|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 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!]