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Growing up as a kid, my cousin was really big into chess. I played hours of chess growing up, and that was the main board game that I played for years. The biggest issue I had with chess was that the strategy was super heavy and the game went super long for what it is. When I first played Onitama, it gave me the feeling of chess in a much FASTER and, less brain burning way. I enjoy the simplicity of Onitama so much and it is a fantastic game that is elegant. I love that the strategy is not just what your move is but, also what moves you give for your opponent to do. Fantastic game!
A very strategic two player game similar to chess. Each of the pieces move based on the cards that you are holding with an extra card set to the side of the board. Once you select the movement that you want to do and move your piece, you swap the card you picked for the card that is set aside. The way the cards rotate back and forth require you to think ahead and be very flexible in your strategy. I strongly recommend.
Enjoying this one more with more plays; it reminds me of Chess, but has its obvious differences… such as how approachable it is to new players. Also, there are far fewer pieces to manage, a smaller game board, and a much lower level of movement complexity - but Onitama still offers a similar level of strategy/depth and nuanced decisions when compared to Chess. (I'm making it sound like I'm a huge Chess fan, but I'm not. Just struck by the comparison between the two.)
A pretty great 2-player game. The way that the movement cards are randomly dealt out at the beginning of the game makes each game feel very different. What's cool is that each game even more different the better you get at the game. So the more you play the game, the more varied each game becomes, which is cool. The game is pretty fast-paced, but will eventually come to a screeching halt when you realize that you have a very important decision to make. I would definitely recommend this game to just about any consistent 2 gamers. It works best if you both advance in the game at about the same learning pace.
Been waiting forever to finally get my hands on this. Production is great on this edition and the card changes from the original printing help the balance a lot. Simple, brilliant, will play whenever it's put in front of me.
Daughter loves playing with me. Simple easy to teach. Components are great.Neoprene mat is better quality than most magic mats. The silly dance at the beginning of the game can be frustrating but it's still fun.
Holding onto some overpowered cards just feels like a broken strategy that seems to work most of the time. I hear expansions open the game up a bit but I don't want to spend $13 on a few cards.
Very simple, not many options despite 10 different ways to move. The game is very slow with the limited movement and very predictable due to the few options everyone has. Bad games can occur due to bad card combinations. A gateway abstract.
Onitama is a clever game of give and take. Each time you take an action you empower your opponent to use it against you in the future. Taking care to limit the options of your opponent while expanding your own breadth of choice is core of Onitama; and a skilled player will force their opponent into providing their own killing blow, which is a highly-enjoyable feat. Generally, the available actions promote defensive play, but the Sensei's Path increases the space for aggression. The two victory conditions empowers a player who has suffered losses the option to eke out a victory. While clever, and thematic (for an abstract game at least), Onitama is too brief and fails to create a heightened sense of stakes.