Takenoko Board Game Review - Panda In The Garden

Family Fun

Takenoko is a beautifully crafted family board game where players compete for the emperor's favor. It is set in Japan where the emperor is gifted a rare panda from China. Each player will take actions each turn to grow colorful varieties of bamboo, manage plots of land, all while allowing the panda to roam around eating the bamboo. This award winning game was published in 2011 and was designed by Antoine Bauza. Children will enjoy the cute panda theme and adults will appreciate the fun elements and craftsmanship of the components. Let's open the box and see why this unique board game is a blast to play.

Casual Perfection

Takenoko is a perfect casual game for those looking for light and fun gameplay.
Takenoko is a perfect casual game for those looking for light and fun gameplay.

Production Values

Just holding the box in your hands and viewing the gorgeous art is the first indicator that players are in a for a treat. Takenoko features eye catching from the variety of subtle art differences in the tiles to the tiny details in the miniature figures. The bamboo sections are even composed of wood while each component is painted with expertise. Player boards are stylishly illustrated and feature beautiful and vibrant colors. It is this attention to even the smallest details that set this game apart from others on most gaming shelves. The theme of Takenoko is handled amazingly and is a real attention grabber when set up, especially the deluxe edition covered in the video below.

Deluxe Edition Review

Playing the Game

Takenoko supports 2 to 4 players and has an average play time of 45 minutes. Players work in a garden trying to grow different colored varieties of bamboo while a panda bear roams around eating what is grown. Players are given small boards to keep track of the choices they make on their turns and are each given 3 objective cards at the beginning of the game. Each turn consists of rolling a weather die which affects what kind of decisions you can make. For example, rolling the Sun will give a player 3 actions to make that turn as opposed to the normal two. There are also weather conditions which allow you to move the panda, grow bamboo on a tile of your choice, etc.

Tons of Fun

Takenoko is a rich game for its streamlined rules and fantastic art.
Takenoko is a rich game for its streamlined rules and fantastic art.

How To Win

Depending on the number of players participating in the game, when a player completes their objective cards they are given the Emperor card which gives a two point bonus to their final score. Objective cards range from panda, gardener, and plot themes. What's special about the game is how the garden plots will always ben different and take on new patterns every time you play. This adds a variety factor while keeping the game fresh with every play through.

Light With Variety

What I find the most refreshing about Takenoko is that it is a light hearted as well as easy to learn game. I do enjoy more complex games but sometimes a more streamlined and fun one is needed for variety sake. This game is sophisticated enough to hold the interest of gamers but is also light enough for new comers to enjoy. This is the charm and strength of Takenoko, it is not too heavy on rules and strategy and is more focused on fun.

Outstanding Art and Components

When the game gets going with garden tiles and wooden bamboo pieces, it's easy to appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail.
When the game gets going with garden tiles and wooden bamboo pieces, it's easy to appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Overall Impression

It has to be said again how incredible the attention to details this game features when it comes to it's art and presentation, it is simply stunning. As far as the actual game is concerned, it's a lot of fun to play with enough variety and subtleties to keep the replay value high. The theme being so strong adds a unique layer to the enjoyment of the game and is greatly appreciated. Takenoko is a unique and fun game to add to any board game enthusiasts collection. Two thumbs way up for this release from Asmodee games. More reviews will be coming soon so be sure to check back in the near future for more excellent board game recommendations. Thank you for reading.

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2 comments

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 14 months ago from Victoria, Australia

I've never heard of this game before, but it sounds like fun.


Olde Cashmere profile image

Olde Cashmere 14 months ago from Michigan, United States Author

It's actually my favorite game in my collection, thanks for reading Blossom.

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