Saturday, December 6, 2008
A few years back, a friend showed me her set of tangrams, 7 shapes that you must use in order to fill in a larger shape. I must admit that it is a lot harder than it sounds. You have to use all seven shapes, they can't overlap each other, and they can't go outside the lines of the larger shape you are trying to re-create. That still makes it sound simple. And in a way, it is. Not in the sense that it's easy, but that it's not complicated. It takes all of your mental processes to work, but it's almost zen-like in it's style.
When my friend first showed me tangrams, I wasn't all that interested. I tried one, found that I couldn't figure it out, became frustrated, and decided that it wasn't a game for me.
But I recently rediscovered it in an unlikely place. My iPhone app store. I found Tangram Pro for free. It has 8 puzzle sets, with many, many puzzles inside each set, providing for hours of this (for me) stress-reducing game. It's free for a limited time, so I snatched it without much thought. I figured I could give it another go, and if I didn't like it, it wasn't as though I was wasting a buck or more on it. I could just uninstall and be done with it. But I became addicted. I'm actually stuck on one in the second puzzle set, having already completely the first.
I also got a couple of my co-workers hooked. One of them helps me solve the ones I get stuck on, or will just gaze at my phone until he can get himself to ask if he can try. My other co-worker downloaded it onto her iPod touch the night I showed it to her. Now we all geek out at work!