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Bohnanza is a clever, engaging, social, trading game. Who knew bean farming could be so fun?

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Bohnanza is a clever, engaging, social, trading game. Who knew bean farming could be so fun?

Bohnanza is a great card game about planting, trading, and selling beans - 11 kinds of beans (this English version of Bohnanza includes all the cards from the original game and the first expansion). Players try to collect large sets of beans to sell for gold. There is limited growing space and always new beans to plant. To avoid planting unwanted beans, players trade them to other players who want them for their bean fields.

Support for Bohnanza's induction into the BoardGameGeek Hall of Fame:
Well, it's a rare gem of a game that hits a certain sweet spot between accessibility and flexibility. Many Eurogames rely on fairly rigid turn structures in order to keep the game rigidly balanced and to establish the game in the younger/family or older/heavier gamer realm.

Bohnanza ditches all that. You can't understand the brilliance of the game design by reading the rules, because you have to see the game in action to understand how Uwe allows the gamers at the table to create a dynamic economy that is just as much about psychology as it is about trade valuation.

The game gets stagnant if you play with gamers who can't handle futures being offered (frequently not honored), rampant 'charity' (that usually heavily benefits the donor, mirroring reality), information sharing and general table talk that can get out of hand if someone isn't there to keep the game moving along.

Also, having a rigid hand order and the subtle change in the economy as you reshuffle with fewer and fewer high value cards. This game transcends genres, a party without being a party game, a game of diplomacy without the facade of world domination, an economic engine with valuation being simply a guideline, rather than an enforced structure.

There are relative values, but un-planted beans are worth what you can get for them and/or the hidden value of how they affect the order of cards in your hand, which is an incredible twist on hand management that never fails to amaze me with how it encourages energetic trading. I've seen it work with hardcore wargamers, young kids, sorority girls and families alike.

Players make Bohnanza what it is and this small game stands as one of the most hugely enjoyable experiences to be had in our world of board gaming.
- Ian McCarthy (KenToad)


Number of Players2 to 7
Playing Time45 minutes
Suggested Ages10 and up
Demo AvailableYes
Mechanicscard game, hand management, set collection, trading, farming, negotiation, Bohnanza
DesignerRosenberg, Uwe
IllustratorBjorn Pertoft
PublisherRio Grande Games
Year Published2016


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