Seek balance in your home, gain the favor of the spirits, and earn happiness points in Bamboo.
The new game by Germán P. Millán, the acclaimed author of Bitoku, where we manage the bamboo harvest to earn happiness points.
Eat, pray, love... And take care of bamboo! A source of sustenance for generations, the cultivation of this plant has helped a small village flourish, and allowed you to build and grow your home. Every improvement you make to your home contributes to it being a place of rest and reflectionto return to after a hard day's work. In addition to observing the balance inside your home, being able to coexist in harmony with the spirits that inhabit the forest will contribute to the happiness of your loved ones.
In Bamboo, players take on the role of leaders of a clan that grow bamboo and use the fruit of their labor to take care of their families and earn happiness points. To do so, you decorate your house according to the principles of balance and harmony, cook succulent dishes to get through the winter, and seek the favor of the spirits.
With action management and tile optimization mechanics, this is an accessible yet deep game. Its artwork, by Jonatan Cantero, reminds us that Bamboo is part of the Kemushi saga, a very characteristic setting that links this title with Silk and Bitoku.
The main board of Bamboo is divided into several sections, with which we will interact throughout the game. On the left side we find the bamboo field, where we plant shoots and collect the ripest canes to perform actions. The bamboo tokens are 4 different colors and allow us to perform different actions according to their symbols.
In the central part of the board, there is a grid for the balance and home tiles. The balance tiles, rectangular in shape, offer small objectives that can be achieved by building patterns with the home tiles that we will place on our personal board. When we carry out the balancing action we can get a new tile, or score a tile that already meets the requirements on our personal board.
To speed up game prep and nicely take care of the components, the game includes two customized dispensers that also function as inserts for the box. In the central part of the board there is also the space for cooking, with the circular food tokens.
Lastly, on the right side, we find the temple. Divided into four spaces, one for each color, this is where we burn our incense sticks to honor the spirits and seek their favor.
The personal board shows our home. On the left side we accumulate the bamboo we have harvested, classified by color. On the right side we place the home tiles, which give us comfort points.
Depending on the distribution of the home tiles, we will be able to score balance tiles, which are placed at the top right on your personal board. These tiles will give us happiness points depending on the type of tiles we have in our home (garden, tool, decoration or faith), their comfort or their specific location.
The personal board has two sides: day and night. For advanced games, players can use night mode, which adds certain requirements for tile placement on home spaces and a penalty if certain spaces are not occupied.
Bamboo games take place over 4 “years” or rounds, which are divided into 4 “seasons” or phases. In the spring, players take a gift from the forest (which will allow them to do one of the 4 actions) and add an incense stick to their personal reserve. The summer phase, the longest, will allow players, by turn, to spend their bamboo reserves to perform actions. Each participant will choose one of the four spaces on their personal board and all the bamboo tokens from that space. They will then take as many incense sticks as bamboo tokens, and place them in the temple that matches the chosen color. Lastly, they perform the actions indicated by the bamboo tokens.
Among the available actions are: performing a fund action, which consists of getting two coins from the reserve; cooking, which allows you to get a food token; improving your home, where you can buy home tokens from the common market; and finally performing the balance action, where you can take balance tokens from the reserve, and score ones that you have on your personal board.
Once the actions are completed, the used bamboo tokens return to the central board, or the bamboo field. This makes new bamboo tokens grow, which we will take and place in our personal reserve, each one in its corresponding color, and will allow us to make actions in future turns. The summer phase continues until all players use up their incense sticks, at which point autumn arrives. In this phase, the players call the spirits: depending on the incense offerings made during the summer, the yokai will go to one player or another. The incense sticks are retrieved, the spirits are prepared in the temple for the next round and the players move on to the last winter phase. At this point it is time to awaken the spirits of the forest (in case we have used them in previous turns) and feed the family: for each home token present on the personal board we will have to pay one unit of food. The initial player's marker is passed to the next player, the tile spaces on the central board are updated and the food spaces are filled. Everything is ready to play a new year!
At the end of the game, players will be awarded points for the different spirit tiles they have in their possession, for the harmony they have achieved in their home (based on the comfort of their home tiles in the sections of the house) and half the points of the balance tiles that remain to be scored if they meet the requirements. The player with the most happiness points wins!
Discover the Kemushi saga
The universe in which Bamboo is set has its own history, spanning thousands of years. The world is ancient, and man has only just begun to exist. The spirits of the forest, the so-called Yokais, watch these newcomers from a distance, but with curiosity. The Bitokus, wise as the roots of the ancestral trees, fear that the presence of humans will upset the natural balance. Set chronologically between Bitoku and Silk, Bamboo joins the Kemushi saga, the Asia-inspired setting to which new titles will gradually be added.
Points of sale
Are you attracted by the Asian atmosphere and want to discover the new masterpiece from the creator of Bitoku? Don't wait any longer and reserve Bamboo today at your favorite retailer.