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OTHELLO game (for The Gallery – Black and White)

August 19, 2011

When I saw that this week’s theme for The Gallery is ‘Black and White’, I immediately thought of OTHELLO. This is a game for two players with double-sided black and white pieces, sometimes known as ‘reversi‘ because the game involves turning pieces over. I love this game, and bought this travel version when I was a child.

It is one of the few toys I still have from my seventies childhood, and it has traveled everywhere with me, because it is very compact (14.5 x 8.5 x 2cm when closed) and I love playing it. It is always easy to find one other person to play it with, compared with finding people to play games that require 3 or 4 players. I know you can easily play ‘reversi’ against computers these days, but that is much less fun than playing against people. I have particularly fond memories of playing against Dan K., who always thought he was winning until near the end of the game!

I like the strapline on the case – A MINUTE TO LEARN…A LIFETIME TO MASTER. I guess this is also one of the first examples of me finding compact travel-sized things appealing!

Here is what it looks like opened up:

Travel version opened up

The original box of the travel version has long-since been lost, and the pieces feel quite tiny to adult hands, so I was very pleased to find a full-sized OTHELLO set from the same era in a charity shop. This one has its box and instructions intact.

Box for full-sized version of the game, from mid-1970s

The wording on the box always makes me laugh:


The ancient game of strategy from the mysterious East

  • A game for two players.
  • One rule of play.
  • Countless variations.
  • A game of skill for adults.
  • A game of fun for children.
  • Luxurious moulded playing unit with 64 ‘casino quality’ counters.

Warning: OTHELLO may be habit-forming. We strongly urge you to eat and sleep between games.

Full-sized version (top) and travel-sized version (bottom)

The picture above shows both sizes of the game. When I got these out to take photos, my 3 year old son enjoyed playing with the counters and putting them out in lines, squares and triangles. But I’m tidying both of these sets away to a high shelf until he is older because I don’t want any of the pieces to go missing!

Do you remember this game? Do you still play it? Please comment below and let me know.

And go and have a look at the other The Gallery – Black and White posts – there are some really gorgeous photos this week!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jacint permalink
    August 20, 2011 10:26 pm

    It’s probably no surprise that I still have my set, with exactly that picture on the lid!!!

    • August 23, 2011 9:22 pm

      No surprise at all. I bet you’re seriously good at playing it as well! I might play a game with you sometime, if I’m feeling brave and/or foolish 😉

  2. CheekyBandit permalink
    January 11, 2013 7:31 pm

    minibreakmummy – these lot hold events where other Othello players meet up.

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