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  1. Oct 31, 2017
    9
    With this app the user plays the computer (Fuego) in a version of the classic strategy game Go. Go exists "as a contest between two players who compete for territory" (Go for Beginners, K. Iwamoto, 1972). The opponents in the game try to surround territory (grid intersections) and capture the enemy stones by occupying all intersections around a stone or group of stones. This versionWith this app the user plays the computer (Fuego) in a version of the classic strategy game Go. Go exists "as a contest between two players who compete for territory" (Go for Beginners, K. Iwamoto, 1972). The opponents in the game try to surround territory (grid intersections) and capture the enemy stones by occupying all intersections around a stone or group of stones. This version gets played on a 9 X 9 grid version of the classic 19 X 19 grid version of the Go board.
    Little Go has three modes of play: human vs Fuego (default most common), human vs human and computer vs computer.
    I mostly found the controls iPad standard and intuitive with a few exceptions, mainly the 'More Game Actions' (upper right hand corner) button used to start a new game, resume a game, review a game and change settings... until I figured out what it did I assumed it had a different function. The play icon (tic tac toe with a dot on an intersection) once figured out makes perfect sense, the other icons I found pretty much standard fare. The user has a lot of control on how the game gets played and scored by changing some rules used, handicap, scoring and display. The documentation included with the game gives a very good explanation of the settings and their purpose, however; some require some additional knowledge of Go game. The user can choose to display grid labels, move numbers and 'influence'. The board (playing surface) gets presented as a simple light wood grained board with a black 9 X 9 grid marked on it. I played on a large iPad pro and did not have any problem reading information, however; on smaller iPhones the move number on the stones may have too small a font for most users.
    This game like the best strategy games has simple rules that allows a very large number of variations (infinite in a human sense on a 19 X 19 board); the number of variations on the 9 X 9 approaches infinity for all but advanced Go game players. I find this game enjoyable to play and I can use it to improve my understanding and playing of Go. I find that I have to get a large advantage to beat Fuego if I do not play often, but play rewards me with victories and I can lower my handicap (get demonstrably better) if played often. I often use this to brush up on Go before playing other humans (saves some embarrassment). I would highly recommend this game or other versions on Go to anyone who enjoys strategy games.
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