Othello (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Tomas Barry 13.03.2017

Review for Othello on Nintendo Switch

After teasing Othello a whole generation ago in the Wii U reveal trailer, the classic title finally gets a release in the form of an eShop download, available at launch for Nintendo Switch. Although currently it's widely available on tablets and phones, and even playable for free as a browser-based Flash game online, the timing of the official return of this classic NES title makes sense, given the portable and multiplayer advantages that the Switch enables. The Joy-Con and handheld mode of the console allows for two-player, whenever, wherever, making Othello's re-release logical and justifiable. However, does it do enough for a paid-for modern incarnation? Considering the Switch will likely attract many other types of board game-style tablet experiences, Cubed3 considers whether the budget price point is reasonable in light of such competition.

Based on the two hundred year-old board game, Reversi, Othello first found success on the NES way back in 1986. Of all the games in Arc Systems Works' history, though, it's certainly a surprising first choice as its first project for Nintendo Switch. Nonetheless, the system's Joy-Con enables a joyfully simplistic means of two-player on-the-go fun, and considering the reasonable price, it's certainly a welcome addition to the rather barren eShop. It's also one of the few games available at launch that makes any use of the console's touchscreen.

The objective of Othello is to end the game with as many tiles of the player's chosen colour as possible, by capturing and cornering the opponent's pieces until there are no possible moves left to make. While this may sound rather simplistic on the surface, there's actually a lot of depth to the potential tactics. For those wanting a relaxed, turn-based game to play amongst friends, this is definitely a candidate.

Screenshot for Othello on Nintendo Switch

The local multiplayer with the Joy-Con works very well and is definitely where the game shrines the most. It's easy to envisage fans of the board game chalking up a lot of mileage with this small, very reasonably priced release since it could be passed around friends in a variety of situations. For those who wish to play by themselves, the CPU provides a very mean challenge at high difficulty, but it's an altogether woeful one at beginner difficulty. The lack of any middle-ground means progression for learners will be a bit of a challenge unless other players are available. This makes it even more of a shame that there's no online multiplayer, which seems like the obvious mode to add in order to make this really feel like a modernised re-release.

The presentation is generally very clean, with the menu system very clear and straightforward. There's also a section explaining the rules of the games, which might be useful for first-time users to skim over. The audio is upbeat, and presumably meant to sound somewhat 'retro,' although perhaps in practice it comes off as a little irritating. Thankfully, it can be played on mute with nothing lacking, since audio-cues aren't really required. One thing that would have been nice was if the Joy-Con rumbled to indicate the player's turn, which seems like a missed feature.

Screenshot for Othello on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Overall, Othello is a difficult game to appraise. It's certainly not going thrill or blow anyone away. However, it does have hidden depths and is very suitable for play sessions in a variety of situations. There's really nothing it does wrong, although, to be frank, considering it's essentially the type of game typically seen on tablets and mobiles, it does perhaps lack some aesthetic padding and other features. Particularly glaring is the lack of online play, which certainly would have helped longevity considerably. However, while it misses a few features, it's still a nice, affordable, and simple board game to have available on Nintendo Switch. It could just do with more additions, whether aesthetic or simple touches, for the sake of variety and contrast. Considering this is not the only way to play the game, that lacklustre aspect of the game is the most disappointing. Hopefully it doesn't set a precedent for similar simple titles.

Developer

MegaHouse Corp.

Publisher

Arc System Works

Genre

Puzzle

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo, Sandy Wilson

There are 2 members online at the moment.