I’ve always been intrigued by Othello, but I never really grokked the game. It’s deceptively simple, but the strategy needed to win the came is far more complex than one would think. I’ve tried a few Othello apps, but was always frustrated by losing and never went very far.
Anders Kierulf, developer of SmartGo and other apps, has just released SmartOthello. This beautifully designed app has five levels, from novice to kick-your-ass, and also helps you play a better game. It’s “Blunder Guard” feature (sounds like something from a swashbuckler story) warns you when you make a dumb move, and explains why. It has Game Center support, so you can play against friends and others, and includes a collection of games by the world’s best players so you can see how Othello is really played.
I’ve known Anders Kierulf for a while, since I have long played go, but I never knew that he was the 1992 US Othello champion, so this game is made by someone who really knows how it works. (He also wrote a PhD thesis on go and Othello… You may find it interesting to listen to this interview with Anders on The Committed podcast, where we discussed go and artificial intelligence.)
And just yesterday, I learned that longtime Mac journalist Ted Landau is also an avid Othello player; he was US champion in 1984. On his website he offers a free download of a book he wrote about Othello strategy. I’ve grabbed the book, and will have a read to see if I can learn more about how to play this game.
SmartOthello is $3 on the App Store. Check it out now and find a new favorite game.