’ve now played it nearly one-hundred times since first being introduced to it about ten years ago, and have returned the favor by introducing it to well over a hundred folks. To my knowledge, not one has expressed distaste for the game. Indeed, it has been widely hailed and praised.

So just what is Take it Easy? Other than a famous rock / country song by the musical group the Eagles, it is a wonderful, highly-addictive puzzle-like game by British designer Peter Burley. Originally published in 1983, the game has been consistently available from various publishers for over twenty-five years. The latest edition, which can accommodate up to six players, is once again receiving wide distribution throughout the United States and Europe, and is destined to continue the game’s popularity and appeal.

Each player receives a hexagon-shaped board with nineteen spaces, as well as a set of twenty-seven tiles. Each tile depicts three lines that crisscross the tile, each having a different value and color. The numbers range from one-to-nine, with all lines of a particular number going in the same direction. For example, all “nines” are vertical, while all “threes” cut across a tile on an upwards angle, right-to-left. This is important knowledge when playing the game.

One set of tiles is inverted and revealed one-at-a-time. As each tile is revealed, its values are called aloud. Each player then finds their matching tile, and places it on an empty space on their board. Once placed, the tile cannot be moved. This process continues until all players fill their entire board with tiles. Naturally, this occurs simultaneously.

The object is to form contiguous lines of identical numbers, vertically and along the two diagonals. Tiles that interrupt a complete line of identical numbers nullify that line, which means that particular line will not score. The more complete lines of identical numbers a player can form, the higher his score.

Scoring is a bit mathematical, but not too daunting. To calculate one’s score, each complete line – there are fifteen potential lines – is examined. A line’s score is equal to the number on the tile multiplied by the number of tiles in that line. For example, if a player managed to get four “fives” in a complete row, he would score twenty points for that line (5 x 4 = 20). A player tallies the scores for each complete line to arrive at his total. The player with the highest total is victorious.

It almost sounds too simple … but it isn’t. Sure, the rules are easy, and players can learn to play almost instantly. Playing well, however, is another story. Decisions must be made as to where to place each tile as the number is called. Since there are more tiles than spaces, not all tiles will be placed. Thus, players cannot count on a specific tile being “called”. The natural urge is to place the higher-valued numbers on the longer lines. For example, placing the “nine” tiles along the long, five-space rows is a popular tactic. However, one must hope that five “nine” value tiles will be called. There are an amazing number of tile- placement options during the game, although these options steadily reduce as one’s board fills. While there are choices to be made, luck does play a role, as no one can accurately and consistently predict the tiles that will be drawn.

The game never fails to elicit a variety of outbursts, as players urge the “caller” to pick a certain tile, hoping that fate is with them. Of course, when the correct tile is pulled, there are frequent shouts of jubilation, while cries of despair often follow the calling of an undesired tile. Truth-be-told, one has no control over this, but it is fun to play the odds and hope for a desired tile to be called. After each game, there is that inescapable feeling that you could have done better if you had just placed one tile differently, or if a desired tile had been called. There is also a nagging urge to play it again, just one more time!

About the only knock I’ve heard against the game is that it is the very definition of “multi-player solitaire”. That is, each player plays their own game without any influence or interference from their opponents. That is a completely fair description of the game … but so what? It is not meant to be a highly interactive game. Rather, it is meant to be a fun, puzzle-like game that that challenges players to optimize their score. The game is wildly successful in meeting that objective.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Fun and easy to learn
March 11, 2005
I bought this game in France 4 years ago and have enjoyed it with family, friends and students ever since. It is fun, easy to learn and can be used in a variety of ways as a teaching tool. I have used it with children as young as 6 years old. This is our family's most favorite game to play together.
Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Simple, addictive, frustrating ... Perfect
February 16, 2004

Rules that can be explained in under a minute, and a game that can be played in less than 10. Ideal for teaching probabilities, and how even the best planning in the world can go horribly horribly wrong.

I've never played this game with someone who didn't like it, and rarely with anyone who thought it was less than genius.

To be fair, it's not backgammon, but then hey, neither's yahtzee... that doesn't mean it's not a fun little diversion every now and then.

An ideal Christmas afternoon kinda game, and not a bad prezzie either.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Good Finisher
March 05, 2001

This is a very good family game. It will be enjoyed mostly by those that just play games occasionally. Think Bingo/pipe laying game. Every tile has three lines of various colors and point values going through it. One is turned over and everyone finds the same tile and places it on their board in any position they want. When the board is full you check each line (15 total) to see if they scored. You are trying to match colors on lines all the way across the board to score its value times its length. The length ranges from 3 to 5 hexes across. The skill (or luck) comes in the tile placements and all the games I have played have not had a single person scoring the same as anyone else.

It is fun but light. The only real negative thing that I can say about it is with my girlfriend's family it is hard to get them to play anything else once we start playing this. Make it a finisher.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Thinking person's bingo
January 14, 2001

I am not normally a big fan of completely abstract games, but Take It Easy is a rare exception. Few games are so easy to understand and yet cause such angst when playing.

The fun of the game is in the tension created as the board fills in. A player will sit in hopeful anticipation of a particular tile being drawn that will exactly match a hole in his tableau, only to have another tile drawn instead that only matches in 2 directions. Use the tile and kill off one row? Or use it elsewhere? The choices are agonizing and tantalizing.

Equally agonizing is discovering that you have already used your 'perfect' piece elsewhere on your board! Since each permutation of numbers exists only once, you have to keep an eagle eye on what whent where. Sadly, this has happened to me all too frequently since I received this game at Christmas.

While the play of the game is easy enough, the scoring can put a math-phobe into a conniption, so make sure you have at least one person who is quick at adding, or have a calculator handy. Recommended.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
A nice alternative to traditional board and card games
June 13, 2000

I played this game for the first time tonight with my husband and two daughters (ages 12 and 14). We played 4 rounds, with each of us being the 'Caller' once. It proved to be very entertaining, with a nice element of luck and chance incorporated by the caller; determining the next tile to play at random. It involves a lot more thinking and logic than is obvious at first, and provides many opportunities for deep thinkers. My compliments to the designers, who had the insight to use numbers for each of the colors. This will be very helpful when playing with somebody who is color blind. I felt that a major drawback in design and packaging came when there was no scorecard included. I previously downloaded one which proved incredibly helpful. Without it, the game really does not present itself as well. It proved to be an interesting short game, and I am sure I will play it again. My family did express an opinion that this could become repetitive and thusly less interesting after numerous games.

The directions were very clear and easy to understand, and some alternative game rules were suggested, so perhaps this will help keep our interest a bit longer.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Simple to play the first time
August 11, 1999

A little planning can go along way. However you are at the mercy of the tiles and no matter how much planning you do, you still may end up with a mess.

The first time I played this game was an exercise in taking chances and hoping they came off. The next couple I learnt that even though my tiles seemed to be placed well the next few ruined it all. Frustrating at times but definitely worth playing many times.

A game to be enjoyed by all ages and all levels of strategy play ability. Scores and winners can reverse at every game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Awesome brain teaser.
July 28, 1999

The only way to win this game is not by outsmarting your opponent, but yourself. What Quizzle (does this game still exist?) did with creating words by -somebody else- drawing 1, 2 or 3 letters, here you create rows by having somebody (or yourself) drawing tiles that connect same-value lines. Uninterrupted lines score points. The terrible part (and therefore fun as well) is getting that tile you were absolutely not waiting for. Good stuff, great game!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Easy as pie
July 14, 1999

What a pleasant susprise this game turned out to be! For a deeply analytical brain like mine, it has lots of challenges as I try to work out all the probabilities; for someone like my partner who just likes to play games, it's thought-provoking and fun. I kept wanting to play round after round to get a better score than last time.

Laying down the tiles is easy at first, but eventually you find that the next tile you get doesn't go anywhere, so you have to sacrifice one line - the choice of which line to ruin is often painful to make! Once in a while you do get the tile you want, but then probably so did everyone else you're playing with.

The game is easily played alone, and is more fun played in groups as you get to compare scores for different layouts of the same tiles. Take it Easy has something for everyone. It's highly addictive, and I highly recommend it.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by BJ
excellent! (have you made 307?)
May 29, 1999

307 is the biggest score in Take it Easy, dont go for that from the very first time! If you want to win in this game you need to have good observation, to calculate the changes for any piece that you expect and of cource some luck. It is not necessary to go anytime for high scores (ex.5x9), but you have to build your board using the pieces you have and not with the ones that you want your teammate to draw. In Take it Easy you do not challenge the other players, in each game you challenge yourself! If you like playing with numbers this is a must have. It is very difficult to find a game that you can play with 8 players and you can play it solo with the same fun.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
As simple as all great classic games
March 07, 1999

There are no pretty cards. This game doesn't come with 'semi-precious' stones. It's simple and elegant.

Like all truly great games, this one is incredibly basic. The rules take two sentences. Most children (I teach eight year olds) can understand the manner of play almost immediately. Yet, there is surprising depth. For mathematicians and gamers there are nearly incomprehensible odds to calculate (but you can try).

Then there is the name. Because sometimes the best way to play is with a little zen and a lot of humor.

I place this game in my 'permanent collection', along with a deck of cards, Boggle, Cribbage, a Rubik's cube, and Monopoly. The games you still play frequently after ten or fifteen years with your grandmother and nephew alike.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Great fun for puzzle-solvers, even works solitaire.
December 27, 1998

Don't let the fact that this game has a BINGO-like element fool you. Yes, one person draws chits and everyone plays the same tiles, but the fun is in playing those tiles better than everyone else. Moreover, if you screw up, you can always state that, had you made a slightly different move way back at the beginning, you would have produced a phenominal score. It's a great game in its own right and works very well when your non-gaming friends show up and need to kill half-an-hour.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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