From:

~~~ ~~~ Subject:

Folks,

I was examining my cube the other day and I noticed that each side

looks like a tic-tac-toe board and I realized that we've never considered

the idea of two-person games using the cube. Here are some games that I've

come up with. Some of these may be trivial and uninteresting (i.e. obvious

wins for the first or second player) and some may be too easy to draw with,

but I'll throw them out anyway.

The first game I thought of was Rubik's tic-tac-toe. This is just regular

tic-tac-toe with a twist (pun intended). Each person takes turns first

writing his symbol on one of the 54 facelets on the cube. After doing

that he twists one face and passes the cube to his opponent. There are a

number of different variations of this game.

1) The first person to win any side of the cube wins. This seems to be

a very easy game so to make it more interesting we add the rule

that for a person to win, he must do it before executing a twist to

the cube.2) To win, a person must win a majority of the faces on the cube. This

game has the interesting property that if the cube is full (a draw

in normal tic-tac-toe) twists can continually be made until a win is

reached, both people agree on a draw, or some arbitrary upper limit

on the number of moves beyond a full cube is passed.3) One person must fill up all nine facelets of any face with his symbol.

This game may be too difficult to win.4) Each person has pattern of X's, O's, and don't cares which his opponent

doesn't know and has to get one face to look like that pattern.

Each of these games can be modified by adding restrictions on the twist such

as; a) only quarter turns CW and CCW are allowed; b) a player cannot turn the

same face his opponent just turned; c) a player cannot turn the same face that

he turned last turn; d) if a player made a quarter turn last turn he must make

a half turn this turn and vice versa; or any combinations of the above

restrictions or others. Does anyone know of good erasable writing utensil to

use on your cubes or have a metal cube that can be used for these games

with magnetic X's and O's Another version of these games could be played

without writing on your cube by allocating one, two or three colors to each

person and starting from a randomized cube, try to play any of the above games

with each turn being taken by twisting a side and using the players set of

colors as his symbol.

- Bruce

^_