A majority of the original reviews were submitted by Charles Bahl and Robert Waters...Thanks!!!
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Game: Octi (Great American Trading Company)
Submitted By: Charles Bahl (The Quake Coast Game Club, San Jose, CA)
Games Magazine's Best Strategy Game of 2000.
It's called Octi. And I can't say enough good things about this game. It may possibly be a little hard to find because I think the first print run has already sold out. It's published by the Great American Trading Company (York, Pennsylvania). It was invented by a Yale PolySci professor by the name of Don Green (NOT Don Greenwood!) who has a website at www.octi.net. And he's more than willing to talk about the game via his e-mail (his address is given on the website). The website gives a complete listing of the rules and some examples of play.
This game has many great elements, but my favorite is the ability to return captured pieces to the board under certain conditions. In this way it's somewhat like Shogi. Unlike Chess (with its reduced end-game resources) Octi, like Shogi, usually progresses into the end game with a full complement of pieces. Also, like Shogi, having first move seems not to impart any real advantage.
Anyway, this is my favorite abstract game in a long time. In my opinion better than Terrace or Plateau or any of the other games offered by Great American Trading Company (like Quarto, Pyraos) some of which are fine games in their own right.
So much for my gush! I hope you get to play Octi soon. When you do, let me know what you think.