So, what is Takenoko?
Takenoko is a fun game for 2-4 players. The aim of the game is to get the most points, which are gained by completing quest cards.
There are 5 actions to choose from in Takenoko, and you can do 2 each turn. These actions are- picking & placing a tile, moving the gardener to grow bamboo, moving the panda to eat bamboo, drawing a quest card and irrigating tiles.
Of course, you can only do each action once each turn, so your turns have to be planned wisely!
After the first round, each player has to roll a die to determine the weather for that day. There are six types of weather, each of which apply a different effect:
- Sun- the player gets an additional action
- Rain- grows a bamboo on an irrigated tile
- Wind- the player can perform the same action twice
- Storm- move the panda, it eats a bamboo section
- Cloud- draw an improvement tile, either use it or store it until later (this is used as a free action)
- "?"- choose a weather type and apply its effect
Players do not have to follow the weather die and can choose to ignore it.
The end of the game
When one player completes 8 quest cards, the final round begins. Each player gets another turn to try and complete any remaining quest cards. Once each player has taken their final turn, the game ends and each player's score is totalled. Whoever has the most points is then declared the winner.
I played this for the first time with two people I've never met before, who also hadn't played it. Takenoko has the advantage of being fairly easy to learn, as well as not being a very long game.
I really enjoyed playing Takenoko, as it is an easy game to pick up and play- plus the different quest cards also add a level of re-playability to the game.