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Kamisado is a gloriously colorful two-player abstract game that feels just as colorful during play. Each player controls eight colored towers that start on the backline of an 8x8 grid, which is composed of colored squares that match the colors of the towers. On the first turn, a player moves any tower any number of spaces either straight ahead or diagonally forward. Whichever color space he stops on determines which piece the opponent must move; similarly, the opponent's move will determine which color piece you'll move. Pieces can't move sideways or backwards, so they're constantly advancing toward the other player's starting line. Land one of your pieces in that row, and you win.
Well, that's one way to play: a short game that will last about 15 minutes, with the time possibly creeping upwards as you become more skilled at the look-ahead. Designer Peter Burley also has a point system for the game that introduces sumo rings. When an empty piece lands on the back row, it's awarded a ring (worth one point). You then refill the back row of the board, with the loser deciding whether pieces on the board fill the back rows to the left or the right, guaranteeing diverse set-ups and openings. In future games, a piece with a sumo ring that starts its turn vertically adjacent to an opponent's non-sumo piece can push it backward one space instead of its normal move; this push counts as the opponent's turn, and you move again immediately, using the colored piece that matches the space onto which the pushed piece landed.
A series of matches can be played until someone scores 3 points (which equals the creation of three sumos or the landing of a sumo in the back row), 7 points (which is the score for landing a double-sumo in the back row), or even 15 points – although Burley says that he hasn't been crazy enough to try that himself, mentioning that a match of 7 points typically takes hours to complete.
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com
- one double-sided game board
- 16 octagonal towers
- 32 sumo rings
- 2 rules booklets
- one 'example moves' booklet