i played a lot of Tix.Tax on the sly recently. It’s a browser-based multiplayer game that takes the humble game of Tic Tac Toe to a new level. It’s the kind of game you might see playing in an episode of Star Trek alongside Five-Dimensional Chess or Go Upside Down.
In Tix.Tax, you play ten games of Tic Tac Toe at the same time. Each sector of the large 3×3 Tic Tac Toe grid is itself a small set of Tic Tac Toe. Once you win a small game, you take that space in the overall big game. You win the entire game if you win three small games in a row, as required by the laws of Tic Tac Toe.
When you take a seat in one of the tiny grids, the game moves to that area for your opponent’s turn. If I take the space at the top left in the central play, then my opponent takes a space in the top left play.
It is probably easier to show it.
The result is a tactical game of territory management where you try to force your opponent to play little games that are unnecessary for them, so that they have to hopefully give you the blow you want.
Tix.Tax gets complicated quite quickly. Importantly, if you take a space that would move the game to a small game that someone has already won, your opponent can play in any available space they like.
In the clip below, I know blue needs the space at the bottom right of the bottom right minigame to take that area. By taking this space, he claims this match. Since the game should then switch to the lower right game it just claimed, I can actually play anywhere I want. So I use my next move to win. Yay!
Yes, it’s pretty mind-blowing, but I really like it. The game is free and allows you to compete against people or a bot to practice. Fun fact: One of the creators is Jesper the End, one of the brains behind classic Minecraft adventure maps like Diversity.