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Let's start with the setting of Takenoko:
Japan in the early 19th Century, at the beginning of the Meiji Period: Relations between Japan and China are open and friendly, and the Japanese emperor has received from his Chinese counterpart a big panda bear as a gift. Now bamboo must be grown for this wonderful gift to both show appreciation and for it to feel completely contented.
In game terms, players will struggle to develop three types of bamboo. Each turn a player takes two different actions from five possibilities: move the gardener, get new land, build irrigation channels, move the panda to eat, and draw a new objective card. At the start of each turn, though, the player rolls a meteorology die to provide a dash of unpredictability; the player might be able to perform the same action twice, receive an additional action, and so on. Keep that panda happy!
Description written by W. Eric Martin and used with permission of BoardgameNews.com