Academy: Tic-Tac-Toe Review
Posted by Marcel van Duyn
DSiWare is already host to numerous pen and paper games, but out of all of them, Tic-Tac-Toe has got to be most pointless thing imaginable to put into virtual form.
Nobody should need an introduction to what Tic-Tac-Toe is. You have a grid of 3 by 3 squares, and you and your opponent take turns filling one square at a time with either a cross or a circle. If either player can line up three of their icon in a row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally, they'll win the match.
In this game, that's actually just one of four different modes you can play, called Classic. There's also Quick, which is exactly the same but with a changeable time limit for each player's moves, which defaults to two seconds. Both modes also have a "9" mode (Classic9 and Quick9) which mixes things up a little by giving you not one, but nine different grids to work with.
When you place an icon on a square, the grid that's in the same position in the overall layout will be the grid the next player get to place his icon on. If either player gets three in a row on any of the grids, they win. When playing any of these loose modes, you can play against a friend, or against one of three different levels of AI.
Arguably the game's main feature, however, is the league mode, where you battle your way up from a simple elementary school classroom all the way up to an international tic-tac-toe tournament. In each "league" you play in, you'll have around 30 opponents, and you'll have to play every single one of them one match after the other.
The three players with the most points at the end of it all go on to the next league, while the lowest three drop down one, and everybody else, of course, gets to try again. League mode starts off with Classic games only, but as you get higher you'll also have to play Classic9, Quick and Quick9.
That is seriously just about all there is to the game. We didn't expect that much from a virtual version of a game you can play with a pen and a scrap of paper, but it's still a bit disappointing. The game has a decent look to it, with a blackboard as backdrop and crayon symbols, but the music is a bit grating and repetitive.
There's not much to Academy Tic-Tac-Toe, but we didn't really expect there to be. If you absolutely insist on getting a virtual version of the oldest pen and paper game out there, for 200 Points, there's not much to go wrong with here.