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Board GameTakenoko Review
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Posted: 3 months ago, last updated 11 weeks ago.

Author: Rob Prior, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Takenoko is a world building game where you cultivate a bamboo garden for a Japanese Emperor. You play by placing Garden tiles, adding Irrigation pieces and making Bamboo stacks grow. It's a competitive gardening game where you are battle other gardeners as well as the elements.

You play as a gardener, competing for space around the emperors well, growing and harvesting bamboo. Each go you choose between placing tiles to extend the garden, growing bamboo or feeding the panda to meet your individual objectives like matching patterns, growing combinations of colours or feeding the panda. The harder an objective is, the more points it is worth.

It's tricky because players can steal each others crops and spoil your plans. This means that as you never quite have it all your own way, as their objectives lead them to consuming the bamboo that you have just carefully grown, or muddling a long-planned pattern of tiles.

What starts as a peaceful garden-building game, quickly becomes a struggle for territory, bamboo and control of the panda. You need to plan ahead, whilst being ready to adapt when those plans are foiled by other players.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2011

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 2-4

Genres: Collecting, Strategy and World Building

Pieces: Cards, Dice, Figures, Placeables and Tokens

Developer: Studio Bombyx (@StudioBombyx)



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Learn to Play: This takes 45 minutes to learn. To fully grasp how to play this game, you need to understand the five different actions that you can take and how they interact with each other. You also need to understand the five different weather types and how they influence your actions as well. So it may well take you an entire game to really understand all the rules.

The first time you play it's worth trying the following:
  • Remove the Weather dice from play and do not use any of its extra rules.
  • Focus your first few turns on placing Garden tiles in the correct alignment.

Play Time: This game will take between 45 minutes and 1 hour to complete.

Play StylePlay Style

You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room. Best with 3 players.

You can play this game in the following styles:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Rating

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players need to be able to understand the actions as they have to choose from them on each turn. They also need to be comfortable working towards different tasks that may be counter to each other. Lastly, they need the resilience to deal with other players inadvertently spoiling their plans.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.


There is one expansion pack available for this game:
  • Takenoko Chibis (2015) which adds a female panda, panda babies and other extra gameplay parts.


We haven't documented accessibility features for this game yet. Our Takenoko Accessibility Report details system-wide settings that may help, and suggests similar games with accessibility features. Tweet the developer (@StudioBombyx) to let them know about our Accessibility Questionnaire.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

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Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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