Mobile Game Review: Abalone–A Great Game Like Othello

When you think of board-games-turned-video-game, you probably get a bitter taste in your mouth.   Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Cluedo and the like have been dragged through so many digital renditions that their once fresh faces are now as lifeless as poor Yorick (alas, poor Yorick, you have now been compared to Cluedo).

It’s somewhat surprising to discover that there actually are still some good board games out there that have yet to be reduced to nothing through the digital-factory-line. One such title is Abalone.

Despite being names after a sea snail, Abalone is a classic-style board game that is somewhat like a combination between sumo wrestling and Othello.

Abalone plays out on a hexagonal board that is full of divots in which you may place coloured marbles. Your mission is to choose either black or white and remove your opponents pieces from the board. To do that you have to shove the opposing player’s pieces off the board by moving your own. You can shove when you have a line of more pieces that your opponents.

. . . don’t worry, when you start playing the game it becomes a lot clearer than my slightly dodgy explanation. . .

In fact, Abalone is pretty simple once you start playing. The rules will soon become clear and as soon as they do you’ll come to recognise the great depth of strategy that the game holds. It might not be up there with chess, but you certainly will be using your brain in order to win.

The game offers a single players and a two player mode (the two player mode features many different starting positions too) and is a faithful account of the original game.  It’s minimalistic but deeply strategic. If you’re a fan of Abalone, or of other games like Othello, you’re going to love this iPad rendition.

OVERALL: 4.5 out of 5

For more, visit the game developers site.


Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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