Takenoko – Your bamboo garden awaits

Takenoko board game

It’s fun growing bamboo gardens in Takenoko.

Have you ever wanted to be a bamboo gardener?

If so, then we’ve got the perfect board game for you!

Ok – so we don’t think you’ve really ever thought of being a bamboo gardener. But we’ve still got a great family board game for you… Takenoko.

Takenoko is a fun family board game where players build a bamboo garden – with the most colorful bamboo you’ve seen.

Players will build the garden by laying out colored hex tiles, will irrigate the garden sections through canals, will move the gardener around to grow bamboo sections, and will move the panda bear around to eat the colorful bamboo sections. And they’ll be scoring points all along the way.

Brooke wanted to take the helm behind the camera again, so I’m back at the table doing the video review of Takenoko. I cover the basics of the game in the first few minutes and then cover a sample turn later in the game to give a more complete perspective on the things players will think about during the game.

Hopefully the video will give you a good feel if Takenoko is a game your family will enjoy playing together.

Can the whole family enjoy Takenoko?

Takenoko board game

It’s nearing the end of the game with many objectives already achieved.

Takenoko is a great board game that young and old alike can enjoy together. There’s enough cuteness to attract the younger kids and enough strategy to engage the older kids and adults.

The recommended age for Takenoko is 8+ and we agree with that recommendation. While younger kids could enjoy some elements of the game, they’ll most likely miss some of the strategic elements.

With multiple ways to score, there’s plenty to strategize about.

Takenoko board game

There’s a variety of ways to score points.

As described in our video review, there are 3 different types of objectives cards from which you can score points – garden layout, bamboo growth, and bamboo eaten. Knowing which objectives to aim for and how you can manipulate/affect the game to achieve your objectives are two major keys to the game.

Younger kids may like taking the panda objective cards because he’s cute, but may not completely understand how to set up the board (colored garden sections and growth) in order to get the panda into position to eat the bamboo for scoring those cards.

Takenoko board game

I bet that panda wants to eat more green bamboo.

In addition, taking full advantage of the tokens (fertilizer, irrigation, enclosure) will most likely give players a boost as well. So players should plan how best to use the tokens when given the chance.

But there’s also a bit of luck involved in the game as well. The roll of the weather die will definitely impact the options available on your turn. It may slow you down or give you a bump. The trick is knowing how to string your actions together after the die roll to make the most of your turn.


Fantastic components

Takenoko board game

The game starts with one lonely tile and the awesome gardener and panda ready to roam.

It’s hard not to be won over by the awesome game components of Takenoko. The panda and the gardener are simply fantastic!

Moving the gardener and the panda around bring the game alive.

The also have their own unique cutout section in the box insert to keep them in pristine shape.

And the bamboo sections are terrific as well. These light, wooden pieces are tons of fun to make grow and be eaten. Who can’t help but love a board game where you get to handle cool pieces like this?


How does Takenoko score on our “Let’s Play Again” game meter?
Takenoko board game

We recently reorganized our game closet and Takenoko is one of the games on the main shelf for each access. Sure, it’s fun to see that panda on the side of the box every time we open up the game closet. But that’s just the teaser for the fun inside the game box.

We love tile-laying games where the game board builds different on the table every time we play (like Carcassonne). And now we have a fun tile-laying game where not only do we get to create a unique garden layout every time we play, but we also get to make it grow upward before our eyes every time as well.

That’s why Takenoko is such a solid family board game. A great game to have for your family.

The Board Game Family Game Ratings
Caleb: 4.0 Meeples Caleb
Brooke: 4.0 Meeples Brooke
Jaden: 3.5 Meeples Jaden
Has not played Trevor
Mom: 3.5 Meeples Mom
Dad: 4.0 Meeples Dad
AVerage: 3.8 Meeples Average



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