Monday 24 February 2020

Takenoko Family Game Review (Age 8+) Sent by Asmodee Board Game Club

The latest game we've been sent to review by Asmodee for the Blogger Board Game Club is Takenoko, a competitive game for 2 to 4 players aged around 8+. Our younger boys are 10 and 11 and very experienced gamers, and we played 4 player with them.

The aim of the game is to grow bamboo and feed the pandas. You have to care for the bamboo at different stages of growth, develop irrigation and maintain supply. You're a farmer and an ecologist!

Takenoko Family Game Review box front

Inside the box you have absolutely tons of parts: Rules, 28 Hex Tiles, 90 Plastic Bamboo Sections, 20 Wooden Irrigation Channels, 55 Cards, 4 Individual Player Boards, 8 Wooden Action Tokens, 1 Weather Die, 1 Panda Figurine, 1 Gardener Figurine

Takenoko family game box contents need 5 minutes to press out tokens before play

It's a good sturdy box and the contents are almost entirely wooden or card - with a big plastic insert. It is good for keeping everything safe during storage, but it'll be nice to see it replaced with card.

Takenoko Asmodee game box contents in position for storage

The board is comprised of hexagonal tiles, which is always useful for storage and means it'll never break apart like folded boards can. It is put together during play, as one of the possible actions each turn is to choose 1 from the top 3 tiles from the pile.

Takenoko family game review gameplay table set up with first 2 hexagons in place

The miniatures for the Panda and Gardener are incredibly beautiful and well-decorated, and really add another dimension. The Gardener spends the game trying to outpace the panda and grow bamboo more quickly than the panda can eat it.

Takenoko game review gardener and panda figurines

The wooden bamboo parts are actual wooden bamboo - it's gorgeous. There are 3 different colours to correspond with different coloured hexagon board pieces, and some of the challenge cards which you complete to earn points require you to collect exact numbers of coloured bamboo.

Takenoko game review bamboo parts real wood

The weather die is rolled to change the weather at the start of each turn. Different weather conditions have different effects, e.g storms startle the panda, who needs a snack to calm down, rain makes the bamboo grow.

Then the player can choose 2 different actions - move the gardener, move the panda, take a challenge card, add a board hexagon or add irrigation. Hexagons can only grow bamboo if they have irrigation or their own water source.

The challenge cards all have a points value, and at the end of the game your total is added up to make your score. They require a certain number of bamboo parts collected, a certain size of bamboo plants on the board, or a specific arrangement of the hexagons.

How do you play takenoko family tabletop board game

Throughout the game you have to be aware of challenges and aim to complete them - without letting on what you are doing to your opponents.

We found there was always plenty of bamboo for the panda to eat, and at first we forgot to take more challenge cards, so we were a bit slow to gain points first game!

Takenoko gameplay table board set up bamboo plant growing

Each game should take around 45 minutes. We spent around 90 minutes on our first game, including pressing out the pieces for play and learning the rules. Once you get started play is intuitive and can be very quick with a nice flow to it, but it takes a couple of rounds before you entirely know what you are doing.

The makers have gone to special effort to make this game accessible to people who are colourblind. Both of my boys said they had no trouble distinguishing pieces and the colours of the bamboo were very clear to them.

Takenoko family board game review asmodee

Takenoko is developed by Antione Bauza, made by Bombyx/Matagot and distributed by Asmodee. Available to buy now priced around £28 from all good independent games stockists instore and online, including Amazon (affiliate link below).

We were sent our copy of Takenoko for review. Amazon links are affiliate, which earns me a few pence if you buy through my link. It all adds up and helps keep independent game reviews on the blog.


  1. What a lovely and interesting board game. This is something a little different. x

    1. It really is. It plays nicely and the little bamboo trees are a really nice 3D element, and the panda is very cute!


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