Takenoko /// Once A Month Gamer

From the publisher's websiteLong, long ago, the Emperor of China offered the Emperor of Japan a Giant Panda in a gesture of peace. You have been appointed to the delicate task of caring for this politically-important Panda and tending to the Emperor’s illustrious bamboo garden. You must cultivate plots of land using irrigation and intelligence so that bamboo, the only food that the Panda will eat, grows in abundance. But beware of the sacred animal’s uncontrollable appetite for crunchy young sprouts… 


Asmodee, Matagot

Antoine Bauza

COST: $49.99

THEME: Animals, Farming, Strategy

We haven't played this game a whole lot, yet, because it is farely new to our collection. However, we played it none stop the week we got it. It is a lot of fun and I have yet to win, lol. You are tasked with working the bamboo gardens and caring for the Giant Panda, all while competing against other players to score the most points by completing as many of the objectives as you can.

There are three types of objectives:

  • Plot Objectives, which award you points for creating a certain configuration of colored plots on the board.
  • Gardening Objectives, which award points for growing colors of bamboo to certain heights, before the Panda eats them.
  • Panda Objectives, which award points for eating certain combinations of colored bamboo.

You can only grow a certain color of bamboo on the matching color plot of land (ie: green bamboo only grows on green tiles), and you have to make sure you irrigate the land or have a water source on an adjacent tile in order to grow any bamboo. You also have to roll the weather dice, which will have different affects on your turn (example, the gentle Rain causes the bamboo to grow, allowing you to place a bamboo section on a garden plot of your choice).

Honestly, this game is a little complicated as there are a lot of things you can do but you only get two actions each turn. However, the game itself is beautiful and very well designed.



If you combine the price (at almost $50, it's one of the pricier games) and the learning curve, this isn't a game I would necessarily recommend to every one. However, if you are an experienced gamer and want a new game that it is fun and beautiful, then go for it!