Last time we encountered this game it wasn’t under the best of circumstances. However, I had an opportunity to play a quick game of Tri-Cross at Games for Competitors’ Toy Fair booth, so I thought I’d update you on what I found.

To be honest, I wasn’t wowed by the game but I did find it to be a decent abstract strategy title that I’d be happy to play again. The design of Tri-Cross isn’t exactly revolutionary. The game board is a cross-shaped grid, opposing players jump each others’ pieces, and the goal is to occupy the center space for four consecutive turns. (It reminds me of the puzzle-toy Hi-Q.) Added to this familiar mix, though, are two additional factors. First, each player has six pieces, essentially numbered one through six. Higher numbered pieces jump lower numbered pieces, except that the one jumps the six. Second, an adjacent piece must jump if it can. Okay, still nothing you haven’t seen somewhere before, yet all together it works pretty well. When playing, keeping an eye out for those mandatory jumps is essential. Chain reactions of jumping can happen and sacrificing a piece to pull an opponent out of the center is going to be an obvious strategy.

Instructional videos can be found on YouTube. Tri-Cross can accommodate two, three, or four players. Variant rules allow players to hide the strength of their pieces (by placing them face down) or to put them in fixed or random starting positions. Also, the game is available with the standard board, an eco-friendly cloth board, or a high-end one made from wood.