takenoko game box

Board Game Guru Presents: Takenoko

 

Hello and welcome to a new series of board game reviews from me, the board game guru. This week’s game is Takenoko, the panda care and habitat-building extravaganza!

Game details:
Age: 13 and up
Players: 2-4
Time: 45 minutes

A long time ago at the Japanese Imperial court, the Chinese Emperor offered a giant panda bear as a symbol of peace to the Japanese Emperor. Since then, the Japanese Emperor has entrusted his court members (the players) with the difficult task of caring for the animal by tending to his bamboo garden.

In Takenoko, the players will cultivate land plots, irrigate them, and grow one of the three species of bamboo (green, yellow, and pink) with the help of the Imperial gardener to maintain this bamboo garden. They will have to bear with the immoderate hunger of this sacred animal for the juicy and tender bamboo. The player who manages his land plots best, growing the most bamboo while feeding the delicate appetite of the panda, will win the game.

takenoko3
So what does all this mean for gameplay? It’s a race to score points by feeding the panda, keeping the garden organized and irrigated, and assisting the harried gardener. You do this with land tiles, the weather die, and victory point cards. Once a player has completed seven cards, the game ends, and the player with the most points wins.

The other three gurus and I were hard at work on this one, trying to keep the panda, the gardener, and the emperor happy. Keeping all the tiles irrigated turned out to be my strategy, since I needed to fulfill a lot of patterned land cards. The game was very close as all four of us were revealing accomplished victory point cards on the same round, but in the end, I was victorious! Oh yes, having played this game once before turned into my advantage as I snatched the win with a two-point lead.

The other three gurus and I were hard at work on this one, trying to keep the panda, the gardener, and the emperor happy. Keeping all the tiles irrigated turned out to be my strategy, since I needed to fulfill a lot of patterned land cards. The game was very close as all four of us were revealing accomplished victory point cards on the same round, but in the end, I was victorious! Oh yes, having played this game once before turned into my advantage as I snatched the win with a two-point lead.

takenoko2

All in all, the game mechanics were well established, the rounds set a good pace, and the game pieces were clearly established and fun. I’m going to give this game 10 out of 10 bamboo stalks. I love Takenoko and think you will too. It’s a great introductory game for people who don’t play a lot of board games as well.

Now go out and play it with your friends!

 

 

 

Visit Matagot’s Official Takenoko Website

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