Continue if you are looking for games like Onitama and are curious about what similar games to play next. In Onitama, each player has two open cards that each display a possible move for any of his pieces. On a turn, that player chooses a card, moves a piece based on it, then replaces it with a card that the other play just used. Moving onto one of the opponent’s pawns removes that pawn from the game. Taking the opponent’s main pawn, or moving your main pawn into your opponent’s main pawn’s starting space, wins you the game.
To determine this list we broke down Onitama to what it is. This is a 2 player abstract strategy showdown where you need to anticipate the moves your opponent will make. You have to think many steps ahead to form the puzzles that are the different configurations. If you are looking for something similar, you have come to the right place. We took all this into consideration and came up with this list of the 5 board games like Onitama.
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#05 | Patchwork
Patchwork makes the list of board games like Onitama because it is another great 2 player showdown game that gives you just the right amount of pivot room to make decisions based on what your opponent is doing. Here you are drafting pieces into your own board verus moving on a shared one, but the decision making is in the same arena.
You compete against another to build the most aesthetic patchwork quilt on a personal 9×9 game board. To start play, all the patches are laid out at random in a circle with a marker placed directly clockwise of the 2-1 patch. On a turn, a player either purchases 1 of the 3 patches standing clockwise of the spool or passes. Lots of complexity ensues and it is up to you to masterfully put together these odd patch pieces into strategic point clusters that give you big points. For 2 players, games run 15 – 30 minutes.
#04 | Hive
Hive makes the list of board games like Onitama because the gameplay is so simple yet so cutthroat. You only have a few places to go but depending on what your opponent does, you need to make sure you move the right piece in response accordingly.
The object of the game is to totally surround your opponent’s Queen Bee whilst at the same time trying to stop your opponent from doing the same to you. The pieces surrounding the Queen Bee can be made up of a mixture of both your pieces and your opponent’s. The first player to surround their opponent’s Queen Bee Wins. For 2 players, games go for about 20 minutes.
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#03 | Yinsh
Yinsh makes the list of games like Onitama because it is another abstract strategy title that has everything to do with how you move your limited pieces around a shared board. The game is very abstract and filled with puzzles, you need to make the right sequence of moves or you will not succeed.
Players each start with five rings on the board. Every time a ring is moved, it leaves a marker. Markers are white on one side and black on the other. When markers are jumped over by a ring they must be flipped, constantly changing their color. The players must try to form a row of five markers with their own color face up. If a player succeeds in doing so, they remove a ring. The first player to remove three of his rings wins the game. For 2 players, games last 30 – 60 minutes.
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#02 | Santorini
Santorini makes the list of board games like Onitama because you have a very small communal board to move around and limited ways to use it. You need to outpace what your opponent is doing and box them out if you hope to win. This is all about 1-on-1 gameplay but instead of trying to get a certain configuration, you are trying to be the one to build the right level of a tower.
You are constructing multi-level buildings on the glorious island and the first player to reach a certain level wins. You have only two things to do each turn, move a builder and build up. The first player to get a builder on top of a 3 story structure wins, and they must climb to it via a 1 and then a 2 story building. The key is if you are not strategic in how you do it, your opponent can block you, or worse yet, beat you there. For 2 – 4 players, games run about 20 minutes.
#01 | The Duke
The Duke takes the top spot on the list of board games like Onitama because you are more or less doing the same thing, trying to get to a specific configuration on a shared grid with very limited space.
Each tile side represents a different posture (offensive or defensive) and shows what the piece can do within the turn. At the end of a move, a tile is flipped showing something brand new. Knowing this, you move around, and depending on who you move where, you can strike your opponent in interesting and possibly devastating ways. For 2 players, games run about 30 minutes.