Shut Up and Sit Down: Takenoko - Cute and Adorable, But Rather Dull

[I]Takenoko[/i] - Cute and Adorable, But Rather Dull

Takenoko may have a great appearance, but is kind of a boring game when you get down to it.

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liked your review on the game!

Thank you, thank you, thank you. The ratio of "how much fun this game is" to "how many people want to play this game" is astronomically low.

Well, this review actually warned me away from a game I would have considered buying. Given how many actually good games are out there these days that's a great thing. Thanks.

man, it sucks because that game does look beautiful.

I didn't realize that Japanese for "Hot Toddy" was "Don't understand". The rest of the Japanese text is just as stupid.

It's disappointing that this game is so boring, the pieces and board look great.

Has anyone ever played the card game "we didn't playtest this at all" with possible additional expansion pack "we didn't playtest this either" ? it is like the game of "Fluxx", for it's randomness, yet, a game could last between a minute to an hour or so.

what a load of crap there are no end of games which are awesome even if you can't see what others are working towards the key with such games is to watch their actions to work out what they're trying to achieve. If a person lays a triangle of green tiles without claiming a formation you can place a pink to block them if their gardener moves are to grow pink bamboo you can move the panda to eat said bamboo or move the gardener away from that area(gardener has a very small movement range).

I will agree that takenoko is a very cute game but that cuteness is a mere facade for the devious cutthroat style game-play that it employs, I mean sure you can play all nice and friendly like but why would you?

Actually pursuing perceived objectives is rather rare in any Kind of game-play. Most games have multiple ways to win and the other players have to work out what your going for to block you and games with set victory conditions concealed are far more common in my experience than games where you play open handed, case in point ticket to ride the easy to learn train game no one has any idea what goals you are pursuing and has to choose between completing theirs or working out yours. Also games like ankh-morpork where everyone has a different set of victory conditions depending on their objective cards half the fun is working out what your enemy is doing so you can stop them

I really love this kind of review for the passion that is poured into them.

I have played this game quite a bit. I love takenoko.

It's a game that is deceptively deep. The hardest choice is what kind of goals you decide to draw: gardener, panda or plots.

Most of the game is trying to read other player's minds, which is fitting for a japanese style game, where so much of social interaction is trying to read what someone likes.

There's a kind of indirect cutthroat quality to it.

Here's a few strategies and their counters:

1. Gardener's. They give you a high score per goal and they can synergize with each other if you're lucky.
2. Panda. This allows you to mess with gardener's plans, while achieving goals fast and shortening the game.
3. Plots. These synergize with other plots really well and a well built garden doesn't make it uncommon to draw 2 goals and immediately complete them.

This may seem simplistic and that's because it's simple. Not simplistic. Simple. The complexity comes from the choices you make each turn. If someone has loaded his hands with plots, it can be really effective to place a few plots that are very badly color-coordinated. This will break their goals and although they can usually complete it somewhere else, they have to irrigate farther and farther out from the center.

If someone has a lot of panda's, it's nice to go for plots. Plots don't feed the panda with bamboo.

If someone has even two or three gardener's, eat some bamboo here and there when it looks like he's trying to complete a goal. You don't even have to need it for a panda, you can always grab a panda goal later.


This is a game that is not so much about overt social interaction, but covert social interaction. Reading minds, understanding why someone makes moves, clouding why you make you your moves. It's very deep when played that way.

Not everything without invasions and explosions is dull ;)


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