Hokito

2 players, ages 8+
Playing time: 10 minutes
Designer: Claude Leroy
Artwork: Tom Delahaye

Publisher: Cosmoludo
https://www.cosmoludo.com/

Just like many other good abstract games, Hokito comes with easy rules but a lot of crunchy decision making, especially near the end of the game. The game literally takes 2 minutes to explain:

Each player starts the game with his 18 playing pieces on his side of the board. During your turn, you move one of your pieces, or a stack with one of your pieces on top, for a number of steps equal to the number of marks on the piece, whereby a single piece must land on another single piece and a stack on another stack. You may only move orthogonally to occupied spaces, and you may make a 90° turn when performing multiple steps.
As the game progresses, you will notice that there are fewer options available and thus your movement becomes more limited.
The game ends when one of the players can no longer move. Players calculate their score by multiplying the number of pieces in their stacks by the number of marks on the topmost one. And whoever has the highest score is declared the winner.

Apart from the simple rules, Hokito also has a very streamlined design and plays very fast. The wooden pieces are of excellent quality and show clear markings that are easy for both players to distinguish.
The game feels very engaging with many possible moves at the beginning while building up to an exciting end of the game.
There are many important decisions to make, anticipating your opponent’s next move and making sure you don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position, while towards the end you can set traps for your opponent and try to force him to make a move he doesn’t really want or benefit from.
As far as I am concerned, Hokito is an outstandingly ingenious abstract game and if you like abstract games, I can highly recommend you to try this game!

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