Onitama is a two-player, perfect information abstract game with a random starting set-up. On a 5×5 board, both players start with five pawns on their side, with the main pawn in the middle.
When a body is discovered in the courtyard of a stately English mansion, the weapon and location are obvious; the only questions the investigators need to answer are who and why. Every guest may have a motive, and every one of them has secrets they’re trying to hide!
A beautiful and beautifully simple game of laying a tile before your own token to continue its path on each turn. The goal is to keep your token on the board longer than anyone else’s, but as the board fills up this becomes harder because there are fewer empty spaces left… and another player’s tile may also extend your own path in a direction you’d rather not go. Easy to introduce to new players, Tsuro lasts a mere 15 minutes and actually does work for any number from 2 to 8.
By all appearances, it’s just two players taking turns laying stones on a 19×19 (or smaller) grid of intersections. But once its basic rules are understood, Go shows its staggering depth. One can see why many people say it’s one of the most elegant brain-burning abstract games in history, with players trying to claim territory by walling off sections of the board and surrounding each other’s stones. The game doesn’t end until the board fills up, or, more often, when both players agree to end it, at which time whoever controls the most territory wins.