Tabletop Thursday: “Takenoko” Review

I was so excited about Carcassonne, I forgot to post a review of Takenoko, which I’ve actually had longer. Now I love pandas so when I saw this on Tabletop, then I knew I had to have it. Luckily, my friend, neighbor and fellow gamer Greg and his girlfriend Laura gave it to us as a Christmas gift.
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I have to admit that it’s not the most sane premise to present to your friends who are unfamiliar with the game: The emperor of China presents a giant panda to the emperor of Japan who then sets it loose in his royal garden, much to the chagrin of the royal gardener. You then have to earn victory points by completing the conditions on the cards that indicate what you have to feed the panda, what pattern the garden should grow or the color, height and number of bamboo you have to grow on what tile. I told you it doesn’t sound very appealing (or maybe it does). But trust me, give it a chance and it’s actually very fun! You’re probably better off watching the Tabletop video to learn how to play.
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The game is just gorgeous. The pieces are so cute. There are a lot of components to play with. To me, Takenoko combines the components of other board games that I already love. The cards you need to fulfill remind me of the “destination tickets” of Ticket to Ride. Building the garden reminds me of Alhambra. The irrigation reminds me of the “roads” between the settlements of Settlers of Catan. However, I do think this game requires more luck than strategy. Regardless, I really like playing this game but it takes a fair bit of convincing for people to get into it. But come on, who doesn’t love pandas?!

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2 responses to “Tabletop Thursday: “Takenoko” Review

  1. Pingback: Tabletop Thursday: Pandemic Review | Fashion, Food & the Fortress of Solitude

  2. Pingback: Tabletop Thursday: Dixit Journey | Fashion, Food & the Fortress of Solitude

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