Bohnanza Review | Board Games | Zatu Games UK

    Zed has hand-picked an exciting and varied selection of games in his subscription box. Expect to receive some of the best games as well as a few surprises!

    Subscribe Now »

    Looking for the latest new releases? Then this is the subscription for you, each month you’ll receive an amazing box full of just the newest & biggest games!

    Subscribe Now »

    Our two new Mystery Box offerings will help you pick up some of the latest top of the range games and exclusive goodies, but at a much lower price!

    Order Now »

    Menu

    Buy 3, get 3% off - use code BOARD3 · Buy 5, get 5% off - use code BOARD5

    Buy The Game

    Awards

    Rating

    • Artwork
    • Complexity
    • Replayability
    • Player Interaction
    • Component Quality

    You Might Like

    • The great player interaction.
    • High quality cards and artwork.
    • That it can be really thinky and competitive.

    Might Not Like

    • That it can run a little long for what it is.
    • Enjoyment relies on the group you're playing with.
    Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

    Bohnanza Board Game Review

    Bohnanza Board Game Review

    Bohnanza is a perfect example of games not being defined by their components. Nowadays, with Kickstarter tabletop games popping up left, right and centre, a greater emphasis is placed on the components that come in the box than the rules that tie everything together. It feels like most big Kickstarters are now just competitions to see who can put more in a box: more components, nicer minis, finer details, and so on.

    Now, let’s look at a very simple game: Bohnanza. Here’s what you get in the box:

    Cards.

    These cards are wonderfully illustrated, with the silliness of the artwork definitely lining up well with the silliness of the theme (imagine asking your friends to join you in a game of bean farming). Furthermore, the iconography is near perfect, as all the information you need is easy to spot despite the card art. Card quality is top notch as well, with professional playing card quality stock that would definitely survive quite a lot of use.

    Bohnanza - The Game

    In Bohnanza, published by Rio Grande Games, players are bean farmers trying to make the most money. Cards in Bohnanza are beans, with a specific name and value (selling x many will yield y amount of dollars). These cards are essentially sets for players to collect, and the more you collect of a certain type of bean, the higher your payout will be once you harvest them.

    Rounds are quick and can be divided into a few phases - planting, revealing and trading, and drawing. Each player has two bean fields at the start of the game,with an option to buy a third field later on. Each field can hold one type of bean.

    A crucial part of Bohnanza is that players can’t change the order of their cards in their hand, which means that your hand is essentially a conveyor belt of beans, some good and some bad. This brings me to the best part of the game; trading. Players can trade or even donate beans to other players. In this way, you’re trying to get rid of beans you don’t want before you have to plant them, creating an interesting dynamic where giving away cards cards does help yourself, but you don’t really want to give them too much.

    This is what separates Bohnanza from other games centred around trading; trading generally benefits both parties, and the winner of the game is generally the player who manages to make small gains over several trades. The free-form trading allows players to really get creative in how they negotiate, as players are constrained by trying to convince others to help them while also trying to cull unwanted cards from their hand. The game can be extremely cut-throat, or it can be really lighthearted. It really depends on your group.

    Sometimes it might be worthwhile to deny someone else a card they want, even if it means having to sell off a set that hasn’t been completed. Since there are different amounts of beans in the deck, beans are valued differently.

    Rarer beans are harder to come by, but they only require smaller sets to reward you for collecting them. But since multiple people may be vying for the same bean, the competition for that type of bean may go up, and someone who manages to get some of them can capitalise on the competition between collectors. The perceived value of certain beans fluctuates dramatically as some beans get scarcer and scarcer, and players find themselves dealing with a very fickle bean stock market (beanstalk market? Yes. I’m rolling with this).

    That being said, much like most games with a negotiating and trading mechanic involved, the mileage you get from Bohnanza really depends on your group. If they love the back and forth negotiations and deal-making, this game will be a hit. If the group is generally quieter and more reserved, Bohnanza can definitely fall flat.

     

    Another key issue with Bohnanza is that it tends to run pretty long. The game ends once you’ve run through the deck between two to three times depending on the player count. This turns a light game about trading beans into a rather drawn out affair. Depending on how well players have taken to the game, it may feel like it’s overstayed its welcome. However, if players are fully engrossed, the rounds can fly by, and these games sometimes feel like they ended a little too early.

    A huge plus for Bohnanza is that it can hold up to seven players, although it does have a sweet spot of around five or six. Like many games with large player counts, there’s always the concern of downtime. This is kept to a minimum though. Even though it isn’t your turn, you’re engaged, paying attention to what happens on other players’ turns – what are they planting? Do they want to trade? How many garden beans are left in the deck?

    Closing Thoughts on Bohnanza

    Bohnanza is a fantastic game. It definitely lacks the component wow factor most games have nowadays, but for a small deck of cards that can easily fit in a backpack, it really packs a punch. There’s a lot of game in this small box, and for just over ten pounds, it’s a steal.

    Zatu Score

    Rating

    • Artwork
    • Complexity
    • Replayability
    • Player Interaction
    • Component Quality

    You might like

    • The great player interaction.
    • High quality cards and artwork.
    • That it can be really thinky and competitive.

    Might not like

    • That it can run a little long for what it is.
    • Enjoyment relies on the group you're playing with.

    Zatu Blog

    Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

    Join us today to receive exclusive discounts, get your hands on all the new releases and much more!

    Excellent
    08000075444
    Bowthorpe Main Centre, Unit 15, Norwich NR5 9HA
    Zatu Games is rated 4.89 based on 11727
    Reviews

    I love using Zatu, I'm a beginner in the star wars x-wing and Armada world and Zatu are a great company for selling and promoting table top games. Great service and a great price.

    I love using Zatu, I'm a beginner in the star wars x-wing and Armada world and Zatu are a great company for selling and promoting table top games. Great service and a great price.

    Great service and competitive prices. Staff are very helpful and understanding.

    Great service and competitive prices. Staff are very helpful and understanding.

    I bought this for a Christmas present, we already have it at home and spend many happy hours playing it. It is suitable for all ages . My six grandchildren's ages range from 5 to 17 and we have all played it together. Very fast service, I would definitely use the company again. X

    I bought this for a Christmas present, we already have it at home and spend many happy hours playing it. It is suitable for all ages . My six grandchildren's ages range from 5 to 17 and we have all played it together. Very fast service, I would definitely use the company again. X

    Perfect quality, very speedy delivery and perhaps the best prices I have seen. And to top it all off an absolutely amazing range of products, from classics to niche games. Would recommend to anyone!

    Perfect quality, very speedy delivery and perhaps the best prices I have seen. And to top it all off an absolutely amazing range of products, from classics to niche games. Would recommend to anyone!

    The games arrived within specified time and were as described. Have used Zatu before and we've always had a positive experience.

    The games arrived within specified time and were as described. Have used Zatu before and we've always had a positive experience.

    One of the top 3 go to places for all my Boardgaming needs. Great prices, discounts, deals, fast deliveries, stock availability, etc. Occasionally some items may be listed at an unusually high price ie- higher than RRP = these are generally rare and obvious mistakes given the clear and overall discounted prices of games listed by Zatu, but these are also typically corrected in time by Zatu themselves or if you send them a quick email highlighting the item and it's attributed high price.

    One of the top 3 go to places for all my Boardgaming needs. Great prices, discounts, deals, fast deliveries, stock availability, etc. Occasionally some items may be listed at an unusually high price ie- higher than RRP = these are generally rare and obvious mistakes given the clear and overall discounted prices of games listed by Zatu, but these are also typically corrected in time by Zatu themselves or if you send them a quick email highlighting the item and it's attributed high price.

    A great puzzle and, consisting of 2000 pieces, it has taken a while for my wife and I to complete. We're nearly there, here's hoping there isn't one piece missing.

    A great puzzle and, consisting of 2000 pieces, it has taken a while for my wife and I to complete. We're nearly there, here's hoping there isn't one piece missing.

    I'd had my eye on Scythe for a couple of weeks and decided to buy it as birthday present to myself. Zatu was the preferred option for price and speed of delivery (compared to another online delivery service) and it duly arrived intact and perfect within the timeframe advertised. I would recommend Zatu to anyone for hobby games.

    I'd had my eye on Scythe for a couple of weeks and decided to buy it as birthday present to myself. Zatu was the preferred option for price and speed of delivery (compared to another online delivery service) and it duly arrived intact and perfect within the timeframe advertised. I would recommend Zatu to anyone for hobby games.

    Had my eye on Scythe for a couple of weeks and finally decided to buy it as a birthday present to myself. Zatu was the best option on price (compared to another online delivery service) and duly arrived intact and in perfect condition within the time frame advertised. I would highly recommend Zatu to anyone.

    Had my eye on Scythe for a couple of weeks and finally decided to buy it as a birthday present to myself. Zatu was the best option on price (compared to another online delivery service) and duly arrived intact and in perfect condition within the time frame advertised. I would highly recommend Zatu to anyone.

    Really good prices and deliveries have always been on time. I love that the games all have reviews and recommendations, really helps you to decide which one to buy next!

    Really good prices and deliveries have always been on time. I love that the games all have reviews and recommendations, really helps you to decide which one to buy next!

    Read All Reviews