How to play one of my more favorite games, Quixo, completely wood and low tech remotely with friends who live farther away

since 2014 one of the highlights of my summers has been a day at the Bristol WI Renaissance fair. Last year I found out they had a  game store , and was introduced to the game Quixo. Quixo is some times explained as Tic Tac Toe on steroids, but that’s superficial at best. The game has 5 rows of 5 cubes, starting out all facing up blank. Players either 2 to a game, or 2 teams pick either x or o and begin. The wooden set of Quixo have the letters engraved into the cubes so it is totally accessible literally out of the box; the travel version, however, uses plastic cubes and on those pieces the letters are not tactile. Players actually move the pieces around and whole rows or columns of pieces in a move, it’s lots of fun.

I’ve enjoyed it and even gave a few to family for Christmas last year. The problem though is Quixo seems to be rarely known about, so most my friends who play it thus far don’t live near enough to play in person very often, so I’ve been thinking about how to play remotely. I thought about how people play chess using algebraic notation, and went from there.

It took me a while, but then I finally realized that if 2 people played a game of Quixo and thought of the board as a1 being in the lower left, e1 lower right, a5 upper-left, and e5 upper-right, and communicated moves as something like a1 to a5; it would work. It would be the same as if player 1 sat at the board and made a move, then got up and player 2 sat in the exact same chair and made a move. This would allow people to play by text or some kind of voice call.

My friend Andrew Hanson was over last weekend and he said when people played remotely they didn’t even have to say a1 is lower-left corner, that no matter which corner a1 was in if the player always referred to that square as a1 it would work, though the boards would look different. . Trying to rotate spacial frames of reference around in my mind caused a meltdown, so I’ll just prefer to always call a1 lower-left and leave it at that.

I still think that both players need to refer to the squares with the same notation in a game, especially when played on the same board, or at best it will soon become very complicated.

At any rate, Quixo can now easily be played remotely. Try it out, it can be lots of fun.

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