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3-D Tic-Tac-Toe is an Atari 2600 version of the popular game that attempted to cash in on the small 3D Tic-Tac-Toe craze of the 1970s. The game was released in 1980 and programmed by Carol Shaw. It is notable for being the first video game designed by a woman. 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe is a very common game, and is not widely regarded as necessarily worthwhile or desireable to collectors. The game was published twice by Atari (one text label and one picture label) and once by Sears (as a text label).
Unlike traditional Tic-Tac-Toe, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe is played in a 4x4x4 matrix or rather four 4x4 grids stacked on each other. Players alternate turns placing their symbols (Xs and Os) and must align 4 of their own symbols in a row either vertically, horizontally, or diagnolly to win, similar to Milton Bradley's board game Qubic. The game features very barebones white grid graphics on a bright blue background, which are often the subject of complaint for this rather dull game. The odd 3D perspective sometimes makes it difficult to garner the exact state of the game board. The game can be played either against a human opponent or AI which features 8 different skill levels, however, the AI has some issues. When the board is filled up at higher difficulty levels the computer can take as long as 20 minutes to calculate a move, essentially ruining the game. Another problem with the game was that in 1977, two years before the game was even designed, 3D Tic-Tac-Toe was "solved" via computer analysis, which proved that the first player has a forced win. Any player, or computer, opponent with this knowlege renders the game pointless.