*About 45 Minutes
Takenoko is a cute family game about building a bamboo garden and a panda going around eating the bamboo. For this game you take 2 actions out of the 5 action choices. The choices are: move gardener to grow bamboo, move panda to eat bamboo, draw 3 tiles and place 1, get an irrigation stick, and draw another card. After each player has taken their first turn you add a die roll at the beginning of your turn. The die has a different symbol on each side. The sides mean: grow 1 bamboo plant, move panda to eat 1 bamboo piece, do the same action twice, take an improvement tile, an extra action, and a ? means you can pick which die side you want. As you are building or eating bamboo, you want to complete your cards. The game goes on until someone places their last card, depending on the number of players, that is between 7-9.
Favorite Number To Play With: This is a game that I think plays well with any number of players.
Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I love how this game plays, the only thing that I find frustrating, is the die roll. Sometimes I really need an improvement token to finish one or more cards and the only way to get them is from rolling the die, and sometimes you just can't roll what you need.
Favorite Art Or Pieces: Who doesn't love the adorable Panda Piece in this game, and Mrs. Panda in the expansion is equally cute.
Strategies: I usually end up getting lots of gardener and panda eats cards, because I find them easier to complete.
Final Thoughts: This game is so cute. The pieces and artwork are amazing. The game is simple enough for beginners to learn, but still fun for more experienced gamers, especially when they want a simpler game to pull out between more strategic games. Another great game from Antoine Bauza!
8 out of 10 Stars
Favorite Number To Play With: Really, just like the box says 2-4, I think it plays well with any of those.
Mechanics I Like And Dislike: Well, for about the first 8 months we misplayed how to move the panda and gardener (we didn't move them in a straight line) and when we grew a color we grew it every where as long as it was irrigated (we didn't just make it grow if it was touching)...so once we got that fixed I think the mechanics work good. It gives some more challenge to moving and planning out your turns.
Favorite Art Or Pieces: I like the tiles art work, it is colorful and simple. I also like the character figures!
Strategies: My strategy is to draw a fourth card first thing, because I prefer to have a second plot card so then when I draw tiles next action it is more likely that at least 1 or 2 or all 3 will be ones I want to play! Also after laying down about 4 cards in points, I start to only draw the "grow" cards because others can end up helping you by growing what you need.
Final Thoughts: It is a fun, easy going game. I like that it is easy enough that I can get a non-strategy gamer to attempt it and they understand it pretty quickly. I love the art and character figures! I enjoy the expansion Takenoko Chibis and all it adds to the game.
8 out of 10 Stars