This is an actual game (not videogame) idea I had when I was in grade school.

I don't remember all the ideas, but let's say it was on a 5x5 grid, but maybe you still only had to get 3 in a row. But there were a couple of other twists. Most of the field was "ground", and either side could play there. But some squares were "water", and one side was supposed to have a navy and only they could move there. Some other squares were "clouds", and the other side had an airforce and only they could be there. And some squares were mountains, and no one could be there.

Those were the basic ideas. I then tried testing different field configurations. As you may know, in tic tac toe, a perfectly played game always ends in a tie. It seemed like with this idea, no matter what configuration I tried, I was always able to come up with a strategy for one side that forced a win.

What might make this idea interesting to return to as an adult:

-Can I prove that any arbitrary configuration leads to a forced win? If not, can you discriminate between "fair" and "unfair" boards?

-Could this game's value as a game be preserved if the boards are random? If some boards are (theoretically) forced wins for the first player and others for the second, it still might be a challenge to find out how to force a win for an arbitrary board, so over a large number of games the better player might be able to get an advantage.

I don't remember all the ideas, but let's say it was on a 5x5 grid, but maybe you still only had to get 3 in a row. But there were a couple of other twists. Most of the field was "ground", and either side could play there. But some squares were "water", and one side was supposed to have a navy and only they could move there. Some other squares were "clouds", and the other side had an airforce and only they could be there. And some squares were mountains, and no one could be there.

Those were the basic ideas. I then tried testing different field configurations. As you may know, in tic tac toe, a perfectly played game always ends in a tie. It seemed like with this idea, no matter what configuration I tried, I was always able to come up with a strategy for one side that forced a win.

What might make this idea interesting to return to as an adult:

-Can I prove that any arbitrary configuration leads to a forced win? If not, can you discriminate between "fair" and "unfair" boards?

-Could this game's value as a game be preserved if the boards are random? If some boards are (theoretically) forced wins for the first player and others for the second, it still might be a challenge to find out how to force a win for an arbitrary board, so over a large number of games the better player might be able to get an advantage.