At a time when there's many complex and complicated games looking for attention, it's easy to forget that some of the best games may be the simplest to play, but they can still make you think. Onitama is one of those games. At first glance it doesn't seem like much. It's got a threadbare presentation, basic gameplay, and no flashy bells or whistles to speak of. And yet, the minute you finish your first match, you can't wait to get another one started.
It's hard not to get a chess vibe when playing Onitama. While there are some basic similarities (and both games require planning and strategy), Onitama is its own unique experience. Matches tend to be much shorter, usually clocking in at between five and fifteen minutes. This is a perfect fit for the mobile market, where players might want to get in a quick game while stuck in a waiting room, riding the bus, or any other time and place you might want a good, quick distraction. Pass play multiplayer is great too, with players able to share the fun on the go. Online play, while fun, can require a little more patience while players have to wait for their opponents to take their turn. It can be even more frustrating to wait for a turn, only to have the other player drop out without warning. Still, for those looking for a chess-lite experience with a lot of depth, Onitama is a perfect pick.