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Mutation in bean country! As bean farmers, the players are conspiring together in the greenhouse. They transform soy into runner beans, runner beans into broad beans and still try to redeem their bonus cards.
- 33 Cards
Average Rating: 3 in 1 review
Bohnanza is the 'Settlers oc Catan' of the card game genre, having spawned a number of supplements and sequel games, including ones set in space. The similarities between the two franchises are surprising in that respect. Mutabohn is one of the more recent expansions to the basic game system, and it is a nice, albeit unnecessary, addition to the series.
The idea here is that the beans now have the ability to mutate, devolving to the next more common type of bean. This makes it easier to create long runs of a bean type, as one can start with a rare bean from your hand, then progressively mutate the beans in the field with progressively more common beans. In order to offset this new flexibility, the third bean field is no longer an option.
If this were the only change to the game, it would qualify as nothing but an interesting variation, but there is more. The game includes a number of gene cards, which show icons for different combinations of beans in a field, not my type but by progressive commonality. For example, a card might show AAABB, which would require the last five cards in a field to be comprised of 3 of one commonality, followed by 2 of the next more common bean. If the field matches the gene code on the card, the card can be cashed in, added to the score pile. The cards are worth 30 to 70 bean pennies, which can add a few bean dollars to one's score pile over the course of the game. Each player has two or three of these cards in hand at any one time, so it is fairly easy to match these up.
This makes for a nice change to the basic Bohnanza game without adding a lot of complexity. It also makes the trade phase a bit more interesting, as there are more potential owners for beans put up for trade. Nice, but as I said, not a necessity for enjoying the game. This is recommended for Bohnanza fans more than for the casual player.