Quixo

Quixo Classic is well-made, well-conceived strategic game for 2 or 4 players, which, because it is related to tic-tac-toe, is easy enough for a 6-year-old to play, and, because of its use of the mechanics of sliding block puzzles, is subtle enough to challenge a 66-year-old. Well, 67, actually, but who’s counting?

The game consists of 25, 1-inch wooden cubes, bevel edged, lovingly smoothed, warmly wooden cubes, which are packed in a cloth bag, and nestle comfortably in a wooden tray. Four sides of the cubes are left blank. You’ll find an X pyrographed on one of the other sides, and, opposite that, similarly pyrographed, an O.

At the beginning of the game, all the cubes are placed on the board, on to any of their 4 blank sides, forming a 5×5 array. Only the cubes on the periphery are available for play.

The object of the game is to be the first player or team to get 5 of your symbols (an X or an 0) in a straight line. To do this, you pick any blank block on the edge of the board, remove it, and then slide the row or column of blocks so as to create a new blank space on one of the edges of the board. You then place the block you selected into that space, positioning it so that your symbol is showing.

The game continues in that manner, players or teams alternating turns, until someone gets 5 of their symbols in the proverbial row. Because each move results in moving part or all of a row or column, blocks are getting continually repositioned – and within there lies the rub, as well as the tickle. You have to see much further ahead, consider a copious complexity of cubic combinations in order to get your symbols (and not your opponent’s) to line up in the appropriate array of your aspirations.

Designed by Thierry Chapeau, Quixo Classic is one in a series of similarly well-made games by the French game publisher Gigamic, available in the US from our much-appreciated Fundex. Easy to learn, as fun for kids as adults, well-made, played in 15 minutes or less, often surprising – as they all-too-rarely say amongst Major Fun Game Tasters, this one’s a Keeper!

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