Game Reviews

Game Review: Takenoko

When I first saw Takenoko's panda, I was drawn in by it's large eyes filled with innocence. Little did I know his insatiable appetite for bamboo was driving the gardener mad. How could I say no to such soulful eyes?

Recommended Ages: 8+
Number of Players: 2 to 4
Game Length: 45 min

I’m a sucker for a cute face. Eyes are the gateways to the soul, and large eyes have a certain innocence to them. When I first saw Takenoko’s panda, I was drawn in by it’s large eyes filled with innocence. Little did I know his insatiable appetite for bamboo was driving the gardener mad. How could I say no to such soulful eyes?

A cartoon panda stylized on the box of Takenoko
Looks at those big eyes! How could you say no?

Takenoko, literally bamboo sprouts in Japanese , is a tile-placement game that has players in a race for points to earn the Emperor of Japan’s approval. This is done by completing objectives found on objective cards. There are three kinds of objective cards – plot objectives for placing irrigated land in specific arrangements, panda objects for eating bamboo, and gardener objectives for growing specific arrangements of bamboo.

Each turn you choose two of: expanding your plots of land, creating irrigation canals, moving the gardener, moving the panda, or gathering an objective card. Through these turns and the use of a special weather dice which adds special bonuses to your turn, your goal is to eat, plant, and plot your way to victory.

Takenoko gamplay
This was the moment just before I lost to a flurry of well-played objectives

 

Takenoko took us a little bit longer than the box initially described but it was certainly easy to play. Would recommend for it’s colourful tiles, it’s cartoonish art, and thoughtful strategy.

For more information or to purchase Takenoko, please see your friendly local gaming venue.

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