There was a little debate as to which game we should try first, but after having a good look through the games on offer, we decided to start with Othello. All of us enjoy fast paced strategy games, so this seemed the perfect choice to begin our family games night with.
Othello is a two player game, where the object is to trap and capture your opponents disks, whilst strategically placing yours on the board. If you trap the other players disk, then you can flip this over to match your colour, but of course they can also do the same to you, so it helps to try and think ahead before placing your next move.
We hadn't actually played this game before, so we each had a good look at the box and read through the instructions before starting to play. The front of the box has a large image, which shows a green playing board along with black and white disks. There is a caption that runs along the bottom that states "A Minute To Learn.... A Lifetime To Master!"
The rear of the box provides much more detail, along with a brief explanation of how to play. There were numerous images that gave examples of the game in play, which were also accompanied by some short sentences of written instructions. Once we had all taken a look at the box and the enclosed guidance, then we were ready to play and began to set up the board.
On opening the box we found the following contents:
- 1 x Instruction Manual
- 1 x Playing Board
- 64 x Reversible Disks
- 4 x Playing Board Feet
There isn't much assembly involved in this game at all and the only preparation you need to make is inserting the 4 playing board feet into the base and lining up your disks in your players row. Each player has 32 disks, with one person playing the white colour and the other person the black. The object of the game is to be the player with the most disks of your colour at the end.
To begin play you both start with 2 disks placed in the centre position as shown below. Each player then takes it in turns to place down a new disk, whilst also trying to outflank your opponents disks. Outflanking means to place a disk on the board that traps your opponents disk at either end. If you outflank their disk(s), then you get to flip them over to your colour and the game continues.
To outflank a disk(s), it must be in a continuous line but can travel in a number of directions including vertically, horizontally and diagonally. This means that if you carefully observe the board, you could place your disk to actually outflank your opponent in a number of different ways.
If at any point there is no possible move for you to make to outflank your opponent, then you must forfeit your go, however if there is a move available then you must take your go, even if this would not be to your advantage. Once it is no longer possible for either player to make a move, then the game is over and the player with the majority of their coloured disks is the winner.
Overall we really enjoyed this game and to be honest I liked it more than I had expected to. My first impressions were that it would be a very simple game and it would be over in seconds, but in fact it requires quite a lot of thinking and consideration of your next move or strategy. Riley is only 7, but he picked up the concept of the game really quickly and I liked watching him take the time to think out his next move. My two older children aged 12 and 13 also found this game to be really fun and it was great to see them playing against each other in such a calm, yet competitive way. As it is only a two player game, it wasn't possible for us all to play at the same time, however we turned it into a family championship instead and did a series of rounds, semi finals and finals until crowning our Ultimate Othello Champion!
Othello is a game that is simple to learn and enjoyable to play. It has an RRP of £22.99 which I think is a reasonable price for this game. It can be purchased from retailers such as Argos and Amazon.
If you would like to find out more about Othello or any of the other products available from Ideal Games, then you can visit their social media pages on the following channels:
*Disclaimer - We were gifted the game of Othello for the purpose of writing an honest review of the game and our experience. All opinions and thoughts are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.