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othello board game


Put ’em down! Turn ’em over. Turn ’em over again. Yeah!

I love this game, possibly because I’m almost unbeaten at it.

If anyone has ever beaten me then I’ve forgotten about it and I’m not sure they ever have to be honest.

Anyways, as long as you’re not playing me then there is much fun to be had from this particular game. It’s just so pleasing pulling off a great big move and turning your opponent’s field of one colour over into your colour. A minute to learn, a lifetime to master, so that tag line goes. I’m not actually that good, I played against a computer a couple of times and got absolutely hammered. Games take around a half hour.

Beware, this game is extremely fun. 🙂

Game Designer: John W. Mollett, Lewis Waterman

Game Publisher: John Adams

Date Published: 1883

Playing Time: 30 mins

Category: Strategy/Abstract/Under 30 mins

Apparently, the game was invented in 1883, but it has the feel of a game that’s been around since the beginning of time. When I was a kid I assumed it was completely ancient, although that may have been something to do with the marketing strategy of the 1980s.

Othello board and game piecesStill, this game has been around for a good long while and shows no signs of becoming unpopular. The tagline “a minute to learn, a lifetime to master” may well be completely true. What appears at first to be a very simple game soon reveals itself to have hidden depths which can only be explored with repeated plays.

Click here to check out Othello on Amazon!


You play on an 8×8 board, one person plays as black, the other as white. During the course of the game, you can only make a play in which your new piece traps a line of the opposing colour, between two of yours.

All the pieces in between your new piece and the other at the end of the line are then turned over to become your colour. It works on diagonals too, so once the game really gets going you get to make these jumbo moves where you bag a load of counters along the horizontal and vertical axes, and along the diagonal. Does that description work without pictures? Anyway, trust me, it’s extremely satisfying.

Games can last as long as an hour, but you can reduce the playing time by giving yourselves time limits on the moves. Competitive Othello is often played like this, with a player forfeiting the game if they take too long over one of their moves, regardless of the state of play. You play until neither of you can put down any more pieces and the winner is the player with the most of their colour uppermost. It is possible to draw, but it is pretty rare.

This is a great game, and you should just go ahead and get a copy. 🙂

Click here to check out Othello on Amazon!



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