“If only this were as cool as it could have been,” is a saying that all bloggers should have tattooed on our foreheads, but good heavens, if only this green buying board game were as cool as it could have been. Instead, it’s a vituperable bunch of bean-blending caffeine driven drivel. Via Wired:
VivaJava is a worker placement game with a twist. Instead of building your own coffee empire alone, you are forced to work together with your opponents in order to create the best blend of beans.
Each round begins with players moving their Field Researcher pawns onto the World Map. Each spot has a randomized Country Token on it, which may offer victory point bonuses, additional coffee beans, or even penalties.
Then, the players are split up based on which regions their Field Researchers visited. Your team must choose whether to Blend or Research. After a brief discussion, the teammates each secretly decide which option they are choosing, and they use their Blend/Research Token to indicate their vote. The majority wins, with ties resulting in Research.
Research allows individual players to spend 3 Research Points to improve various abilities. Take extra beans from countries, cull unwanted beans from your Roaster Bag, get credit for other players’ blends, or deploy Flavor Cards. The Research Tracks allow you to break the game in various ways to give yourself an edge over the other players.
Blending means that you and your teammates must reach into your Roaster Bags and offer up blah blah blah blah blah blah et al, anon and on anon, etc.
Wake us when someone finally releases a “Coffee: The Gathering” deck.