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Subject: Game overview... rss

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There are some good reviews here already, which give a fine explanation to the dynamics and rules of the game. My attempt here is to give you an overall sense of game play without going into detail of how to play.

We have found Bohnanza to be a great little game; addictive and fun. At first glance it may look like a children's game (Bean farming? Come on!), but it is not. Sure it looks quirky with the oversized box and humorous artwork, (like a Black Eyed Bean wearing boxing gloves and touting a black eye). But underneath is a seriously fun game.

Here are some things that make Bohnanza unique:

1. It is very interactive. It may not be your turn but you are always involved. Either you are trading, dickering over a deal or trying to convince another player to give/take something for free. It is not loud, but the game involves everyone.

2. The way the cards are played. The game mechanic of having to play your cards in the order in which they are dealt (or drawn) is brilliant. It is what makes the game work - and what makes it so fun. Because you are forced to play (plant) the first/next card in your hand, you have to decide what you want to do with it before your turn rolls around. If you don't want to plant it, you can try and trade it to another player or you can try giving it away. If that doesn't work, you'll have to harvest a field of beans you planted - possibly too early to make any money.

3. You help the other players get ahead. Who has heard of a game where you would actually be assisting your opponents by giving them cards they need? In Bohnanza you can be in a situation where you want rid of a card so badly that you will donate it to another player even though it will mean your opponent may make more money. But not doing so, would destroy what you have been working on...so you do it.

4. There is measure of strategy. Even though card shuffling and dealing makes the game luck based, Bohnanza leaves room for choice and scheming. For example, an opponent may be offering you a card can use but you can refuse the offer and force that player to harvest early and plant the bean card they are trying to get rid of.

5. You almost never know who the winner is going to be. With everyone planting, trading, and harvesting you usually can't keep track of who has been doing what. You count your gold pieces at the end and...'Ta-Da'...you won. And you had no idea you were in the lead.

6. It is a great family game. It took us a bit of time to fully understand the rules, but once we had them under our belts we were off...and hooked. It is a perfect length, with enough interaction to keep everyone's attention. And the game is fun even if you lose. You just want to be dealt in and a part of the action. It is clever game that we have had a lot of fun with.

7. There is a good expansion. High Bohn Plus adds two new ways to play. By adding Order cards to you hand, players have a second way to make money. Also, purchasing buildings with your earnings allows players to 'break' the rules and gives each player unique control over their bean farming empire. It gives the game a boost of energy when it starts to seem stale and tired.
 
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