Games To Play When Bored: Bohnanza

A Game That Never Leaves You Angry

Some games you can play at any time and sometimes you need games to play when bored.  This series highlights my favorite games and why I love them.  These games are particularly the ones that I am always in the mood for.

Bohnanza is one game that I must say you should not judge by its cover.  In fact, the artwork is nothing grand, just playful and light.  But if there is one game that is worthy of five stars this would be it.  I play board games a lot and when I run into a new board game I am often  inclined to say "oh yeah, I've played one like this before." and there are few things that bother me more than learning a game that I have already played.  Bohnanza brings a few things to the table that I have never seen in a game.  But before we get into gameplay, lets start with the basics:

Portability and Accessibility 

Bohnanza has the quality of being very non-committal.  Sometimes I pull out a game like Settlers of Catan, or Dominion and somebody rolls their eyes thinking that they are "too complicated".  Bohnanza consists of a deck of cards; that's it!  Granted it is a rather large deck of cards,  but very manageable if you want to take it camping or on vacation.  

Number of Players: 2-7

Estimated play time: 30-45 minutes - I would give yourself an hour if you are playing with people that have never played before and I would expect about 30 minutes if you are playing with seasoned veterans. 

Premise of the game: Every player adopts the profession of a bean farmer with two bean fields.  By drawing different bean cards the player decides to either plant them in his own field or to donate them to a neighboring player in order to get them out of his hand.  At the beginning of your turn the first card in your hand must be played regardless of whether you have a field of them or not.  If you don't have an empty field ready for the card or a field of that bean already started you are required to harvest those beans whether it is to your advantage or not.  This encourages the sharing of beans so that you don't have to unnecessarily harvest your beans before their time thus losing coins.  

Card ExamplesCredit:

Twists: The game is full of opportunity to barter and trade and there are few rules to govern this.  Enemies can be made but more often than not friendships are strengthened.  Gameplay is nearly constant as players on one side of the table are discussing trading two wax beans for a valuable cocoa bean.  The Game ends when the deck has been exhausted 3 times.  Beware of the changing number of beans though.  Every time you harvest a field of beans you take some of those cards out of the deck to be your coins.  One each a number informs the players how many of that type of bean exist in the deck but by the 3rd round you may be waiting to get the last of a bean that isn't even in circulation.  Its the greatest test of card counting if you are into that sort of thing.  If you are finding you are often wanting to plant a third type of bean, you have the option to buy a third bean field at any time for three coins.  Just beware, it isn't uncommon to lose by a single coin.

Don't Get Caught Unprepared!

Get Bohnanza For the Next Time You're Bored.

Amazon Price: $19.99 $11.47 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 14, 2013)
One of the greatest games I have ever played. I can almost guarantee you will love it. Easy to learn, easy to love.

This game is a true gem that you should not pass up.  Never have a played a more friendly game simply wreaking with competition.  Charity is the name of the game.  If you can't get them to give you something in return it is usually better just to give them the card they want and make friends.  Debts are incurred, business associates fostered, and in the end everyone shares success...just not equally.  Bohnanza is one game that always leaves you satisfied.  It definitely is among one of my top games to play when bored.

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