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Bohnanza

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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Bohnanza (1997) is a trading card game where you plant and harvest bean cards to earn coins. The twist is that you can't reorder the cards in your hand and because you have to plant the first card in your hand each go, trading isn't just about what you swap but where it is in your sequence of cards.

Each player starts with a hand of random Bean cards that display a varying number and type of beans. At the start of your go, you must plant the first one or two cards into one of the two Fields you have. If you don't have that type of bean planted you have to harvest the crop prematurely to plant the new variety. What you'd rather do is build up a deep stack of matching beans in a field to maximise your crop and points.

Once planting is done you draw two cards from the deck to trade to plant or swap with other players. You can also trade any card from your hand with other players. This is where the fun heats up as you make bargains for different swaps, maybe even promising future allegiances.

Much of this is found in other card games, but the simple planting mechanic, combined with the rule that you can't rearrange the order of cards in your hand makes this unique. Trading and strategy are driven by sequencing your hand as well as getting a full set of beans. Because having one Bean card in the wrong place might force out a crop about to score the maximum coins.

Another little twist is when you score, you keep back Bean cards to represent coins by flipping them over. This means that the balance of certain types of Beans in circulation changes over time and advanced players will take account of this.

Eventually, you work through the deck of cards a certain number of times and after a final harvest, the player with the most coins is the winner.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Bohnanza 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 11 weeks ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Collecting and Push-Your-Luck game with Sequencing and Strategy elements. You can play with 3 to 5 players in the same room.

 
You can play this game in the following styles:

DurationDuration

Learn to Play: This takes 15 minutes to learn. Although it's a simple game, understanding the mechanics of the fixed hands, planting and harvesting takes some time.

The first time you play the following can help:
  • Play a round with open hands.
  • Go through the motions of trading a few times to illustrate the advantages and trade-offs for each player.
  • If your set has the Wax and Coffee bean, most don't play with these as it makes the game last too long.

Play Time: This game will take between 40 minutes and 45 minutes to complete.

BenefitsBenefits

This game is good if you want to:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Level

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Really young players can struggle when players refuse to trade or they are forced to discard a crop. But provided they have some patience and forward planning (and cunning trading) ability even quite young kids can enjoy this.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.

CostsCosts

There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
 
You can purchase a wide range of expansions and spin-offs but these can make the game more complicated, rather than add much depth. 
 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/1997

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 3-5

Genres: Collecting, Push-Your-Luck (Sequencing and Strategy)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: Cards

Developer: Rio Grande Games (@RioGrandeGames)


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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