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Box artwork for Reversi.
Developer(s)APh Technological Consulting
Year released1981
Designer(s)Greg Favor
Genre(s)Board game
ModesSingle player, Multiplayer
LinksReversi ChannelSearchSearch

Reversi is an old board game that dates back to the late 19th century. In the 1970s, it made a resurgence under the new name of Othello, thanks to the Japanese company Tsukada Original (see Othello (Tsukuda Original)). The license to publish the board game in the United States was granted to Mattel, who advertised the game as taking "A minute to learn, a lifetime to master". When Mattel was in the process of developing games for the Intellivision system, they decided to publish Othello for it. However, rival company Atari licensed the name Othello for their own game system, the Atari 2600, so Mattel switched to the classic name of the game, which had never been trademarked. So Reversi (TM Mattel) became the name of the cartridge.

Game play[edit]

To start a new game, you must select a) the board size, b) the number of players, and c) the skill level. For the board size, you may select a reduced board size of 6x6 which provides a timer of 15 minutes per player, a standard board size of 8x8 with a timer of 30 minutes per player, or an enlarged board size of 10x10 and a timer of 60 minutes per player. When selecting the number of players, you either select two players, or when selecting only one player, you must indicate if the player or the computer is to take the first turn. When selecting a skill level, you can choose between easy, medium, or hard, although this only has an effect on a single player game and determines how long the computer takes to find the best move possible.

Players take alternate turns placing one piece each time. At the start of the game, the first four pieces must be place in the 4 center squares of the board. Every piece must be placed adjacent to at least one different colored piece. Every move must result in reversing the color of at least one of the opponent's pieces. Color is reversed when pieces are bracketed in any vertical, horizontal or diagonal row. If a player cannot place a piece on the board he must forfeit his turn. When the board is completely filled, or there are no more legal positions to place a piece, the game is over (tie scores are possible). Digital clocks in each player's color show time remaining, and change to red numerals for "overtime". Players may choose to agree in advance on a time-limit rule or a game that continues until no further moves are possible.

For more information on how to play Reversi, and the strategies behind it, please see the Reversi guide on Wikibooks.


The control pad overlay

Number pad[edit]

1 2 3
6x6 board 8x8 board 10x10 board
4 5 6
vs. CPU
CPU starts
vs. CPU
Player starts
2 players
7 8 9
Skill Level 1 Skill Level 2 Skill Level 3
clear 0 enter


  • Control Disc: Press the edge of the Disc in the direction that you would like to move the cursor around the board.
  • Upper Action Keys: Press the upper action keys to place your piece in the square indicated by the cursor. The game will not allow you to make an illegal move.
  • Lower Action Keys: Press the lower action key to preview what your move would look like if you were to place your piece in the square indicated by the cursor.


Game play screen
  • The corner squares are the best ones to occupy, because you can't be outflanked there. Try to get the corner!
  • If possible, don't place your pieces in squares adjacent to corners...they might give your opponent an opportunity to get those key positions.
  • The scoring lead will often change several times during a game. Don't get discouraged if you are behind! It is frequently desirable to have the lower score during the early stages of the game. Many of your opponent's pieces are scoring opportunities - right up to the end of the game.
  • Use the "Preview" feature to analyze your potential moves. As soon as you press a "Place Piece" action button, you can't change your mind!
  • If you want to see the computer's suggestion for your next move, press any key. The suggested move will reflect the skill level you selected at the start of the game. In two-player games, the suggestion will be accompanied by the computer's "thinking" sound.