A challenging version of tic-tac-toe

Originally published at: A challenging version of tic-tac-toe | Boing Boing


I got one of those all-in-one game sets that has a chess/checker board on one side and a backgammon board on the other, and includes a deck of cards and cribbage pegs too.

I sometimes think about what kind of game I could invent by putting the chess pieces on the backgammon board and maybe using the cards as well.

It’s gonna take a lot more weed than I have at the moment.


Not if you play it without the (initial) grid. First player places their mark anywhere, and the next few turns define the grid via their relative placement. Once enough plays have been made to define the 3x3 grid, you cannot play outside it.


It quickly occurred to me that you could make these pieces out of successively larger cones of paper. No 3D printer required.


Or play with plastic pyramids, if you happen to have some of those around.


I had this game when the kids were little, and it was surprisingly lots of fun. When they were really little, they just liked that you could gobble up your opponents pieces, and then they realized there was actual strategy. I would even lose sometimes. Great game.


Came here to point these out. Thanks. They’re useful for great many games.

Our tweak to keep the game lively was simply to reverse the win condition. You are trying to force your opponent into three in a row. It is also solved, but far fewer people know that, so you can buy a few minutes of killed time.


Just look in the cupboard where all the Tupperware containers end up eventually. I’m sure you’ll find enough “pieces” to play, well, basically anything.


I enjoyed the ring version while staying with extended family with kids. I was intrigued when I noticed the adults staying up playing after the kids went to sleep.

Here’s one that doesn’t require anything more than pencil and paper: 3d tictactoe. Grid of 4 squares stacked 4 high, forming a projected cube. 4 spaces in any straight line is a win.
No gadgets, no batteries, no plastic pieces, no commercial potential.

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If you want a version of Tick-tack-toe (or Exey-osies, as they call it in Ireland, Or Noughts and Crosses, as they call it in England) that is a little more complex, I urge you to this
It’s a set of nine Xy-Ozy grids, such that wherever the first player puts their X, the O player must put their O anywhere in the SMALL grid that matches the position of the X in the LARGE grid. And so on for each consecutive move. Does it sound easy? You try it! Plus, to win, you must win three of the small grids in a row!
This game deserves a wider recognition.

I appreciate that BoingBoing has a lot of makers, and people with 3d printers, but I’m a minimalist. You can play “Ception” with a paper and pencil.

Yeah, I think this is already a pyramids game

And in fact you can play it with pen and paper too, just use circles and triangles instead of X an O.

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Fair comment. It’s something you see in gaming circles that some people love games that have a lot of bits and pieces, and others like games that have as few bits and pieces as possible. You can tell which group I fall into.

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Wouldn’t the littler pyramids become dangerously sharp though?

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