MDA Of Bohnanza

I recently learned to play a game called Bohnanza. I would consider it somewhat of a card game cross-over of Catan and Monopoly where the objective is to acquire, plant, and harvest bean crops for the most amount of money in the game . I wouldn’t usually like games like this (because it can be long, complicated, and requires a lot of strategy), but there was something about Bohnanza that made those elements add to the fun. In learning about MDA this week, I now know that these elements are indeed the mechanics and dynamics of the game that create a unique aesthetic of fun and play.

At a high-level, the mechanics of Bohnanza is that of a simple card game where the cards are shuffled for randomization, distributed to each player and each player uses the cards in their hands and on the table to execute and finish a turn. Card trading is a huge element of the game. This can be considered a mechanic of the game but it also works to create interplayer dynamics that push the aesthetics of the game. As players go through the game, they pick up random bean cards that may or may not be what is needed to advance the limited amount of crops they’ve already planted in the game, therefore trading is needed to curate your raw goods for your particular game objective.

Another unique dynamic is that players must use cards in their hands in the order in which they were dealt only, creating a aesthetic of challenge where players are forced to play (or figure out what to do with) the next card in line.

These mechanics and dynamics come together to create a game with Challenge and Fellowship as its primary aesthetic.

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