Tuesday, 20 January 2015


Lovely panda. Also, gardener and garden. And pond.

Type: Strategy
Players: 1 to 4
Time to explain to others: 2 or 3 minutes
Time to play: About an hour
Difficulty: To play 1/10, Game difficulty 3/10
Portability: Board, pieces, tokens, cards. Medium.
Overall: 9/10

The emperor of China gave the emperor of Japan a panda. Not knowing what to do with the beast, but still loving it, the Japanese emperor put it in his garden. The panda then found himself surrounded by yummy bamboo! So it is a race, between the gardener (growing bamboo) and the panda (eating it).

The above gives you the flavour of this cute and cuddly game. It is another good introduction to BG's, as it looks innocent enough. You're playing for points, as you complete 'tasks' (panda must eat 'y' units of bamboo, you must grow 'x' units of bamboo), so there is some rivalry, but you don't have to fight and destroy opponents. That said, there is nothing more frustrating then setting up the panda, so you can eat the variety of bamboo you need, and an opponent does exactly the same, moving the panda to the other side of the garden.

The board grows as you play, so the number of configurations is unpredictable and not necessarily in your favour. Also, it helps if you give the panda a silly, squeaky voice. For no good reason.

Rui's conclusion: Again, a good party game. As simple as Ticket to ride. A good, easy, visually cute game, both for the uninitiated, and as a relief from some hardcore killing game. 

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