The script has been flipped on this classic game.

After a three-year COVID-19 hiatus, the Tokyo Toy Show has made its triumphant return to Tokyo Big Sight from 16 June. Excited to finally learn what was new in the world of toys and games, we sent our reporter P.K. Sanjun to check it out.

With the threat of the pandemic still lingering somewhat, this year’s convention was a slightly more subdued affair, but it still brought out the greats of Japanese toy-making such as Bandai and Takara Tomy. However, P.K. noticed that it was the Megahouse booth that seemed to draw the biggest crowd.

Megahouse is well known as the maker of the smallest Rubik’s Cube as well as the most difficult Rubik’s Cube. But on this day they were showcasing their Kaitai Puzzles (Dismantling Puzzles). What started as a playful toy version of Tuna Kaitai Shows, where a whole tuna is carved up and served as sashimi, has expanded into a whole range of meats and now a series of “lite” versions featuring a clove of garlic and a sea urchin.

Megahouse is also known as the official copyright holder of the game Othello, which often goes by the generic name of Reversi. Unlike its various origin stories and names, the game itself has remained rather straightforward for well over a century at least, unless you count the really under-appreciated minigame in Ehrgeiz where you can play Reversi in real-time while beating the crap out of each other as Final Fantasy characters.

However, in December of 2021, Megahouse has literally taken the game to another level with 3D Othello.

Most attendees’ eyes were on this game, and P.K. too stopped in his tracks at the sight of it. To him, Othello was a perfectly distilled game combining extremely simple yet extremely deep gameplay. Perhaps no other game would better fit the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Megahouse, however, dared to disagree and have reinvented the game. P.K. asked the staff what was different, and was told that the basic rules remain unchanged: Players put discs on the board one at a time and flip over opponents’ pieces when surrounded on two opposite sides or corners.

In 3D Othello, two three-dimensional platforms are introduced to the board. These stages aren’t merely cosmetic changes either, because their sides are also playable squares. This can make for some odd and conflicting diagonal routes, so Megahouse simplified this by adding red and blue diagonal lines on the board. Pieces can only be captured diagonally if they are sandwiched along a line of the same color.

▼ A video explanation of the layout

The two differently sized platforms can be placed anywhere on the board prior to playing as long as the colored lines align. By putting them near corners and edges it can drastically change conventional strategies in these locations because you can now place pieces on the very edge of the board beyond the corner.

Not only that, but it creates blind spots on the board which means you can’t easily play through a full game of this Othello sitting in one place. It can also add a new dimension to team play, as well as a whole new set of challenges to those who feel they’ve mastered the standard version of the game.

P.K. was impressed at this revolution in Othello, or “Othellolution” if you will. If this game could change after so many years, maybe anything is capable of changing. He then began to wonder if he should finally reconsider his hardline stance that sandwiches are not in the same category as “baked goods…”


Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]