Onitama is a two player abstract game based around two competing schools of martial arts.  Players use one of sixteen move cards to plan their attacks.  Some of the sixteen moves are similar to moves seen in chess, however, the game has a unique movement system allowing players to see what possible movements their opponent can make.

Of the sixteen available movement cards, you will only have five different moves cycling between players each game. Further, during each turn you will only have two moves to choose from and whichever card you choose will be given to your opponent. Once you have used one of your moves and passed it towards your opponent, you take the one that had recently been passed to you.

There are two paths to victory in the game. One is to have your master occupy the opponent's starting square, the other is to capture your opponent's master. Manipulating the move set so you can move your master or pin your opponent without allowing them moves is a large part of the game.

Playtime is ten minutes, which makes it a great game to play while you are waiting for others or you can replay it over and over trying different combinations of movement cards. With so many different moves to pick from the game has a high level of variability from game to game.