2 players, ages 8+, 15-30+ minutes
by Smirk & Laughter Games
SHOBU is a beautifully crafted abstract strategy game for 2 players. The game features 4 square wood boards (2 of each color) and 16 natural river stones for each player, in two colors, with a rope dividing the play area in half.
Your turn is in two parts. First, a player may move one of their stones up to two spaces in any direction, including diagonally, in what is called a passive (or set up) move. Second, they take a more aggressive move, which must be the same direction and number of spaces as the first move. It is this second move that allows you to push stones across the board - or off the board's edge. Remove all four of your opponent's stones from just one of the four boards to win.
SHOBU evokes the feeling of GO or CHESS but provides its own unique challenge. It feels immediately familiar and yet is wholly distinct and engaging.