This cute and adorable Takenoko board game is a strategic game set at the Japanese Imperial court. A long time ago, 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. The game is for two to four players and aged eight and above.
We all love the setting of this game, especially as it involves this cute panda! In this game, 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. I like that the game designers take consideration for colour-blind people by marking each colour with a specific pictogram on each Objective card and Terrain tiles to make them more easily distinguishable.
Players 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.
Inside the box, it comes with 28 plots, 28 green bamboo sections, 26 yellow bamboo sections, 24 pink bamboo sections, 20 irrigation channels, 9 improvements, 46 objective cards, four individual boards, 8 action chips, weather die, panda, gardener and instructions.
The plots are well made with thick cardboard and don’t have any sharp corners. The designs on the bamboo sections are beautiful and they are easy to stack on top of each other. The box has plastic dividers to hold the items neatly.
Mr C took at least 30 minutes to read up the instructions. If this is your first time playing, it is best to read up on it first! Setting up this game is straightforward and it’s best to play on a big dining table or floor as plots will get bigger.
This game is not hard to play at all and even my 10 year old daughter loves it. Players have to take it in turns to perform two steps. One is to roll the weather die and then perform your actions and complete objectives. Players get to plan their plots, grow the bamboo, feed the panda and many more.
This is a fun and interesting game that captures our imagination. Ms C usually avoids strategic games but this is one of the games she enjoys the most. I would definitely recommend this game. It is available to buy from good retailers, Studio Bombyx and Amazon.
Disclosure: We are members of Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club. We received the sample for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own. We have included an Amazon affiliate link to the product. If you click on this and buy, we may earn a small commission but at no additional cost to you.