Tac 5 Strategy - Tac5 Review
Tac5 is Tic Tac Toe for Adults
As a kid, I was taught tic tac toe by my mom. Like most kids, I quickly mastered this game and moved on to more complex games. However, the game got re-invented during a very boring church sermon.
There aren't a lot of games that can be played quietly with paper and pencil in church, but I did learn a new version of tic tac toe called pente. It required getting 5 moves in a row instead of just 3 and I loved the game so much that I have often used the name as an online nickname.
The version I learned of pente was not actually the official version, which allows the elimination of your opponents moves by closing them on the ends. This would never have worked very well with paper and pencil. Regardless, I still loved the version that I played as a child.
Recently, a friend of mine programmed a simple version of this game called Tac 5. He shortened the name to Tac5 and made it freeware at his web site. It runs on XP, Vista, and Windows 7 without any problems.
Here is the link: Tac5 Game
The game is only about a 110 kilobytes and will download in just a couple seconds. It is a self-contained program and can be ran without any installation required. I have included a picture of the game once it begins.
Winning with Tac5
The game has 3 levels of play and as you win on lower levels, you can advance to a more difficult level to make it more challenging. Note that on the lowest level, the computer will always find a win in two moves. On the highest level, the computer will not only find a move in three moves, but will attempt to block any win in three moves that you make.
There is a bragging option in the menu and if you set that on, the computer will announce the beginning of a series of moves that will allow it to inevitable win. So, even though you might find this feature to be somewhat obnoxious, it also gives you some insight into what the computer is thinking.
There are a few tricks to winning at Tac5. If it is your turn and you have 3 in a row without either end blocked, you can make a move on one of the ends to make four in a row. Since only one end can be blocked, the next move will be a win by moving on the other end. Remember, the computer will be trying to do the same thing, so be wary of any placement that gives the computer 3 in a row.
Winning on the highest levels can be quite challenging, but I find the easiest way to win is mainly to play defensively while trying to place more pieces to one side of the main battle, especially towards the center of the board.
If you make your first move near a corner, you can often get the computer to waste moves that will be of little benefit to it later in the game. The computer likes to make moves near already placed moves even when the moves are wasted towards the edge or corner.
Altogether, I hope you have as much fun with this game as I did as a child.
Have fun and live long and prosper.