Reversi is an endlessly fascinating board game for 2 players, which first came on the scene in the late 19th century. The standardized modern version is marketed as Othello under the slogan A minute to learn... A lifetime to master. True enough...
The rules are deceptively simple. The game starts with four discs—two for each player—already criss-crossed in the center of a standard 8x8 board (some programs allow you to select other board sizes, such as 10x10).
The players take turns to place a disc on the board, with 'black' generally going first. Each time, you have to sandwich one or more lines of your opponent's discs between two of your own pieces (whether vertically, horizontally or diagonally). Then the sandwiched discs change color and become yours.
The game continues until neither player can legally sandwich any more line(s) of discs. At that point, the player who has more discs on the board is the winner. It's as simple as that.
Or is it? Play is remarkably complex and calls for sharp long-range thinking. Indeed, Reversi can be as much of a challenge as chess. And, as the name of the game implies, quick reversals of 'fortune' are common.
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A game to improve your skills? WZebra is an excellent program to enhance strategies in playing Reversi.
The program helps you to analyze a better move by displaying evaluation results on board. It also allows you to set up disc positions, load opening books and learn from each game it plays.
WZebra has a strong built-in engine with adjustable strength, ranging from beginner to expert.
Many other features are included such as redo/undo moves, preview moves, save games, import/export games, adjustable 3D view angle and window size. Disc flip animation is included, but the effect isn't preferable to Magic Reversi's.
Magic Reversi is a recommendable program with a simple, appealing and intuitive user interface, complete with vivid 32-bit animation graphics. It gives you a choice of board sizes (8x8 or 10x10) and comes with two built-in engines, 'Normal' and 'Advanced'. With either engine, you can set 10 levels of strength, ranging from 'Baby' to 'Merlin'.
Various options are available such as redo/undo moves, showing available moves, setting sound, music, cursor, border, animation, etc.
You can also ask for hints, save games, or play with remote players using local network or Internet etc.
KReversi is a Reversi board game for Linux with the K Desktop Environment, included in the KDE Games Center. You can also download it from the Ubuntu Software Center and play the game in the GNOME Desktop Environment.
The interface of the application is clean yet helpful with an option to show legal moves and last move on the board. With 7-level of difficulty from Very Easy to Impossible, you can zone your skills in the gameplay against the computer.
Other features include hints, undo moves, use color chips, adjustable animation speed and show high scores at each level. What is lacking? No support for network play, opening books, saving games and setting up positions.
Weighing in at 127 KB only, Mike Hall's Reversi is a good choice with a nice and clean user interface. It has a built-in engine with 4 levels of strength, undo/redo and animate moves. Saving games is not included.
Another small program is Edge Reversi with a download size of 338 KB. Simple user interface with no animation effects. Undo/redo moves and saving games are included. You can limit computer's moves by time or search depth.
Both these programs are portable: after downloading, just unzip to any folder you choose, click the executable, and start a game.
For basic play with good animation effects, try the Othello program developed by SOS Software. This program allows you to play full screen or windowed, with adjustable graphic display resolutions. It has transparency settings, adjustable sound effects and music volumes.
Choose any of four engine strengths, start a game with the computer opponent, and experience vivid flipping animation over captured discs.
On the downside, this program does not include extra features such as undo/redo moves, save games, or edit disc positions, which are needed for analysis of play.
Othello Game at hewgill.com is a good choice. You can challenge the computer opponent by setting the features which include 3 levels of strength, undo moves, highlight valid moves, hints and animation effects.
You can also play Reversi with humans online. Reversi Lounge lets you select a server from the list, click Launch button to open the lobby screen, select an empty chair at one of the tables and play online free against the human players in the lobby. Playok.com - Reversi is another choice to log in and play among other members. Both require free registration. Or with a Yahoo ID, you can log in and play Yahoo! Games - Reversi.
- Corners are key squares to control.
- The squares next to the corners are bad.
- Maximize the number of your moves so that the opponent's moves are reduced.
- Early in the game, minimize your number of discs so that the number of moves increases.
- Get more Reversi strategy advice, such as here.
- Try 'practice sessions' with WZebra, and watch the program evaluate the best move.
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Looking for a board game which has something in common with Reversi? Try Best Free Computer Go.
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Mike Hall's Reversi
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