|Players:||2 - 4|
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 with the difficult task of caring for the animal by tending to his bamboo garden.
Learn how to play:
This is one of my daughters faves and I love it too. The artwork is so gorgeous, the tactile pieces are fun to play with. Its easy to learn and different each time depending on the many types of strategies you can try.
This is such a cute game - but don't be fooled by the innocent looking panda, he's not always your friend. He'll wander around your garden eating your bamboo shoots with abandon.
We found the rulebook quite daunting to start with (it was one of the first "Euro" type games we had played), but after watching the How to Play video, we realised it easier than it seemed. There are quite a few moving parts but it all falls into place once you start playing. You place coloured tiles and irrigate them to grow bamboo. The gardener makes the bamboo grow and the panda eats it (which allows you to collect it). The aim is fulfill objective cards to give you points - either tile patterns, bamboo growth, or collected pieces. Kids love to play this because of the cute theme.
This is a great little game with an adorable panda. Grow bamboo, eat bamboo, or create a wonderful garden trying to please the emperor. Whilst this is a competitive game, I find it quite relaxing to play. I have had a good time playing this with my 7 year old daughter who didn't struggle with the rules.
This is one of my 14yr olds favourite games, and I will never turn down a game with her! Great for all ages, we love trying to complete our little objectives as quick as possible for points! It’s a beautiful game to play too.
4 1/2 stars!!
I first played Takenoko with some friends, then immediately went out and bought a copy for myself. It is beautiful, captivating, beautiful, easy-to-learn, beautiful and great fun. Did I mention it’s BEAUTIFUL?
The gist: Grow coloured bamboo for the panda, and try to reach micro-goals of panda food combos, garden plot colour patterns and bamboo plant size patterns.
The garden plot tiles have really lovely art work (including symbols for colourblind players, which my mate appreciates!), and a nice chunky feel. The goal cards are small, Euro mini, 44x68mm, so can feel a bit tiny at first. The markers, dice, bamboo pieces and other components are wood, and feel great. The painted panda and gardener miniatures are perfect. The well-designed box insert keeps everything nicely in place.
Gameplay is easy to learn, although there are some slightly fiddly (but important) rules that can be easy to forget. The ‘weather’ die rolls are thematically a bit vague, but you get used to that. Play is competitive, but not highly confrontational. Games take 30-45min ish, depending on # of players, so this is a perfect multi-play or lighter-weight lead in to a heavier game.
[Note that the game in the How To Play video here is the limited collector’s edition jumbo version, which I’ve not seen available now. The normal game has MUCH smaller components!]