Review by Retro

"An interesting twist on tic-tac-toe"

I'm sure most of you already know how to play tic-tac-toe. If you don't, I feel sorry for you because it's a classic time passer that can get somewhat competitive. By the way, it can also be fun.

In tic-tac-toe, you draw a big square and draw even smaller squares inside the main square. In other words, you make a grid. You play tic-tac-toe using X's and O's. One person plays as X's and the other person plays as O's. You and your opponent take turns putting an X or an O inside the squares until either you or your opponent gets three X's or three O's in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Whoever gets three in a row wins the game of course.

3-D Tic-Tac-Toe is basically the same thing, only a little different. Instead of trying to get three in a row to win, in this game you have to get four in a row. But that's not the whole story yet. One of the other differences is that there are four grids instead of just one. All four of the grids are tilted somewhat, but you can easily see all the small squares inside the grids. Each of the four grids is composed of sixteen small squares. You can play either a one-player game against the computer or a two-player game against a friend.

When you begin the game, you and your opponent will take turns putting a letter somewhere on the board (well duh, right?). Now is the time to explain the other attribute of 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe that is much different from your typical game of classic tic-tac-toe.

Just like the tic-tac-toe that everybody knows, in 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, you can win the game by lining up X's or O's in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally on just one of the grids. However, in this new twist of the classic, you can use any of the four grids as much or as little as you want. Therefore, there are many new ways in which to get a tic-tac-toe.

Like I mentioned before, each of the four grids hold sixteen smaller squares inside them. You can use the four grids in a clever way to earn yourself a win. For instance, let's say you put an X in the top-left square of the first grid. If you put an X in the top-left square of the other three grids, you will have yourself a tic-tac-toe. I know this might make a few purists flinch, but hey, you have to admit that it's a neat idea.

There are many other ways in which you can get a tic-tac-toe. Of all the ways you can get a tic-tac-toe by using the four grids, the one I just explained is the most basic. Don't fret. If you have this game or if you ever get it in the future, you will learn real quickly what the other combinations are by either trial and error, or by playing the computer, which is the best way to learn them. After you learn the majority of them, just have fun and then learn how to use blocking strategies and you're on your way to at least becoming a decent player.

That brings me to my final point about 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe. Playing a two-player game can be a lot of fun, especially if the person you play has about the same skill in tic-tac-toe as you do. On the other hand, I don't care how good you are at tic-tac-toe, the computer player is TOUGH! I've played the computer a lot of times over and over, and it always takes several games to even get close to winning.

If you like tic-tac-toe and especially if you would like to play an interesting and more challenging kind of tic-tac-toe, I recommend getting 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe. But if you're not that big of a fan of the classic board game, then you'll probably want to skip this 3-D version of it.

Myself, I guess I'm just more of a fan of playing real life tic-tac-toe than I am playing it in a video game. I usually play a maximum of 3 games of 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, and then I get bored and/or frustrated with it.

GRAPHICS - The graphics in 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe are about as basic as you can get in a video game. The only thing you'll ever see in this game are the four lined-up grids, and the X's and O's that you and your opponent put inside the squares. The background is just a blue color (which happens to be my favorite color, so it gets a plus for that), so I can't say anything bad about it. The four grids look kind of neat the way they're tilted, My only complaint about the graphics is that the O's look more like D's than they do O's.

SOUND - There's not any music in 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe. The only sounds that you will ever hear from this cartridge is the sound it makes while you're moving your X or O around the board before you put it anywhere, and there's a beep every time you or your opponent plays a letter on the board. Those couple of sounds aren't anything bad or great, they just get the job done.

CONTROL - I've said in a few of my other Atari 2600 reviews, such as Freeway, that they might have the most basic control in any game ever made, but apparently I forgot about this game at the time. In 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, all you have to do is move the joystick in the direction you want to move on the board and then press the button to make your selection. I can say without any doubt whatsoever that this game has the most basic control I've ever seen in a video game. Therefore, you shouldn't have any problems whatsoever with the controls unless your joystick is wearing out.

REPLAY VALUE - Plain and simple. If you like tic-tac-toe then you'll probably be playing this game a lot more than someone who isn't all that crazy about the game will. If you like regular tic-tac-toe, you should like 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe pretty well.

OVERALL – Again, it all comes down to whether you like tic-tac-toe or not. I used to play it all the time when I was a kid, and I always liked it. I also like 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, it's just not a game that I enjoy playing over and over again unless I have somebody else to play against. If the computer is the only opponent available to play against you, you probably won't be playing it much at all, if any.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 04/23/01, Updated 05/20/02


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