Tic Tac Toe – I don’t think there isn’t a person out there who didn’t spend quality childhood time trying to dominate an adversary but instead ended up with a very unsatisfactory “cats” game. As I recall, tic-tac-toe wasn’t very fun. So why then do I feel like there is a sudden deluge of new tic-tac-toe inspired games?
Sure, I will freely admit that there are a few classic tic-tac-toe games that are quite enjoyable. Actually, the only one that really comes to mind is right now is Toss Across, introduced in 1969 by the Ideal Toy Company and invented by Marvin Glass and Associates. Today Mattel manufactures it (2015 update: Cardinal manufactures it and a tabletop version), and it’s still a great mix of tic-tac-toe and classic beanbags making it more of a skill game than a dull no-brainer.
But in the last decade we’ve seen tons of new tic-tac-toe themed games. Card games, board games, outdoor games – heck, there’s even a “Tic Tac Toe Toast Bread Stamper” for sale on Amazon so you can play peanut butter versus jelly if you’d like! Just to name a few that you’ll find in the game section:
- Gobblet, Blue Orange
- Ticks Tacks Toes, Learning Resources
- X-Ceter-O, Endless Games
- Roll-It Tic Tac Toe, Patch Products
- Tic-Attack-Toe, PB & J Toys
- Flip-Tac-Toe, Educational Insights
- Chaos, Mindware
- Monster 4, Lego
- Cubiko, Cubiko Games Limited
- Top Spot, Fundex
- Tic Tac Doh!, Looney Labs
- Electronic Toss Across, Mattel
- Splash N’ Score Tic Tac Toe, Wham-O
And a couple a little older:
- Tic Tac Twice, Talicor
- Generic 3D Tic Tac Toe – also called Score Four and Qubic, various
- Shift Tic Tac Toe, Pressman
- Tic Tac Tony, Fisher-Price
- Super 3, Milton Bradley
- Tic Tac Turn, Briarpatch
And then are the “in a row” games which are really one step away from tic-tac-toe like Toot and Otto by ThinkFun and Coverup by Out of the Box and many, MANY others.
So have any of them successfully improved upon the paper and pencil time-waster? Sure, I really like Gobblet (see my review of Gobblet Gobblers HERE) and X-Ceter-O is probably your best bet for something as close to the classic game as possible. Thankfully it removes any chance of a cat’s game by limiting each player to 3 Xs (or Os) and forces them to move them in the same order until someone gets three in a row. Classic tic-tac-toe essence minus the dreaded DRAW.
Gobblet and X-Ceter-O are my pics, but I will toss the question out to my readers too. Do you have any favorite tic-tac-toe inspired games? (old or new) Please comment below.
~$10-$12 Amazon, and other game retailers
5 minutes per game
Ages 7 and up