Review: 3D Tic-Tac-Toe (Atari 2600)

By Drew Wilson

In this review, we take a look at a different take on the classic board game everyone has at least heard of, Tic-Tac-Toe. We’ll be crossing our X’s and circling our O’s in Tic-Tac-Toe 3D to find out whether or not this puzzle game is worth playing.

3D Tic-Tac-Toe was released in 1980 and promised to be a new twist on a simple old game.

3D Tic-Tac-Toe operates on a 4x4x4 cubicle grid. This is unlike the traditional 3×3 flat grid that we have all known in Tic-Tac-Toe. Still, like classic Tic-Tac-Toe, this game is won by making a complete line all the way across the grid. Players take turns placing their symbols on the grid until someone wins or the game is a tie.

To move from one floor to another, you can simply move your joystick down when you have selected one of the four spaces close to you. You can also choose your difficulty before beginning play.

This is going to be a heck of a short review because I’ve pretty much comprehensively described the entire game in 200 words or less. Yes, it’s that simple. If you know how to game Tic-Tac-Toe so that you win about 90% of the time, gaming the system in this case works quite similarly. If you can set up your symbols in such a way that you have two potential rows, either of which can be completed in one move using two different spaces, you win the game. The game, at least on some of the difficulties, was very easy to beat.

I really wasn’t motivated to play much after winning a few rounds as there was pretty much no depth to this game (pardon the pun). This game can be played through in 15 minutes or less and you are pretty much done getting all of the excitement out of this game.

Graphically, this was bare bones minimum to get the game to function properly. There was no special effects or anything special if you win. It’s just a standard beeping noise to inform you that the game is finished. All you get is just a white-like grid separated into four placed in an isometric perspectives. All of this is wrapped in a standard blue background with two numbers on the top. The screen flashes while the computer player makes its move. Compared to other games made in the same year that we’ve reviewed, this game is passable in the graphics department, but little more then that.

There is no music and the sound effects are simply beep noises. So there’s hardly anything to go on in the audio department. The sound announces its presence, but there’s nothing else beyond that.

Overall, this game is probably one of the shortest and most short lived games I’ve ever played to date. Once you get past the novelty of playing Tic-Tac-Toe in a quasi third dimension, there’s really not a whole lot to be had here. If you want to explore games made in the early 80’s, this can be conveniently ignored as you won’t be missing much.


Furthest point in game: Beat the game in a medium difficulty, but got bored of it after and stopped playing.

General gameplay: 10/25
Replay value: 2/10
Graphics: 6/10
Audio: 1/5

Overall rating: 38%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85

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