Onitama is a two player abstract strategy game distributed by Arcane Wonders as part of their Dice Tower Essential line of games, juried by Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower.
The game is played on a simple five by five grid. Each player has a Master piece and four Monk pieces. Both types of pieces move the same, according to one of the placement pattern options available on the two cards in front of that player. When a player uses a card’s movement, they place that card to the side of the board for their opponent to access after they make their next move, and then take the card that their opponent used last turn. Out of the entire deck, there are only a total of five face up cards in play at a time, two in front of each player and one in between. Every game new cards are dealt, so every game is a different challenge. You win by either capturing your opponent’s Master, or by moving your Master to occupy the starting square of your opponent’s Master. It’s just that simple.
This game is amazing. Super easy to learn, plays quickly, and has a ton of strategy. The pieces are high quality, and the gameboard is printed on a rollable neoprene playmat, making the footprint of the box small and stylish.
I’ve mentioned before that two player games are a challenge for me to fit in, but this is something I plan to play again!
Originality: 4 / 5
Visual Appeal: 4 / 5
Ease of Play: 4 / 5
Strategic Challenge: 4 / 5
Total expressed as a percentage of the Ultimate Question: 38.0%