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Zaurus Software Reviews: IslandReversi
By Steve Emms

IslandReversi is billed by its software developers, Island, as the classic game of reversi taken to the beach. The program is written in Java.

Reversi, sometimes known as Othello, is a popular board game, which is played on a 8x8 board. The goal of the game is to turn as many of your opponent's disks to your color, Although the game is quick to grasp, Reversi does contain some complicated strategy.

One of the first things a player learns when playing Reversi is the importance of the corners of the board. Getting your disks in these corners will almost always win you the game. Getting your disks in between two of your opponent's disks on the sides can also be crucial, especially when this gets you access to a corner. The key to Reversi is not to worry too much at the beginning of the game who has the most disks showing, but more importantly who has more available moves.

When you start up the game, you are presented with the options of 1 player mode (you v the Zaurus), a 2 player mode (human v human), and access to some brief notes about the rules of Reversi. After choosing the 1 player mode, you are given the option of selecting a skill level. There are 3 levels available: easy, medium, hard.

The graphics in the game are polished and professional. Reversi is an ideal game to be played on a small screen. The board is clear and uncluttered, with a running score kept for you. The Zaurus always has the white disks.

Even on the hard level, IslandReversi is quick to make it's move. Here lies the biggest drawback to this game. Whatever the skill level, the program is far too easy to beat. I'm probably just an average Reversi player, but despite playing the game 50 times on the hard level, I never lost once. In fact, I could see very little difference in strategy between the 3 skill levels. The corners were easily given away, even if they were presented on a plate!

If you're new to Reversi, this game will prove a useful learning device, especially considering the game retails for under 10 bucks. The graphics are great, the display uncluttered, and there are a few nice touches including the help option which shows you the available moves and how many of your opponent's disks would be turned over. But for anyone who has played Reversi before, the game is far too easy. Let's hope can improve the AI of the game; it would then be a must buy! The two player option does, however, partly redeem the situation.

Product Details:

Name: IslandReversi
Price: $9.95
Pros: Attractive graphics, 2 player option
Cons: Too easy to beat even on the Hard skill level
Rating: 6/10

Back to Zaurus Software Reviews

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