by Ellen Whealton
Rio Grande Games
Number of players:
Bohnanza is a quick and easy game that can be loads of fun with the right crowd. It is easy to learn and play, so older kids can enjoy this one too. This is better played in a group of six, because the politics of the game are more interesting that way. The theme and gameplay make Bohnanza light and fun. Good for social gamers or strategists that need a break from the complex games for awhile.
The game and gameplay
The main premise of the Bohnanza game is to create fields of beans and then sell them or trade them for gold. Players sit around a table with five cards each. Each turn, a player must carry out four actions:
1. Plant and Sell – Plant a bean in his/her bean field by laying that card face up on the table. The player then can sell unwanted beans from his/her hand to other players at the table.
2. Trading and donations – During this stage, the player draws two cards from the draw pile and leaves them face up on the table. The player may keep both, but both cards must be planted immediately if they are taken. If they are not wanted, then other players can bid, buy, trade, bargain, or simply take them to be nice.3. Growing beans – The player can take his/her bean field and trade it for money. Some beans are more expensive than others, so this action depends on the player’s discretion.
4. Draw – The player finishes the turn by drawing three bean cards and placing them in order in the back of his/her hand.
When the draw pile runs out for the third time, the person with the most gold is the winner!
Bohnanza gets fun when the trading begins. We often will trade two for one or even trade in hopes of “future consideration” within the game. That is fun because you are taking a gamble with that bet.
You never know if your competitor will help you or help themselves later on. That is in part what makes this game fun. Politics are a major part of this game. One has to be ready to charm and dazzle opponents to get the best deal!
The Bohnanza game is so easy to learn and quick that it is possible to have Bohnanza competitions. The first player to win three games in a row wins the championship! Alternatively, we have had times where we have shortened the game by going through the draw pile only once rather than three time.
The adaptability of this game is probably the number one reason we like it so much.
Pros and cons
The Bohnanza game is quick to learn, easy and often fairly fast to play. It is fun for a group of people that you know well and joke around with.
It is especially fun when there is a clear leader, because the other players tend to be more giving and helpful in an effort to keep that person from winning. It also has a very funny theme, which keeps the game lighthearted.
Bohnanza is not as much fun if you have a group of serious gamers. These types of gamers seem to be more caught up in strategy and rules and this game wouldn’t meet those needs. Also, it is one that you need to break up with other games every now and then.
Too much of the bean game is too much of a good thing.
The Bohnanza game is a “classic trading game.” It is unique to other trading games because it has a fun theme and characters. It also has new rules that keep it new and interesting. It can also be changed on a whim if you feel the need. Buy it if you have a fun-loving group that will keep the game moving with fun trades and laughter. If you have a more serious group of gamers, this one might not be for you.