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Designed by Thierry Chapeau in 1995, Quixo is part of the wooden abstract strategy game range published by Gigamic and distributed in the UK by Hachette Board Games. The rules offer a four-player 'team' version but this is essentially a two-player game and we wouldn't recommend it for four.

The game is played with chunky wooden cubes in a 5 x 5 grid. The cubes have a cross on one face, a nought on another and the remaining faces are blank, and you each play as either noughts or crosses. Initially all the cubes are placed in the grid with a blank side up. On your turn, you can select any cube on any outer edge (ie: any but the inner 3 x 3 square) provided it is either blank or shows your symbol. If the cube was blank, you turn it so that your symbol is face up and you replace it at the end of the row or column it has come from, pushing along the other cubes to fill the space freed by the cube you took out. You cannot take a cube with your opponent's symbol and you cannot replace a cube in the position from which you've just taken it. Players are aiming to get five of their symbols in a row, either orthogonally or diagonally through the middle.

In common with the other games in this series, then, the rules are simple and pretty much intuitive. The game looks on the face of it like noughts & crosses (Tic-Tac-Toe), and indeed it is essentially a mashup of Tic-Tac-Toe and the 'mystic square' sliding tile puzzle that used to be popular with children. That said tho', it provides a clever tactical challenge where canny players will be planning at least a couple of moves ahead. Opening moves tend to be similar: with each player focused on converting as many blanks as they can to their own symbol. Moving rows can shift the middle cubes to the end so that they too can be claimed. Once all or most of the cubes are showing as noughts or crosses, players will be trying to manipulate their placements to force a win.

Quixo plays quickly: our Board's Eye View plays mostly ran to around 20 minutes. You can find pocket and travel versions of the game, but we definitely prefer this full-size edition with its satisfyingly hefty cubes; much less fiddly to pick up and push than a version with smaller blocks.

#Quixo #Gigamic #HachetteBoardGamesUK #TicTacToe #noughtsandcrosses #slidingtile #mysticsquare #abstractgame #woodencubes

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