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Piccolo: Othello hands-on - Simple, clean fun in an often-cluttered app space

Available for iOS

Piccolo: Othello hands-on - Simple, clean fun in an often-cluttered app space

A rose-colored perspective is never a good thing, but seeing the world in black and white isn’t any better. In Piccolo: Othello, however, separating everything in blacks and whites is the goal of the game - literally, of course.

Piccolo: Othello is essentially a digital version of the classic Othello board game, but before you dismiss it as another one of those cookie-cutter apps that don’t bring anything new to the table, it’s worth giving it a go before you make a snap judgment. It is, after all, completely free to download.

At its core, what makes the game stand out from your other run-of-the-mill Othello apps is that it lets you play the board game on your phone to your heart’s content without any pesky ads getting in the way. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than having an intrusive ad pop up to ruin your laser-like focus right when you’re concentrating on your next move. There’s none of that watching ads to start over thingy, either - Piccolo: Othello offers unlimited undos and allows you to start from a fresh board both offline and online at any given point in time. There’s no catch, really, because at the end of the day, it’s all about the love of the game.

Speaking of the game, I have to admit - I’ve never played Othello before this, which can both be a bane or a boon for me when I started playing. On one hand, I’ve got a fresh perspective on the game having never played it before; but on the other, being a complete noob means, well, I’m a noob. I got my butt handed to me the first few times I played against the AI at the very first level of difficulty, but with a little patience and a touch of foresight, I somehow managed to get better as I went along.

If, like me, you’re a complete beginner to this, the goal is to convert your opponent’s tiles into your color. If you’re playing white, you need to turn all black tiles into white, and whoever has the most tiles in their color at the end of the match wins. How you dominate the board is up to you, as there are various strategies for converting your foe’s tiles one at a time or in a single row. I’ve watched in horror as a whole row of my hard-earned tiles turned over the dark side a few times just because of one wrong move on my part.

Still, the beauty of this app is that you can adjust the AI’s difficulty depending on your own skills, so both newbie players and world champions can have a go and still feel satisfied with a good old-fashioned challenge. The ability to play online with others as well as offline with a buddy is a huge plus too - it just means more Othello fun any time you’re up for a quick game.

Suffice it to say that having Piccolo: Othello be my first introduction to the wonderful world of Othello is an absolute delight. It’s clean, elegant, seamless, and pretty easy to use. There are no pesky intrusions, no cluttered menus, and no distracting effects. It’s all about the minimalism of the game itself, with satisfying haptics and sound effects that don’t take away from the match.

Obviously, Piccolo: Othello will need some form of support to keep this wonderful app going, which is where the adorable sticker packs (featuring Piccolo-chan!) and merchandise come in. Piccolo: Othello is available to download for free on the App Store, and themed merch is available on the official store.