Planning ahead is an important part of this game; however, it is not nearly as important as in other games. Plans can change quickly if an opponent simply chooses not to use the card that is expected, suddenly dashing expectations and forcing a change in plan.
This is a very simple game, but is still tactical and strategic. The constant card change provides an interesting game mechanic that keeps players thinking. As only five of the sixteen included cards are used each game, the replay value is tremendous.
In terms of two-player games, Onitama ranks very highly. It can be a very quick game, sometimes ending in just a few minutes, but, if both players are skilled, the game can last 15-20 minutes. This allows for it to be played a few times in one sitting or quickly, if there is not a large amount of time to play in. I would recommend this game to anyone, even those who don’t normally enjoy board games. It is easy to learn and not a huge investment in either money or time.