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Othello review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Arc System Works
Developer: MegaHouse Corp.
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No
ESRB: E

Othello, coming to us from Arc System Works for the Nintendo Switch, feels pretty much at home on this fledgling piece of hardware that’s bridging the gap between the home console and portable market. I don’t think Othello will be taking the world by storm, but for five bucks, it’s a pretty decent representation of a game I haven’t played since the NES.

If you’re not familiar, Othello is based on a board game by the same name, or the non-licensed version dubbed Reversi. You’ll compete against another player or the A.I., as you take turns laying black and white discs on a board in an attempt to convert the other players discs to your color. To do so, you’ll need to sandwich the opposing pieces between your own, causing them to flip over to your color. While the layout may look a little similar to Checkers at first, it bears little comparison outside of its looks.

Outside of the local two-player vs. mode, Othello for the Nintendo Switch is a little light on modes or features. There’s no online play, which is disappointing but not necessarily surprising, and there’s virtually nothing to the presentation here. The background music is forgettable, and while the look of the game is crisp and clean, it’s certainly not the most exciting use of the hardware. I did appreciate the difficulty slider when competing against the A.I., allowing you to sort of tune up the difficulty a bit and find the sweet spot between maddening and fair.

But that’s about it! As it stands, it’s an OK representation of Othello in video game form, but it doesn’t really do anything else than give you basic video game Othello. It’s a little bland and by the numbers in that regard, which is disappointing considering it has been forever since I’ve played Othello in any format. Still, if you’ve got five bucks to spend, and you’re looking for something to play on the Switch, it’s not a bad way to go. You can pick up and play a round or two pretty quickly, making it a solid portable experience if you’re on the go. I wouldn’t highly recommend it by any means, but if you’re in the mood for some classic board game experiences, Othello can scratch that itch.

Grade: B-

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