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Onitama is a 2 player abstract strategy game. The theme is Japan's martial arts. In this game, the players try to win the game by formulating a strategy using various movement patterns. It is a perfect information abstract strategy game. Every new game can have a random starting setup of movement cards. The board is made up of a 5*5 grid on which each player has 4 pawns and a main pawn. The mechanisms used are hand management, pattern movement, grid movement, etc.

The game is designed by Shimpei Sato and the artwork is done by Jun Kondo and Mariusz Szmerdt. Unlike chess, this game has lots of replayability as each time new movement cards are set at the beginning of the game. The amount of strategy and thinking requires to win the game is many times that of chess, also there is very little chance to fully master the game due to its random setup and hand management rules.


This game has a very simple and minimalist setup with 5 pawns for each player on either side of the board made up of a 5*5 grid. Each player has a king or main piece which is very crucial in gaming. Each player is dealt 2 cards with movement patterns and a 5th card is kept available for both the players on every turn as the card used is replaced by the 5th cards and the used card goes into the next round for use.

This makes the game very unpredictable and the strategic thinking needs to be employed in order to use the cards wisely as they get available for your opponent.


There are two ways to win the game. First, you capture the king piece using any of your pawns, Second, move your king piece to opponents’ king place.

The uniqueness of the game lies in its simplicity of rules and the complexity of gameplay using high-level strategy and tactics. The game shines every time as there are many movement cards such as Goose, Cobra, and Boar, etc.

This game has gained a lot of love from players who love abstract strategy games, and also others who don’t usually like strategy games. Onitama will surely give you the fun to outwit your opponent based on your skills to use strategy and tactics. Choose your moves wisely and decide your strategy to win by capturing the king or conquering his place. The game is also available on Playstore. So, have some fun with this game if you have played chess in your life!

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