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3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (Atari 2600) artwork

3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (Atari 2600) review

"Retirement home bingo's got nothing on this game."

3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (Atari 2600) image

Simplicity is expected from any Atari 2600 game, because the console only provides you with a single button and the most rudimentary AV capabilities. Some developers made the best of a bare minimum situation and produced addictive little score-attackers that can occupy a few of your minutes. Sadly, there are some titles that have failed to take advantage of 2600's minimalism, usually by presenting a banal concept without any sort of charming bells or whistles. Behold, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe!

Let's face it: the most interesting thing about this title is its cover art, apparently depicting a game of Intergalactic Tic-Tac-Toe between an annoying space child and an android. I'd rather be playing that game, assuming the role of a pissed off android who beats irritating children senseless after sorely losing a futuristic competition. Unfortunately, none of what you see on the box art actually appears in the game. Rather, its meager presentation consists of four basic 4X4 grids on a plain single-color background. You move a cursor from space to space, mark a square, and then the computer does the same. There are no adorable sound effects, no fanfare for victory or defeat, and really nothing more than a bunch of simple lines and a solid block of color. This is gaming in its most primitive form.

If the opening screen hasn't managed put you to sleep, then congratulations/I'm sorry. You're made of much sterner stuff than I am, and can actually play the game for a much longer period of time. With a few attempts, you can eventually get the rules down. It plays like ordinary Tic-Tac-Toe, in which you must create a line of either Xs or Os, except there's twist here. The line you form doesn't need to lie on a single grid, as you can place your mark in corresponding consecutive squares on the lower grids as well. For instance, let's say you want to make a line across the top row. To accomplish this, you can use the upper right corner on the top grid, then the square to the left of the upper right on the second grid, and so on until you have a "3D line."

3-D Tic-Tac-Toe screenshot3-D Tic-Tac-Toe screenshot

This, of course, makes for some grueling matches when bump up the variation. The computer doesn't mess around, and seems to lay out a master strategy that always puts you on the defensive, making proper use of all four boards. This can lead to a lot of stalemates if you're not aggressive enough or don't know how to best trap the computer. For a while, you might even forget how bland 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe is as you attempt to avenge your 45484784123rd loss.

Unfortunately, there's one fatal flaw. Once you learn how to deal with the computer, it becomes easy prey. It'll fall for the same tactics every time, with a different scheme required for each variation. This, unfortunately, means that all you would have to do to school the computer is copy someone else's strategy and its curtains for the foolish space lad.

Yeah, I'm considering the android on the cover the protagonist. Screw that kid...

As you can tell, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe is a forgettable, vapid title that might only appeal to you if you formed a bond with it when it was relevant. Otherwise, it's best to delete this sad piece of work from your memory and continue chugging through whatever modern--or hell, even semi-modern--game it is you're working on.

JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Community review by JoeTheDestroyer (December 16, 2014)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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If you enjoyed this 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

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EmP posted December 24, 2014:

Dude.... why?
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JoeTheDestroyer posted December 24, 2014:

I ask myself that every day.
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overdrive posted December 27, 2014:

I remember one year I thought I had a chance to complete the alphabet and this was going to be my "#" review. And then I decided "no way in hell" and switched to 8 Eyes. And then I hated that game and never completed the alphabet due to missing "#" and a couple letters.

In conclusion: this game is the bane of my reviewing success on this site.
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JoeTheDestroyer posted December 27, 2014:

There's always the 194X games.
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EmP posted December 28, 2014:

# games aren't the nightmare to find they used to be. I say that solely because I've done 3 Ninjas at this point and never ever have to go back there.

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