Growing fields of beans isn’t generally a theme that grabs everyone to come and play like high fantasy or other themes. But when a game is simple and fun enough, any theme can make a great game. Bohnanza is a game of set collection and trading cards between players. Sometimes you are going to have to make trades that are better for your opponent than for you as you really don’t want the card you are trying to trade away.
During the game each player will have a hand of cards. Unlike any other game we can think of, the order of cards in your hand is super important and you can’t rearrange them once you receive cards. At the start of your turn you have to play the first card in your hand. Even if you have to uproot a field to do so (you only have two fields to start with). Then you can optionally play the next one, generally only if it matches one of your fields already in play.
The largest part of the game is next. On your turn you get dealt two random cards from the top of the deck into the middle of the table. You have to plant these two cards unless you can trade them away. And everything traded for or with also has to be planted immediately. Players can even revolve cards in their hand in order to get them into a better order than they are in currently. Once you have a good healthy crop, you can sell off the entire field for coins which varies in value based on the type of bean.
At its core Bohnanza becomes a great negotiation game as you deal with the beans you draw and trade with other players. We have even had people offer to trade hugs for beans as they didn’t have anything else to offer. With its quick playing time it can be a silly trading game to play around the table.