Read about the site!Email me!Please donate! I'm so hungry!Some of my favorite websitesLink to Rail! using these nifty link buttons!Rail! StoreBob the Ball - Episode OneCheck out Rail!'s latest featuresSee some of my awesome Flash animations - Just kidding, they suck.Rants, reviews, and articlesPlay some games!Listen to some MP3's

Rail! Entertainment > Docs >

Game Review: Super Duper Tic-Tac-Toe

By Michael - 04-11-02

Note: I originally intended to do a review of the Bullfrog game, "Dungeon Keeper". Halfway through my review, I discovered that I couldn't get respectable screen shots due to graphical difficulties like this:

Screen shot of Dungeon Keeper. DirectX rules!

I absolutely refuse to write a game review without images, so I have decided to review the Megagroin game, "Super Duper Tic-Tac-Toe" instead.


Many classic arcade games have been rewritten lately, with enhanced graphics, sound, and additional features such as multiplayer and character selection. Asteroids, Centipede, Frogger, even Pong have been revamped and updated for a new generation of gamers. Megagroin took the classic strategy game of Tic-TacToe - and attempted to improve upon it. I believe they have succeeded.

I am reviewing the five-level demo copy of the game - the download was 110 MB if you're interested. The file size can be mostly blamed on SDTTT's impressive high-polygon meshes and uncompressed audio soundtrack. It might seem like a hefty download, but it's worth every meg.

The title screen wasn't very impressive. It looks like something a novice would create on a demo version of Photoshop in about three minutes, actually. Behind this menu, however, is an addictive, streamlined masterpiece of a game.

The title screen - of the best game ever!

You can choose to fight for the armies of X or O through the Character Selection screen. Along with having the choice over X and O, you can also apply a variety of "skins" to the letter of your choice to give them a customized appearance. Attributes such as strength, intelligence, speed, and stamina are randomly applied to your characters after they have been selected. You can choose to play against the computer, against a friend, or against up to 16 players on a network (I played single player - you need a high bandwidth connection to play multiplayer). I chose to fight for the armies of X, mostly because I wanted to utilize the X army's flamethrower troops.

The first level took place on an ominous deserted wasteland. My ATI Rage Pro video card could barely handle the polygons and special effects. The explosions and particle effects dropped my frame rate down to about 10 fps! Take my advice: don't play this game on anything less than a GeForce3. Anyway, I got to see my X totally dominate a place in the center of the tic-tac-toe grid, destroying all O's within range of his flamethrower. Once I controlled the center square in the grid, I sent two more X's to flank him on either side. Level one was a little too easy for my tastes. Once my troops controlled three squares in a horizontal row, the O army had been vanquished.

O soldiers approach, carrying automatic weapons.

Level two took place in a city. The cars, buildings, and people were very detailed, and the motion-capture was first-rate. It seems the O army had taken over an office building, and we had to take them out -- WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE! We had to be very careful with our movements - if we took over the wrong grid square, the O's might kill one of their hostages (J's and K's mostly). I selected the sniper rifle with scope, and methodically picked each O off, one by one. The sniper rifle was a bit hard to control, but I suppose that's just to balance it out against its effectiveness. After the O's were eliminated, we took three squares in a row to beat the level. On a side note, the music on this level was performed by Celine Dion with Cannibal Corpse!

Level three took place in a cemetery at night. The zombie hordes kept eating my X's, making it really hard to get three squares in a row. The good thing is, the zombies ate the O soldiers, too! I found a small glitch where you can take advantage of this. The zombies can't see you if you place a soldier in the upper left corner! As long as you take that square first, you can surely beat this level (Note: this bug has been repaired in Service Pack 1). Try not to stand in one spot too long, or the dragon will try to feed you to its newly hatched young. Tip: If you can defeat the dragon, you get the Rune of Fire.

Level four was a rainforest level, and let me tell you right away, those poisonous frogs were a bitch. They attack from all sides, and they seem to have a pattern where they attack your medics first, and then go after your soldiers. Flamethrowers don't cause much damage for some reason, but the Sword of Pain cuts right through them (You can find the sword under the waterfall to the west). Here's another tip: Try distracting the frogs with bacon bits! They love 'em! Besides having to deal with the poison frogs and dinosaurs, I also had to deal with the O's fighter/bomber aircraft.

During one point, where I almost had a diagonal row lined up, an O shot one of my X's in the back, igniting his flamethrower's fuel tank. My poor X caught fire, and ran around in circles, screaming, while the O laughed in his evil, O-like way. Those bastards will pay...

An X's flamethrower combusts, causing him to scream in agony.

After that, I used my Magic Radio to call an airstrike, destroying all O's within hundreds of feet. Let's see how those assholes like being on fire.

Level five is what I like to call the "Ninja Level", well, because there are ninjas everywhere.

During this level, the X and O armies "tied" several times, where there was no possible winner or loser. This is what is referred to as (in hardcore tic-tac-toe gaming circles) a "scratch".

Once again, I must say that the motion capture was incredible. Every ninja-back flip and kick is animated down to the most minute detail. After the fight with the master ninja Ryuji, I got three squares in a diagonal row, and won the game. 

Since this was just a demo, I got a shareware nag screen telling me to register the game. The full retail version is 50 dollars. If the full version is anything like the demo, I'm definitely buying it.

A film by John Woo.

Complaints: The only complaint I have is about the frame rate. I'd definitely recommend purchasing a newer computer with a GeForce3 and at least 512 MB of RAM before trying this game. Tic-tac-toe games in the past have always pushed computers to their limits, and this game is no exception. 

Final Thoughts: Super Duper Tic-Tac-Toe is a worthy successor to a true classic.

My rating: 4 Vanilla Ices out of 5.


BONUS: Tic-Tac-Toe Flash Game!!!!
Click a square to begin.





This site best viewed using Internet Explorer at 1078 X 768 resolution.
Site design by Michael Laskaris.
Copyright 2001-2008 Michael Laskaris. All rights reserved.