Posted: 9 weeks ago, last updated 8 weeks ago.
Like Chess, this is a game of capturing space and pieces, but unlike chess, your pieces' moves are not fixed. Each go, you choose from two Spirit cards, to decide which specific pattern of moves are possible for your Pawn. In a further twist, once you've used a Spirit card, you pass it to your opponent so must keep in mind how they could use it.
As you progress, you and your opponent remove pieces from play by landing on their space and capturing them. This means that your movement choices become more limited and piece selection needs even more care. You win by either capturing your opponent's Onmyo king-like pawn or by moving on to the space where this piece began the game.
It's a highly strategic game, where your choice of move not only affects your pieces and position on the board, but also the moves available to your opponent in future turns. You can use this to your advantage and control their options as well as you own. Like Chess, the web of dependencies becomes complex so that sudden victory or defeat is never far away.
- It is easier to win by advancing your Onmyo pawn, so focus on this type of movement first.
- The centre squares are key to victory, so try to retain pieces in this part of the board.
- Remember that the Spirit cards come back around, so try to bear this in mind as you play.
Play Time: This game will take between 15 minutes and 20 minutes to complete.
8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players need to be able to make strategic decisions and to understand the choice of moves that is available to them on each turn. In some ways it's better for very young players than Chess as you don't have the pain of losing a Queen or crucial Knight, because moves are about the cards rather than the pieces.
Content RatingWe rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.
There are a number of expansions, which include:
- Onitama: Light and Shadow (2022) adds a new Ninja pawn.
- Onitama: Way of the Wind (2018) adds a Wind Spirit pawn and cards.
- Onitama: Sensei's Path (2017) adds 16 new Movement cards.
We haven't documented accessibility features for this game yet. Our Onitama Accessibility Report details system-wide settings that may help, and suggests similar games with accessibility features. Tweet the developer (@ArcaneWonders) to let them know about our Accessibility Questionnaire.
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