A minute to learn, about an hour to get bored of.
Despite being shown as a possibility for the Wii U GamePad during the E3 2011 video, a video version of Othello (or Reversi) never appeared on the Wii U. In fact, the last notable console version of the game dates back to the NES, and was developed by HAL Laboratory. It’s a simple game, and one that won’t see a lot of play on the Switch unless you have someone ultra-competitive at all times.
The basic game is simple: On an eight-square-by-eight-square board, four game pieces (black on one side, white on the other) are laid in the middle four squares (white, black, black, white in order). The player who plays the black pieces lays one down beside a white piece, flipping it temporarily to black. White then lays his down in a fashion that flips the piece in between to white. Play continues until either all 64 squares are filled or neither player has a legal move, with the winner being the one who controls the most pieces. It’s a very basic game, and on the Switch most games lasted about 10 minutes depending on how much I debated my moves.
The Switch version is very basic, with just two options: single player or two-player. The single player features 16 difficulty levels, and I found that I could eventually beat the CPU up to level 12. I did appreciate the ability to turn on a legal move indicator, seeing as I hadn’t played the NES game or the board game in about 20 years. The multiplayer worked fine with the JoyCon out of the box as well. It’s a very utilitarian setup, but it was a nice way to relax (somewhat) in between longer game sessions. Eventually though, I reached a wall where the CPU was impenetrable and my second player didn’t really dig it, which kicked in after a few games.
The story behind why the original game was named Othello is probably more interesting than the game itself. But if you’re looking for a quick-fire puzzle game or something to show off two-player gaming out of the box on Switch, you’ll get a few hours of fun out of this.