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Store:  2-Player Games, Family Games
Edition:  Othello
Series:  Othello
Genre:  Abstract Strategy
Format:  Board Games, Travel Games
Family:  Reversi


pocket edition

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Ages Play Time Players
8+ 30 minutes 2

Designer(s): Goro Hasegawa

Manufacturer(s): Pressman

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Product Description

The internationally acclaimed go-like two-player strategy game that takes a minute to learn--and a lifetime to master!

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Goro Hasegawa

  • Manufacturer(s): Pressman

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 30 minutes

  • Ages: 8 and up

  • Weight: 700 grams (estimated)

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.5 in 2 reviews

by Wendy
Sheer Brilliance!
June 01, 1999

Great two player strategy game where you must dominate the board by having turned over all of your opponents disks to your own color. Not an easy thing to accomplish.

The key is forcing the other player into letting you dominate the edges around the board... but that doesn't guarantee you will win. You MUST control the corner squares, as this gives you the final say!

Great for kids too. It helps promote their planning and thinking skills.

A Minute To Learn... A Lifetime To Master
May 29, 2001

Othello is an updated spin on the late 19th century game Reversi. 'Invented' in the early 1970s by Goro Hasegawa, it quickly became very popular throughout the world. Dozens of Othello Federations from many countries exist, and regional, national, and world championship tournaments have been and are still being held regularly. High praise, indeed, for any game.

Othello is one of the many 'a minute to learn but a lifetime to master' type of games. In fact, that's the exact slogan used on the game box. And although many other games can certainly lay claim to this statement too, it can't be argued that Othello isn't also a part of that group.

Othello is an abstract, two-player strategy game played on an 8x8, 64-square board. 64 discs are used, one side being completely white in color, the other side being completely black. Each player chooses one color to use throughout the game. Players take turns placing their own color discs face up on the board. A move consists of 'outflanking' any number of your opponent's discs and then finishing your turn by flipping these discs, thus turning them into 'your' discs. The object of Othello is to end the game with more discs of your own color face up. Draws are possible but in practice, don't occur too often.

Most Othello games usually last less than 30 minutes, although many times I've spent twice that amount of time contemplating a single move! (Much to the chagrin of my opponents.)

Othello is a FAR more complex game than most players realize... even those players who already know Othello is a complex game. It can be both frustrating and rewarding at the same time. Frustrating, because many moves are counter-intuitive; and because of this, the player trying to improve his/her game has a difficult task ahead. (A lifetime to master, remember?) Yet it also can be very rewarding, because as you DO study and play the game, you begin to see the game in an entirely new way. Much like chess, the expert player who understands the strategies and principles involved can easily defeat the novice.

The first Othello misconception is that on each turn you should flip the greatest number of discs you can, since that is the ultimate goal. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the win will be child's play for the expert against the player who attempts this. Secondly, although controlling and occupying the four corner squares are important, the player who sets this as his/her only goal, thinking the win will then be automatic, is also sadly mistaken.

Control, mobility, sacrifices, tactics, tempo... are all a part of Othello. Sounds like I'm talking about chess again, doesn't it? I'm not. These are all important elements of Othello too.

To further demonstrate how deep Othello is, one book on Othello, widely distributed in the United States, is, unfortunately, to be avoided at all costs! It's been said, 'this book will do serious harm to your Othello game.' Obviously, even some players who THINK they understand the game do not.

Thanks to the Internet, articles, puzzles, game analysis, and bulletin boards, discussions are now all readily available, something that wasn't possible just a few years ago. It's not surprising that dozens of different game-playing sites have Othello, or a clone, available as a game to play.

If you enjoy two-player abstract strategy games and if Othello isn't a part of your gaming library, then you don't HAVE a gaming library. Four and a half stars.

Othello is member of GAMES Magazines's Hall of Fame.

Other Resources for Othello:

Board Game Geek is an incredible compilation of information about board and card games with many descriptions, photographs, reviews, session reports, and other commentary.