Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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Hot Reversi HD bills itself as a new take on the classic strategy game more commonly known as Othello in the states. I'm not entirely certain what a "new take" entails, but I had high hopes that I might see some new gameplay mechanics or styles of play allowed in this version. Alas, the novel elements of Hot Reversi HD are external, graphical flourishes and nothing else.
If you're even remotely familiar with Reversi/Othello, you already know everything you need to know about this game. Players take turns placing double-sided disks (one side black, the other white) on a grid. Placing your color on both sides of your opponent's disks allows you to capture or flip their color to your own. The player who has the most disks in their own color at the end of the game wins.
As a translation of the basic Reversi board game to the iPad, Hot Reversi HD is decent. The board is nice looking and can be played by two local players easily, the controls are responsive, and the computer AI is challenging. It doesn't go much further than this, however. There is no online multiplayer (no online social element at all, actually), no option for playing music during the game, and only a small number of options for changing the look, or skin, of the game.
So, what makes Hot Reversi HD so "hot"? There are a fair number of graphical effects employed by the game in an effort to enhance it. These include the option for one player's moves to be accompanied by lightning strikes while the opposing player's moves have fire blasts. The game board is also rendered in 3D so that moving the iPad shifts the perspective of the board slightly. Finally, each player has a hammer icon on his/her side of the screen that allows each to randomly "slam" the board. At first, I thought this was a new strategy - slam the board, mix up the pieces and change the balance of power in the game. Unfortunately, slamming the board only takes the pieces off the board for a moment, then places them back in exactly the same spot as before. The idea is that it might distract your opponent and cause him/her to make a fatal blunder. It's not a game changer.
If you're looking for a Reversi-style game to play head to head with a local opponent, Hot Reversi HD could be a good choice. Just don't expect anything more than a little extra flash here and there when you play.