Five Games Like Chess

Playing a game like chess can help improve your child’s working memory. It requires the use of a lot of different strategies and moves, which will exercise their brain. It also helps develop concentration and focus.

Shogi, a Japanese version of chess, is another great strategy game. It focuses on capturing the opponent’s king and uses the same board as chess.


Although Arimaa is similar to game like chess, there are some differences. One key difference is that Arimaa does not allow passing moves. This prevents the player from creating a position with the same pieces on either side, thus avoiding zugzwang and making the game drawless. Arimaa also does not allow repetition, which prevents the player from playing the same move twice in a row. These rules make Arimaa a more tactically challenging game than chess.

Arimaa was invented by Omar Syed to be a game that could be played using a standard chess set and board. The game is played on a 64 square board with six kinds of pieces, ranging from the elephant to the rabbit. The game has four trap squares, and the players start by placing their pieces in any way they choose on their home rows.

Arimaa has a twelve year history, two booksb,e and an extensive amateur and professional organization. But it has nowhere near the same level of deep, sophisticated analysis that chess or Go have. The endgame discipline of Arimaa is still essentially a case of “Who has the most rabbits?”.


Unlike other games like chess, Onitama features ancient martial arts maneuvers on Tarot size cards that are played to manipulate the board in your favor. Whether you want to use the Dragon to overpower your opponent or outmaneuver them with the Horse, Onitama will test your mastery of these techniques and leave you wanting more.

Onitama is a small, elegant game with a lot of depth. It looks simple enough to play with just four pawns and a Master, but the movement is what makes it so engaging. Each turn, a player will examine two of the movement cards in front of them. They will then move one of their pawns (Master or Student) in accordance with the moves on those cards.

The first player to win by either capturing the opponent’s Master or traversing their own Master into their opponent’s Temple Arch wins. The game begins with the players setting their Master pawn on the Temple Arch space and placing their four student pawns along the baseline. The 16 movement cards are shuffled and each player receives two placed face up in front of them. A fifth card sits to the right of the board from the perspective of the first player.

Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter is an immersive board game that puts players in the shoes of survivors at a research facility under siege by a hostile extraterrestrial. This bleak and post-apocalyptic setting might seem like a dime-a-dozen theme for modern games, thanks to popular TV shows and video games, but this is one that manages to strike the right balance between immersion and accessibility. It does this by providing a series of Crossroads event cards that force players to make decisions with real consequences.

It also uses a system that allows players to cooperate with others in order to meet a victory condition, but they must also contend with secret personal goals that could threaten this alliance. This adds a layer of strategy and complexity to the gameplay that is not found in most other games.

Other games that have a similar structure include Azul, Blokus, and Reversi / Othello. Unlike chess, these games don’t require perfect information. However, they all offer great gameplay and are a lot of fun to play. They also tend to have a shorter learning curve than chess.

Le Havre

Le Havre transports players to a bustling French harbor where they engage in commerce and trade. Like chess, it’s a game of calculated moves and resource management. Success hinges on building an economic empire and outmaneuvering your opponents. It’s a medium-heavy weight game that’s perfect for those who enjoy strategic planning and complex decisions.

This Uwe Rosenberg game is easy to learn but offers a lot of depth. The rules are simple enough that even beginners can pick up the basics quickly, but the complex strategy makes it challenging for veteran players. It also has a lot of player interaction and a cool clock mechanism where buildings get better the longer they’re used.

Each turn consists of two parts: first you distribute newly supplied goods to offer spaces, then you take one action. Actions range from taking all resources of a certain type from an offer space to using a building. You can use buildings to refine and convert goods, sell them or build ships. Buildings are an investment and provide income, while ships help you get food for your workers.


Caylus is a German-style board game that mixes building, producing, planning, and bargaining without any direct conflict or dice-rolling. It was designed by William Attia and published in 2005. A premium edition of the game was released in 2023 with redesigned medieval-styled artwork and metallic coins to replace the original plastic tiddlywinks-style ones.

Caylus has a massive following and is an inspiration to many people. He grew up in Washington and began his YouTube career in 2014. His main channel is Infinite Lists where he creates lists, challenges, pranks, and reaction videos. His success has garnered him millions of subscribers and a dedicated fanbase, known as the Infinite Army.

Chess is a great strategy game, but there are plenty of other games like it that can challenge your mind in new ways. These games include Arimaa and Neuroshima Hex, which offer unique twists on traditional strategies and are a fun way to challenge yourself. The rules for these games are complex, but most players will find them easy to learn and understand. They are also fun for a group of friends or family members.