10 Games For Your Japanese Fix

October 05, 2017
10 Games For Your Japanese Fix - Gaming Library
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Japanese culture is rich and full of interesting stories and traditions. If you are tired of the usual zombies or trading in the mediterranean, give these Japanese-themed games a try and discover a different world. There's a lot to choose from so we only picked ten. Ready? Yosh!

Unicornus Knights

Can you help the princess reclaim her stolen kingdom?

In Unicornus Knight, you and your friends are the advisers and champions of Princess Cornelia. Help the strong but brash princess take her kingdom back by making sure she does not get herself in too much trouble. Clear her path, send her forces, and ride with her to victory in this cooperative strategy game for 2-6 players. 

Unicornus Knights takes a lot of cues from popular cooperative games like Pandemic and turns saving the world into a full-on escort mission. If you thought keeping yourself alive through some apocalypse is tough already, imagine having to save yourself and your angry general.

What sets Unicornus Knights apart from other cooperative games is how well it translates anime archetypes and tropes into the game. Aside from the overall flavor, the Fate system and the emphasis on relationships with the opposing side changes every session of the game. You'll never know the which hero was best friends with which villain until that plot exposition episode.



Seikatsu is an abstract strategy game that rewards you for putting things into perspective. In Seikatsu players score by matching them with adjacent tiles that share the same bird on the pattern. Placement requires some foresight as end game scoring is very different from how you have made your points so far. At the end of the game, every player will look at the columns formed by the tiles on their side of the board. From their vantage point, all columns will score based on which flowers 

This unique scoring puts the players in a unique situation: birds will give you the points now but investing in flower columns could potentially give you more points at the end of the game. Be careful as well, as the very tiles you put down could help your opponents score better!



There are only a few card games as beautiful as Lotus. In this set collection game, you and your friends aim to build flowers and score them for points. Flowers are created by playing a number of matching petals on the table. Players that get to finish the flower gain the points, but having the most cards and insect guardians on the flower will give you a chance to earn special powers.

Lotus is a great game of timing and knowing which cards you should hold on to. A fast and beautiful game you can pick up and play with friends and family.


Dojo Kun

Have you ever considered owning your own Dojo? This is your chance! Run the dojo, recruit and train students, do quests for the people, and dominate in the two martial arts tournaments! Only the best school deserves victory!

Dojo Kun has a lot going on for it. Every fighting style is represented by unique dice, every student can be taught and customized to a player's liking. While everything boils down to the two tourneys, the process by which you arrive there is a creative sandbox.



If building landscapes is more of your thing, check out this wonderful card-laying game, Honshu. As city planners of Honshu, you and your friends must compete in building the best district. Pair up mines and factories, create large neighbourhoods, and create natural wonders as you cover up old parts of the district for better ones. Be careful though, as lakes are not to be disturbed and cannot be renovated upon placement. 



Onitama is often recommended as an alternative to chess and this two-player strategy game deserves the moniker. The abstract strength of Onitama lies in having a shifting pool of movement cards -potentially creating opportunities for your opponent as you give up your cards. Timing and good spatial awareness is rewarded with openings to strike or pass through your opponent. The push and pull of the game is something any fan of two player abstracts must experience for themselves.


Haru Ichiban

Games dealing with nature are getting popular these days, and Haru Ichiban takes gardening to a philosophical level. You and your opponent are gardeners manipulating the Wind of Spring (or Haru Ichiban) in order to create specific patterns of your blossoms for points. Moving the lily pads around the board is the key to earning points but some foresight as in dictating the board will give your opponent a harder time scoring. 


Custom Heroes

The game has yet to arrive but we are way too excited for Custom Heroes and we just can't help but mention it here. The game is part of the Big in Japan line of AEG like Unicornus Knights, but it plays differently. Custom Heroes is a trick taking game like Poker and the like but the main difference lies in how it applies AEG's Card Crafting System to the game. Players start the game with clear plastic cards that modify their current hands. The catch is that these modifiers are permanent and the next round will have you potentially passing these cards to someone else.


Ninja Taisen

If you are looking for more two player games that aren't as abstract as Onitama or Haru Ichiban, Ninja Taisen might be for you. Take control of warring ninja clans and triumph against your opponent by sending groups of ninja to attack or disrupt your opponent's plans. Be careful though as two opposing ninja parties that end up in the same space are bound for conflict, rock-paper-scissors-style.


Sushi Go Party!

The fan-favorite drafting card game decided to throw a party and you are invited! In this bigger tin of fun things, customize the Sushi Go experience by picking your entrees and setting up unique ways to score in-game. The potential combinations just shot up with this deluxe version of the game. Sushi Go Party! already takes the good stuff from Sushi Go and turns it into a full buffet!

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