More info about Seize the Bean can be found on Kickstarter page
The game campaign runs until February 15th.
You can also check their YouTube channel and Facebook page.

I honestly wonder if “Seize The Bean” is a funny reference to “Seize The Day”? You may know from the Latin quote: “Carpe Diem”.
However, it would be a nice thought: “enjoy your day – enjoy your coffee”.

And in case you wonder: I don’t even like coffee! In my opinion, it tastes disgusting!
Sorry coffee lovers.

I really love this thematic game. Because of the artwork on the box, I can’t wait to see what’s in it. Because of the components, the game asks for attention, asks to be played.

What attracted me the most in this game is the artwork. The cards are just awesome! That’s why (in my opinion) the illustrator, Mario Fernández García-Pulgar, deserves a special recommendation.

Even after playing the game 6 times, I still don’t get bored by looking at those customers, products & upgrades. The, not so obvious, illustrations on every card makes the game come alive in its own way.

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Enough said about the cards, what about the other components?
20180130_183623Well, we have very neat coffee beans (they look so real), milk cartons and sugar cubes that represent the MAIN mechanism of the game.  They lift the game to a higher level, but aren’t really necessary to play the game. But hey, sometimes the eye also wants to be spoiled. We need those goods to serve our customers.
In the rulebook there is stated that there is also a green bean, but I couldn’t find it in my review copy.

The gameplay is pretty simple and sometimes it can feel repetitive. But don’t we get that in almost every game, even in real life? Nag, nag, enough philosophy.

Because of the simplicity of the phases, the game is accessible for every type of player.

This is what you are going to do:

Every day (round) has 4 phases, which I will describe very briefly.
(If you want to know more about ruling, I refer to my summary of the rules or the kickstarter of Seize The Bean.)

  • Every day (except the 1st round) begins with SERVING CUSTOMERS. Served customers sometimes get you a good review. Customers who don’t get served, are getting angry and would be able to give you a bad review. We don’t want that, do we? Every customer has a special ability that gets activated by serving them.
  • After serving it’s time to play some ACTIONS. Every player has 2 action meeples at their disposal. With those meeples you can choose out of 6 different actions. First 3 actions are scooping coffee, taking milk cartons or taking sugar cubes. The second 3 actions are inviting customers, store a goods card or store an upgrade. Note: when activating 1 of those actions, you also get the benefit of any symbol lying next to the activated action, if there are any of course.
  • With “WORD OF MOUTH” we will know if our bar is known in the streets of the city. Customers in the city who have the same symbol as one of your top product cards and/or all upgrade cards, WILL visit your bar. If there is more then 1, you can choose which one will get in line. When there is NO match, you got bad “word to mouth”, and no customer will visit your bar that day.
  • After a hard day at work, it’s time to CLOSE THE BAR, time to clean. In the city, there will appear a new customer, a new product and a new upgrade. The start player token passes on and then a new day will start. New customers will visit your bar, how many depends on how popular your bar is (this is indicated by the “hype-track”). But if your bar is as popular as Primark, the customers will run down your door to taste that delicious coffee of yours.

The fun in this game is getting people to visit your bar. Which customers you attract to your bar, depends on the products and upgrades you store. Will it be hipsters, musicians, party animals…?

Every customer has something special they really like (upper right corner)! Maybe it’s quality coffee, cake, croissants or donuts. The special ability of a customer (down in the middle) can be a benefit or a disadvantage.

The difficulty of this game is the abundance of symbols, there are really a lot of different symbols. The first couple of times playing the game takes a lot of time because of searching and trying to understand those symbols. But once you get the hang of it, it runs pretty smoothly. Therefore it might be a wise decision of the designer to include a player aid for the symbols.

20180131_151306Me and the other people I played with, had a huge struggle with the little components like the good reviews, bad reviews and the hype tokens. In my opinion, the hype tokens don’t have to be that small, but then again this all is just a prototype.

Another thing we didn’t really enjoy, was how the scoring works for the customers groups. Every player counts the symbols of their customer groups. The player with the largest number of symbols of every group gets the crown and therefore the points of that group. The other players get nothing. I believe it would be better that every player gets their amount of points for the customers, but only the player with the most symbols of that group gets rewarded additional points.20180124_000245

From my point of view, the game was a bit too simple in the beginning, too easy, not much tension around the table. But when I played a little more on the edge, I challenged myself to resolve the upcoming problems with serving, what makes the game more interesting. On that base, the designer is working on several different levels of difficulty.

Considering the different components and the 550+ cards, you really get VALUE FOR YOUR MONEY at this point. The reached stretch goals on kickstarter give the game just that extra touch.

Many thanks to:
Ann Geeraerts
All testplayers
Quality Beast for the prototype
Bordspelcafé “The Playground”