It takes skill to ruin a game that's racked the brains of generations with its 10 to the 58 power-position game tree. Accordingly, Bandai has delivered a perfectly competent game of Othello, complete with online competition and challenging artificial intelligence. Othello is exactly the sort of game you want to have on your phone, as it's not going to go out of fashion anytime soon. Othello offers virtually unlimited replay value, making it well worth the buy.
For the uninitiated, Othello is a game played with double-sided, circular pieces that can be toggled to be black or white, representing the colors of the two players. The idea is to add pieces to the board so as to flank your opponent's units with circles of your color. This causes the pieces to flip over, which counts toward your total. There are many defensive strategies to employ, such as winning all the pieces along the edge of the board so as to eventually be in position to win the corner squares, which protect your pieces from attack on one side. The game ends when you either eliminate all your opponent's circles or you fill up the board entirely. In the latter case, the player with the most pieces flipped in his favor wins.
Othello for mobile lets you play against the CPU at several difficulty levels, including the unlockable expert and championship modes. This last setting, although beatable, plays Othello very aggressively, and it sometimes incurs considerable load times on the LG MM-535. Online play takes a bit longer, still, but it's very impressive when compared to other GPRS multiplayer games. We always found ready competition.
Audiovisually, Othello is pretty bare-bones. But that's hardly a deterrent. The virtual board looks more or less like its Mattel-manufactured counterpart, and the pieces can be easily recognized as black or white. Those are the basic requirements. The game's only sound effect is a short click that plays each time you set down a piece.
Othello benefits from the longevity of the board game on which it's based. Whether you're playing online or against the computer, you're guaranteed to have a pretty good time. Othello world champion Takeshi Murakami will want to stick with his computer simulation, but all others will find this game challenging and fun in equal measure.