Release Date: 1980
Players: 1 – 2
Alternate Title: N/A
Model #: CX2618
Programmer: Carol Shaw
This unique take on the classic pen and paper game leaves a lot to be desired.
If the cover is to be believed, you and your space dog are engaged in intergalactic combat against a sentient robot. Unfortunately this isn’t the case, and instead you are playing a mind bending version of Tic-Tac-Toe.
The game begins with four planes of four by four grids, all stacked on top of each other at slightly askew angles. The goal is to be the first player to get four in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally on a single level or by utilizing all four boards. You and your opponent take turns laying down your X’s and O’s until one of you has defeated the other.
Wrapping your head about playing all four levels at once can take a while to get used to. Plus it doesn’t help that due to the way the boards line up, it can be difficult to see just how close you are to defeat. More often than not you’ll think you are lining yourself up for victory only for the computer to put a piece on the bottom level to claim the title for itself.
If you start understanding how to manage the four boards and can get a few wins under your belt, there are eight levels of difficulty that you can try your hand at. However, due to the extremely limited hardware of the time the computer’s approximate move time is going to be unbearable on anything other than the first two skill levels. On level three it can take up to a minute for a move to be made. This ramps up substantially at level five when the move time is ten minutes. On the most difficult level each move can take up to twenty minutes, meaning if the computer plays a perfect game and wins in four moves it will still take eighty minutes, which isn’t appealing at all.
While this is a somewhat novel take on the classic game, the fun just really isn’t there. If you have a friend it might be worth a shot for a round or two just for something a bit different, but if all you have is the computer then you’re going to want to look elsewhere for entertainment. Unless of course your thing is patiently staring at a blank screen waiting for something to happen, in which case this is your game