Greater Than Games Viva Java: the Coffee Game
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- For 3-8 players
- 60-120 minute playing time
- Ages 14 and up
- A refreshing blend of euro style flavors
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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Viva java: the coffee game is all about finding that perfect blend of beans to create the next best-seller in the coffee houses and kitchens of the world. In the game, players send their researchers to hot spots around the Globe to gather the perfect bean. This may bring them into contact with other players who are also on the hunt, creating a crucial choice: go it alone and continue to research, or join forces with that opponent, hoping to combine beans from both player's bags and share the score with a super blend. Research can often prove useful as players spend time in the lab developing abilities that Grant them an advantage. However, in Viva Java the bold taste of victory will go only to those players who are able to balance solitary research with cooperation amongst their fellow gamers.
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||8.78 x 2.68 x 11.73 in||8 x 8 x 2 in||2.76 x 10.87 x 10.87 in||9 x 2.8 x 9 in||11.6 x 11.6 x 3.15 in||2.2 x 11.8 x 12.6 in|
|Item Weight||2 lbs||—||3 lbs||2 lbs||3.53 lbs||3.46 lbs|
Top customer reviews
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Viva Java is a strategy game with elements of social interaction. It's a small social element--a nuance, like trading in Settlers of Catan, where the players try to gain leverage with one another to accomplish an action in their best interests. On each turn, the players:
1) Place their field researchers on the world map and gather coffee beans (and activate country abilities)
2) Players in the same area of the world form a team and the team votes on whether to make a new Blend of coffee or Research new improvements
3) Score points based on the best coffee blends
There's a lot more to the game than that, but this is the simple sequence of each turn. During the second part of the turn, each team acts independently which means that every player is engaged practically all the time. There's not much waiting around in Viva Java. The game is always moving forward, no matter how many people are playing.
The game also comes with a number of variant components which you can add to the game for more complexity. I've read reviews that say the game plays best with a large number of players, but in my experience it doesn't play better, it just plays differently. The game comes with an additional element (Interns) for use with a 3-4 player game, which in my opinion gave the game a little more strategic depth, and made it easier to block the actions of others. That is to say that I've enjoyed the game immensely with 3 players as well as with 8 players. The experience was very different, but equally fun.
So far, everyone who's played my copy of the game has been delighted with it. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on the best strategy, and I think we need to play it a dozen more times before we figure that out (if there IS a "best strategy"). However, everyone I've played it with has been engaged by it and wanted to play it again (and again). On big game nights when we have a large number of guests, this game is a winner. For a good evening of big group board gaming, I'd pair Viva Java with 7 Wonders and then maybe a light follow up of Slide 5 or Tsuro.
The game's biggest shortcoming is probably its accessibility to colorblind players. The brown, green, and red beans all look similar to them. Yet, I've played the game with 2 colorblind players and while those colors were tough for them to distinguish they very much enjoyed themselves. For the non-colorblind, the colors complement each other extremely well, the palette of the game a warm blend of coffee-themed colors.
It is not that hard to learn. The rule book is a bit lengthy however, after doing a search on youtube I found some informative videos that helped me get started with no problems. It plays fairly straightforward. You score points by researching or making blends.
This is a fun themed game for coffee lovers.
Attn: dice lovers: There is also a dice version of this game which is just as fun.
Cons: Learning the game is tricky (but all the good ones are aren't they?) While the directions are confusing - I have found great support on their facebook page. Just like the page and ask your question. We have played with a 8, 7, and 5 year old - so it's learn-able.