I’m back! After two continuous years of making one game a month, it was nice to take a six-month break, but now I’m back with my twenty-seventh game. Cubilles is the latest attempt in my unending quest to turn Tic-Tac-Toe into something that requires too much mental energy.
That’s right! Cubilles is a board game, and one that once again is based on Tic-Tac-Toe. That influence is a little less obvious here because the board is so different, but I reveal the inspiration in a fairly obvious way by using Xs and Os as the game pieces. Whereas last time I changed the game by adding time travel, this time I have complicated matters by making the board four-dimensional. Yes, that’s four spacial dimensions. Cubilles is played on a 4x4x4x4 board, and you are trying to form a solid 2x2x2 cube with your pieces. You get to place two pieces each turn.
Cubilles differs from my previous board games in one exciting way: I programmed an A.I. this time! You can, of course, play against another human in the room with you, but now you can also play against three increasingly difficult computer players. This is a feature my previous board games sorely lacked, so I’m glad to have it at last.
Secret reward for those who read the whole post: You can undo and redo moves using the standard Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y shortcuts. Don’t you dare use this to win. You can also pause during an in-progress game if you want to check the rules while you play. Have fun!
5 thoughts on “Cubilles”
This is such a fun game! I beat Easy and Med right away, but I still haven’t beaten the Hard. That AI is so good at blocking!
It’s been more than a month since I first played it, but I finally beat the Hard AI! In truth, it can be beaten fairly quickly. I just needed a better strategy, and I have your advice to thank for that. So, thanks!
For anyone else seeking such advice, I think I’ll pass it along. (Sorry if the spoilers are unwanted, Jacsn!) If you set yourself up for a single win, the AI will block it every time. But, if you set yourself up for three simultaneous wins, the AI can only block two. With this method, I can win in six turns every time!
I don’t think there can even be spoilers for a board game. I’m curious, though: can you really win in six turns every time, even against the Hard AI? That thing should block pretty aggressively; even I can’t guarantee a six-move win every game. Maybe you’ve found a gap in its defenses that I don’t know about?
Nice – this might very well be the only AI in existence that uses RegExes for pattern matching!
Also, for those who have trouble visualizing Tic-Tac-Toe in higher dimensions, (like myself), you might try taking a look at the more 3D-ish version I put together here: https://gotankersley.github.io/cubilles/
Note it has the Z and W axis flipped from the default version on this site. However, I think this simplifies things a little as it more closely corresponds to the “traditional” view of the 4th dimension being time – or rather a simpler 3D object displayed at various points in time, (in this case along the W axis).
That’s super cool! Thanks for making that.