Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Math Game Review: Othello

We bought Othello last week and have played it every day since, usually multiple times a day. It's a game that my 7-year-old is asking to play -AND- a game that I enjoy because I find it every bit as challenging as he does. (A rare combination!)

The game is for two players. The object is to have the most discs on the board with your color turned up (discs are black on one side, white on the other). When you flank the discs of the other player, all the discs in that row are captured and are flipped over to reveal your color. It takes minutes to learn but the strategies involved are complex. I'm only beginning to figure it out. So far, we've learned that capturing corners and edges seems to be particularly important.

We played an app (iTouch/iPad/iPhone) version of the game called Tournament Reversi before we bought the board game. I found it extremely challenging. (If it's easy for you, please don't tell me!) The app helped us learn how the game works; however, I've found the board game to be better for strategizing. The app turns the pieces over so fast that it's hard to fully understand the effects of your move. With Othello, you have to turn the pieces yourself and clearly see the results...whether you like it or not. ;)

You can also try Reversi on-line

Educational ties: problem solving, spatial skills, logic

Disclaimer: I bought my own game and have no contact with the company that produces it. If you use the Amazon link to buy your own, a small commission (at no cost to you) is donated to Grace & Hope. My blog policy, however, is that I don't blog about things that I don't like. Our whole family is enjoying this. :)


  1. WE LOVE OTHELLO!!! My husband used to love playing the tourneys online. Totally agree about playing vs. computer - this is why we loved this free version for the iPad: if you ever want a good travel version without the AI baggage.

  2. We love Othello, too. My daughter is finally beginning to understand how to plot a strategy and think ahead...something she's needed to learn!

  3. I think I may have played that game eons ago! May have to check it out again!

  4. We play Othello a lot. I would like to hear more about what you have to say about the mathematical componets of the game. What makes it good for increasing math skills? Often people ask me about this and I am not always sure I have a complete answer.

  5. Thanks for the comments, all! ;) general, I'm thinking about problem solving, spatial skills, logic, mathematical reasoning...but if you think about the nitty gritties of the game, doesn't it also involve looking for patterns? A lot of the traditional board games (I'm thinking checkers, chess, peg jumps, Chinese checkers, etc.) involve recognizing patterns.

    [grin] I just Googled (don'tcha love Google?) to see what others had to say. Look at this:

    Good question!


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