Stick Play the game Host Becca Scott as he shows us how to play fantastic board games here on Geek & Sundry!
This week, Becca is taking us deep into the bamboo plots of Japan to teach us how to play Takenoko from Asmodee. The Emperor of China gave the Emperor of Japan a giant panda and your job is to take care of it. Are you at the height of the task of keeping up with his nibbling bamboo ways?
Each player starts the game with one of three different types of objectives: tile placement, gardener and panda. Everyone tells you easily what is needed to complete the goal and how many points are worth. You can complete goals at any time during your turn. Once one of the players has completed the required number of goals (depending on how many players there are), the final round is triggered.
On your turn, choose two of the five possible actions available: collect and place a plot, get an irrigation channel, move the gardener, move the panda or draw another goal card. You can take any action only once per turn, so plan carefully.
This is where the game shines. Besides being super cute and with fantastic pieces, there are many components that change the game every time you play. When you draw the plots, collect the first three tiles and choose which one you want to play. It helps to mitigate that fear of getting the piece that destroys everything you were building. Then put the other two tiles on the bottom of the stack in whatever order you choose, which helps if you think your opponent needs one of them.
You do not know what goals your opponents are going to, so there's an element of deduction for the game. If you think you need a certain bamboo color to grow, you can move the panda to mow it. Or move the gardener to a place where they can not get help.
The completely random element to the game is the time they die. At the start of your turn, roll the die. You can choose to ignore it or activate any symbol that has been launched. This could mean extra actions, grow a piece of bamboo, move the panda or ask for an improvement.
I would be remiss if I did not really talk about how well this game is done. The bamboo stalks are made of wood and they fit together easily in one another. The panda is plump and beautifully painted. The tiles are thick and resist well to the years of use.
Do you have the skills to take care of the panda of the Emperor? Test your gardening skills and make sure you look at Becca's How to Play every week here on Geek & Sundry!
More play goodness!