Donald Rumsfeld, the former defense secretary, gets enough criticism for his role in the 2003 Iraq invasion. Now he has to fend off geeky gamers.

Ex-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld Photo by Scott Davis, U.S. Army., via Wikimedia Commons
At 83, Rumsfeld led creation of an iPhone app called Churchill Solitaire.

“There is no question. It is a game that requires you to be strategic, to look around corners, to think ahead, and to never give in — which is the phrase Churchill would have used,” Rumsfeld told The Wall Street Journal. It uses two decks of cards and 10 columns of cards (instead of seven), among other tweaks.

But the Journal said: “Mr. Rumsfeld can’t code. He doesn’t much even use a computer. But he guided his young digitally minded associates who assembled the video game with the same method he used to rule the Pentagon — a flurry of memos called snowflakes. As a result, Churchill Solitaire is likely the only video game developed by an 83-year-old man using a Dictaphone to record memos for the programmers.”

Like the Iraq War, however, the game has issues.

Slate.com said “Though the app is attractive, it has some design flaws. For example, as your card columns grow, you have to switch from landscape to portrait view on iPhones. But this makes the cards teeny and hard to see. The app menus also aren’t optimized for portrait view, so if you finish playing and try to go back a few screens things get glitchy.”

Said Wired.com: “You’re allowed 10 ‘Undos’ and 10 ‘Hints’ in each round, which would also be nice in an actual war, wouldn’t it? … If you go about 30 seconds or so without making a move, the game will hide the board and prompt you to surrender. Strategizing is for the weak!”

Churchill Solitaire got a bump when Stephen Colbert mentioned it Monday night on “The Late Show.”

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