Othello...chances are, you've heard of it by know, and you already know whether you like it or not. If you havent' heard of it, well, there's plenty of articles here already describing gameplay and strategy. So, I'm not here to describe the game itself, but, rather, how well it travels. This review is based on two games played with my wife on Southwest 1371 from Denver to San Antonio earlier today.
This review is based on a brand-new copy of the Mattel 2005 edition of Othello, pictured in the current representative image:
If you have a different edition, this review may not apply.
The game, not surprisingly, contains 64 two-colored discs, which could become a mess if proper care isn't taken to keep them secured. As a precaution, we kept the game board in the bottom half of the box in order to catch any stray pieces. However, this precaution would prove to be unnecessary. Two channels on either side of the board hold pieces that are not yet in play, and the pieces fit snugly enough that they don't slide around or fall out. The felt board has raised edges around each square that keep played pieces in place. These features kept the pieces secure through taxi, takeoff, cruise, and even some light turbulence. However, the felt surface and raised edges did make it difficult to remove crumbs from the Cheese Nips handed out by the flight attendants.
The box itself is roughly the size of a tray table. This allowed me to keep the game on my lap in the window seat while my wife, in the middle seat, used her tray table for the in-flight beverages. However, the box is probably considerably bigger than your average travel game box, and, though it still fits comfortably within most airline's linear dimension limits for carry-on luggage, it may take up too much carry-on space for some people's tastes.
Overall, we found no major problems when playing this game during the flight. As long as you don't mind losing a bit of carry-on space, this reviewer gives the Mattel 2005 edition of Othello clearance for takeoff!
Pros: Both played and unplayed pieces kept secure, tray-table-sized setup, no major impediments to gameplay
Cons: Lots of pieces, takes up carry-on space, Cheese Nips