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Subject: Bamboozled (Takenoko) rss

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Francesca Parrenas
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OG Post found here: http://wp.me/p4mRiU-2E

Takenoko has the prettiest packaging I have evs seen. It took me a hot minute to get my masculine ass friends to play this damned game and now they’re always tryin’ to bust that ish out. Don’t be fooled by its absolute adorableness- this game is all strategy.

China and Japan have just ended a feud and to honor their newfound peace, China has gifted Japan with a friggin’ panda. This is where you come in. You and your buddies have to care for this panda by building and maintaining bamboo plots in this garden. You get objective cards that provide goals for you to complete. You start with one of each of the three objective categories: Panda, Gardener, and Plots.



The Panda is hungry as hell, so he just wants to eat. His objectives require you to get him to eat bamboo sections. Gardener is just trying to do his job, man. You can help him by growing bamboo in certain plots. Plot objectives get you to add to the garden, but to gain the points, you’ll need to match the diagram. You can see how much each objective is worth in the bottom left corner of the card.

Your player card will help you keep track throughout gameplay. It shows what every side of the die means, allows you to choose your actions for the turn and gives you a place to store reserves.

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Each turn, you’ll roll the die (except for the very first turn) to determine what sort of power-up you’ll get for that turn.



Sun lets you take a third turn, instead of just the normal two. Water lets you add a bamboo section anywhere. Wind allows you to make the same actions twice- you usually are only allowed to make different actions even when you have Sun. Lightening scares the panda and makes him run to a plot of your choice. When he gets there, he eats a bamboo section to calm himself. I know, cutest thing ever. Clouds allow you to place a modifier on any plot that doesn’t already have one. You can also just keep the modifier in your reserves. Question mark is a wild card and you can choose any weather!



Some plots have modifiers built in. This first gray one signifies a fertilized plot. That plot can grow bamboo twice as fast- so, two bamboo sections per growth. Each plot can only hold FOUR sections of bamboo, though. Never, evers over. The red modifier with the panda x’d out means that the panda cannot eat any bamboo on that section. He can still go through the plot or land on the plot. I guess he could gaze at it if he wanted, but no eating. The blue modifier means that plot has a watershed in it and therefore does not have to be irrigated as it is naturally irrigated. Anything that doesn’t have a watershed or isn’t touching the pond piece is NOT irrigated. They won’t be able to grow stuff until they are.



When you choose your turns, you should mark them with the little brown action tiles. The long blue tiles are irrigation canals. You can add any those at any point in your turn, but taking one out of the bank counts as an action. The action options are: plot land, get an irrigation canal, move the gardener, move the panda or get a new objective card. The panda and gardener both move in straight lines through a wall in a lot. So, they wouldn’t be able to move out of a corner.



So, you couldn’t move from the pink watershed tile in the bottom right to the pond tile, but you could move to the green one beside it or the other pink one. When the gardener lands, the plot grows a piece. Any irrigated plot of the same color adjacent to that spot will also grow one bamboo piece. The panda just eats one piece from wherever he lands- not along the way, just his ending plot. He has to move over at least one plot to be able to eat.

You guys are kind of working in a community garden so anyone playing can add to it on their turn.



You start out with just the pond. You can add to any part of the pond piece, but to add plots elsewhere, they’ll have to be connected to two other plots. You can see how to add the irrigation tiles too. Now all the plots in the picture above can grow bamboo. Keep in mind that the only things can be taken away from the garden are bamboo sections and the only things that can be moved are the gardener and the panda. So, plot pieces can’t be moved around and modifiers can’t be overlapped or changed once placed.



The panda is so cute. LOOK AT HIM!

The first person to complete a certain amount of objectives triggers the last round of turns. That person also gets the emperor card because the emperor is impressed with that person’s work.



The recognition is sweet because you get two bonus points! The person with the most points wins, so you could win even without that snooty emperor’s praise.

I know it’s just, like, farming but this game is awesome. It’s ALL strategy. You can pay attention to what other people are doing and screw them over along the way. That part isn’t always that helpful, though. It can kind of just be funny, but it doesn’t always work; because you might inadvertently help them. You don’t want to do that. Besides the first three objectives you get, you can choose the type along the way. So, if you think it’s easier to get the panda to eat, you can do that. Those don’t always have very high points, though. If that’s your tactic, you may want to complete those super quickly before anyone has the chance to complete the harder ones worth more points. I like the gardener cards. I think they have the highest points, but they can be hard to complete because you need to make sure you match the the card exactly. You may need 2 sections of THREE bamboo sections, so a plot with 3 sections and a plot with 4 sections won’t work. They BOTH have to have exactly three sections of bamboo.

This is another game that is hella easy to get girly girls to play. Look, the instruction manual has a mini comic!



Go back and look at all the graphics! They’re just so… CUTE!


I haven’t played this game with kids, but I imagine it would be a great way to develop their strategizing skills. Everything about this set is so adorable. I could see some little baby girly girl getting into competition and strategy through a game like this. Well, maybe not too little because they might just want to play with the panda figure.

I HAVE played this with my cool college buddies, though. They LOVE it. Like I said earlier, it was hard to get them to start. This one dude was like, “I’m not going to play that girly ass game.” Then my bestie and I tried it and realized how AWESOME it is. So, I forced everyone else to try and they all love it! It’s just so engaging, you really get into planning and there’s a healthy amount of competition. Four players max, so playing on a night-in makes more sense than kick back. If you still want to pretend you’re cool, you can add simple drinking game rules… Like EVERYONE takes a shot when lightning strikes. You can make it exciting by rumbling your hands on the table or stomping your feet or whatever. I kind of party like a frat boy, so I feel like there has to be some sort of warcry when taking shots. Maybe I’m trippin’. Whatever- live a lot!

Gameplay takes about 45 minutes, but you can play over and over. Even with all the strategy, it’s not like that stressful. There are some games that just make me bug out, but this is chill. Dudes, this is another game that may be easy to get your femme ladies to play. My friends didn’t take it seriously at first, but this is a solid game, bros.



DA GIST

Hella cute
Like supah kyute
All strategy!!!!
Girly as hell
Chill
Easy to understand
4 players max
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Jim Rice
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Thats funny. I had almost the same experience with my game group. It took some work to get it to the table due to its cute packaging. Only took a little while for deep voices to suddenly go high while saying "But I'm just a hungry little panda","don't be mad at me mister gardener, I'm just a cute little panda", etc... It is now a frequently requested game and every time we play people start talking in high pitched voices while pretending that they are the panda
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Francesca Parrenas
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OMG, hilarious. I think I may have to bite your style. I read that aloud to my bestie and we have vowed to give Panda a cutesy high-pitched voice.
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Danny Barbuto
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You get a thumb for the title alone.
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