Tic Tac Turn Review
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Players: 2-4 (ages 8+)
Playing Time: 5-20 minutes (depending on players’ skill level)

You may have mastered tic-tac-toe when you were a kid, scribbling out that unmistakable grid on restaurant placemats and discarded homework assignments and science textbooks. But the classic three-in-a-row game of Xs and Os has nothing on the twisting, turning, multi-dimensional version, Tic Tac Turn.

The game’s rules may be simple, but game play can get pretty intense. With Tic Tac Turn, the goal is to get four in a row—not three. In order to do so, you can play your game pieces on four different levels, which are stacked one on top of the other. As if thinking in three dimensions weren’t tricky enough, though, there’s another catch: when it’s your turn, you can choose not to play one of your pieces—and you can rotate one of the three moving playing surfaces instead.

Meanwhile, you’ll have to keep track of up to three opponents—planning their moves and blocking their attempts while trying to set yourself up for a win.

Is your head spinning yet? If not, it most likely will be once you give this game a spin.

For those who naturally look at things from every angle and in every dimension, analyzing moves well ahead of time—like engineers (or, say, software developers, like my husband)—Tic Tac Turn is the perfect fit. It’s almost like a bright and colorful, multi-dimensional chess. You’ll happily spend hours quietly facing off against your similarly left-brained friends, thinking through each and every possibility.

If, on the other hand, your mind doesn’t naturally focus on complex mathematical equations and geometric shapes (if, for instance, you happen to be an entertainment writer), this is the kind of game that will make you tear your hair out. You’ll try to think through your moves and make the smartest choices—but you’ll end up spending the entire game chasing after your opponents, trying to block their every move. And, in the end, you’ll most likely fail miserably.

If you’re playing with mixed right-brained / left-brained company, I recommend playing with three or four players to even things out a bit more. Of course, that means that you’ll have more opponents (and more colored pieces) to keep track of—but it’ll also mean that you’ll have more people working to block your opponents.

Tic Tac Turn may look like a simple game—but don’t let the bright-colored game pieces fool you. While the rules are basic enough for young players, the strategies are complex enough to challenge even the sharpest of left-brained players. It’s a smart choice for the brainy gamers in your family.

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