tix.tax
May 9, 2018 11:09 AM   Subscribe

tix.tax is a slick online mutliplayer way to play Ultimate tic-tac-toe, a game where you play games of tic-tac-toe within a big game of tic-tac-toe. Simple to learn, difficult to master.
posted by The Devil Tesla (28 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
you can also go here to play against a computer.
posted by logicpunk at 11:23 AM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


So awesome. I love ultimate tic-tac-toe. It's super fun to do w/ people, especially really sharp people, when you have a little time to kill. Everyone always thinks that tic-tac-toe is boring, and they usually approach this game with apprehension at first, and then at some point everything clicks and they get really into it. Lots of fun.
posted by nushustu at 11:30 AM on May 9, 2018 [3 favorites]


I think I like this - never heard of it before. But... maybe I'm slow, but I can't figure out how to place a tile where I want to. I can't choose which 'board' to play on. It seems to be choosing which 'game/board' that I need to play on next. (playing with a mouse on a laptop computer)
posted by hydra77 at 11:42 AM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


But... maybe I'm slow, but I can't figure out how to place a tile where I want to. I can't choose which 'board' to play on. It seems to be choosing which 'game/board' that I need to play on next.

the tile you click determines which board your opponent must play on:

The first player get's [sic] to place their piece in any square on the board. After that you are are limited to the tile your opponent sends you to. There are two exceptions to this however.

Your opponent sends you to a tile that has already been won (either by you or them).
Your opponent sends you to a tile which is full.
If either of these occur then you get an open turn and may place your piece on any tile you like.

posted by thelonius at 11:46 AM on May 9, 2018 [4 favorites]


There's an "I don't get it" button that explains the rules.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:15 PM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


So, it's multiplayer sudoku?
posted by Wild_Eep at 12:16 PM on May 9, 2018


WHO JUST ABANDONED THIS GAME WHERE I WAS TURNING THE TIDE???

COME BACK HERE "d" YOU COWARD
posted by GuyZero at 12:29 PM on May 9, 2018 [8 favorites]


Ultimate Tic-tac-toe explanation (previously)
posted by fings at 12:52 PM on May 9, 2018


Oh, OK, so is this the rule: If I play the upper left tile in a small game, that means my opponent must play in the upper left game next? (Unless that one's finished, etc...?)

If so, that could be explained better, and with fewer apostrophe's... But FWIW I did just kick the crap out of a person named "poo". I'm not sure either of us are championship material though.
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 12:59 PM on May 9, 2018


This is great. I have been using Ultimate tic-tac-toe as a pedagogical tool in an introductory game theory course for years; a lot of fun memories are associated with it for me. There are some interesting strategies. For instance, one can play a 'gambit' by playing the center of every board, allowing one's opponent to win the center board immediately but gaining the advantage of the center square on several of the peripheral boards. It has a very satisfying blend of complexity, intuitiveness, and speed.

Of course, there's no need to stop at just one meta-level. There's Mega-Ultimate-Tic-Tac-Toe right above (that's 9 meso-boards made of 9 micro-boards each), or Super-Mega-Ultimate-Tic-Tac-Toe, which my students calculated it would probably take a weekend to play. Interestingly, there are at least two consistent ways to extend the ruleset to these higher-order games: one option is that your play on the micro-board determines your next micro-board, as in regular ultimate tic-tac-toe. Play doesn't leave that particular meso-board until one of the micro-boards in it is completely won. The other option is to have the micro-board play determine the next meso-board immediately, which spreads play out much more significantly across the full board much earlier. My preferred interpretation is the first, by the way, if anybody is planning to try a game. It's perfectly doable if you've got about an hour.
posted by dbx at 1:09 PM on May 9, 2018 [9 favorites]


An attempt at a better explanation:

The large board is made up of nine tiles, and each of those nine tiles contains nine spaces.

The first player may place a mark in any space on the board.

Where they place that mark within the tile determines where their opponent must play on the larger board--e.g., if your first play is in the upper-left-hand corner space within its small square, then the second player's next mark must be in the upper-left-hand corner tile. After that, each player's mark determines the tile where their opponent's next mark must be made.

To win a tile, a player must make three marks in a row. If your opponent sends you to a tile that has already been won, or to a tile where all nine spaces have been marked, you may place a mark anywhere on the board.

To win the larger board, you must win three tiles in a row. Play continues until one player has won three tiles in a row, or until neither player can potentially win the board.
posted by box at 1:13 PM on May 9, 2018 [3 favorites]


protip: first link, use your name to chat with opponent
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 1:58 PM on May 9, 2018


I just beat up some person named BO$$ so yeah even though I was sketchy on the rules, I ruled
posted by caution live frogs at 2:23 PM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


COME BACK HERE "d" YOU COWARD


That was me. I don't understand the game, even after watching the I Don't Get It Page. (I've some neurological failings due to an incident. Sorry. Consider yourself the winner!)
posted by dobbs at 2:31 PM on May 9, 2018 [5 favorites]


You're forgiven. I finished a game finally and won at the very end after basically being behind for the whole game. There's a surprising amount of strategy, at least as you figure the game out.
posted by GuyZero at 2:33 PM on May 9, 2018


The only way to win is not to play.
posted by chavenet at 2:48 PM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


That does get pretty tricky. Do you make the best move for this Tic or make a lesser move that puts your opponent in the Tac they don't want.
posted by RobotHero at 2:57 PM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


The only way to win is not to play.

You're thinking of The Game, which a bunch of people just lost.
posted by otherchaz at 3:08 PM on May 9, 2018 [2 favorites]


(Huh, I thought it referred to Global Thermonuclear War. Hopefully we didn't all just lose THAT game...)
posted by kaibutsu at 3:10 PM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


So, I just beat the computer. I've never, ever won a game of checkers or chess before in my life, so does this mean I'm a tic tac savant or that the computer isn’t trying? ...maybe don't tell me.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:45 PM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


Huh, that's neat. One game was enough for now (and I can flatter myself with having gotten a win without having any idea whether I actually played all that well) but I could see coming back to it in the right state of mind.
posted by cortex at 3:55 PM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


This is super fun. I'd never heard of Ultimate Tic Tac Toe before. I just played a really fun game that I think was a pretty even match; I think I was slightly ahead for much of it, but my opponent managed to beat me with a tricky move that I think it took both of us a long time to spot. "Marre," if you're here, that was well played.

I had pretty much abandoned tic-tac-toe derivatives as universally boring, but this is actually delightfully strategic. I really like the implementation with this, too; the fact that you can see your opponent's mouse-overs is a nice touch.
posted by biogeo at 5:11 PM on May 9, 2018




It’s almost as if Xzibit heard that I liked tic-tac-toe.
posted by dr_dank at 7:54 PM on May 9, 2018 [4 favorites]


I definitely let my opponent set up almost-wins on four boards in order to secure a win on one board, thinking that the game was over as soon as you won one of the nine. And then it wasn't. I turned it around, though.
posted by kafziel at 8:09 PM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


I've been having some perfectly friendly chats with people by editing our display names.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 8:56 PM on May 9, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm Dave and I've set up a game here if anyone wants to play. I'll be around for at least the next hour.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:57 AM on May 10, 2018


I just noticed you can play against a computer (at multiple difficulty settings) by selecting 'play offline.' The buttons to select a computer opponent may be hidden beneath the fold.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 1:21 PM on May 10, 2018


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