Need a timeless board game option that brings you back to silly game nights from your childhood? Bohnanza is for you! From the art style to the interaction to the pace of play, it just has that low-stakes, fun-having vibe—which makes it a great game to grab on any family game night.
11yo: “I loved the funny bean characters!”
The bean art on these cards is the cream of the crop! Each type of bean has a cute character with heaps of personality, and the kids laughed at each one. The cards also show you how many coins the beans can earn you, but look close! It can be hard at a glance to see how many coins there are.
As we learned how to play, the most difficult part for the kids (and us too!) was keeping the cards in our hands in the same order at all times. Sounds easy in theory, but we were always fighting the urge to arrange our beans by type or pull one out to offer in trade.
And let’s talk about trading! You want to trade with other players to get the beans you need, so it’s really important to pay attention to what everyone else is planting or trading for. The genius of Bohnanza is that they made it really easy and fun to follow what’s going on, and just paying a little attention will give you immediate benefits—so it’s fun too! If your game nights suffer from people only focusing on their own turns, Bohnanza is a great game to bust out and up the table engagement.
9yo: “I liked that we all collected our favourite beans. It made us treasure them even more.”
Collecting matching cards is a simple enough goal for young players. But the game really kicks into gear as the bean availability decreases and strategy becomes more important. Understanding which beans to buy at what times makes it a lot of fun for adults and those more strategically-minded kids. And the side alliances at our table made things even more exciting.
The game recommends players be twelve or older, but we found that both our nine and eleven year old understood the game by the end of our first few rounds—and they could likely play it independently after that. Though they didn’t always understand some of the deeper strategies which would have optimized their bean crops.
Bohnanza took us 45 minutes for our first game, and would likely be faster the next time we play, so it’s great for a short game or to play multiple times in a row. And even though the adults understood the game strategy a bit more, there’s still a luck factor, which left us with pretty similar scores at the end!
If you’re looking for a fast game to add to your collection that you’ll actually enjoy playing too, Bohnanza is a great choice.
- Play your first game without the coffee, cocoa, and wax beans to keep it simple, then add them in for future games! (The rulebook tells you to do this.)
- Create bean monopolies, bean alliances, and bean trade embargoes to add more laughs and interactions as you play.
- Great game to choose with a multi-generational crowd.