Getting Your Children to Say “Yes” to BroccoliSeptember 24, 2019
Ryan of The Inquisitive Meeple (and his two younger children) looks at Yes! Broccoli!
Note: This article is also cross-posted on Adventures in Gameschooling.
Yes! Broccoli! is a blind bidding card game (think For Sale or Hol’s de Geier) for ages 6+. The goal of the game is to have the most points at the end of the game. You win points through bidding on food cards worth a different number of points during gameplay. There are also basic and advanced versions as a way to handicap older players when playing with young children.
- Yes! Broccoli!
- Player Count: 2-5 Players
- Ages 6+
- 10-30 Minutes
- Published by Gangway Games
- Designed By Mark O’Connor
- Theme: Food
- Mechanics: Blind Bidding/Auction
How to Play It
Basic Game – This game is very easy to explain. A player has a set of bidding cards numbered 1-8 in their player color. There are 8 rounds in the game, and each round you will use one of those bidding cards to earn a scoring card (once a bidding card is used, it is gone for the game). Each round, X number of cards (same as the number of players) are placed out. These cards show different healthy and unhealthy foods. Healthy foods have a positive score, and junk food has a negative score, with Broccoli being the highest scoring food in the game. Players bid by choosing a number card, placing it face down in front of them and at the same time, revealing their cards. The highest bid wins and is the first to claim a scoring food card. Then second highest card claims a scoring card, and so on. Players MUST take a food card. If there is a tie, each color has some broccoli symbols on the corner of the bid card, the highest number of broccoli wins. Each color has a different distribution of broccoli symbols of different numbers. For example, the blue 8 has 4 broccoli while the red 8 has 3. The game goes on for 8 rounds, and you add up (and subtract) the food cards, highest total wins.
Advance game – the advance game plays much like the basic, but you play a total of 3 games, and then add up the score for the winning total. Players, also are dealt 2 one-time up special cards they can use to change their or their opponent bidding totals, or break the normal rules of the game, etc.
Handicapping – The game comes with 9 cards, that can replace the 1 cards in a younger child deck, as a way to even out the gameplay between different skill levels.
General Gameplay Thoughts
I have played Yes! Broccoli! a handful of times now, both as a 2-player and 4-player game. In the 4-player, we played with two adults, an 11 and 5-year old. The 5-year old kept wanting to get unhealthy foods like cake and candy, but she soon learned her lesson and caught on you don’t want those. In fact, a few days later when I played it as a 2-player game, against that very same 5-year-old, she completely stomped me (we did use handicap rules – maybe I am the one that needed the number 9 card!). It was very smart of the designer to add a handicapping system to Yes! Broccoli!.
The first time I tried Yes! Broccoli! at the 2-player count, it was the advance variant with my 5th grader. Not expecting very much (2-player bidding games are notorious for falling flat), we played with the power cards and the 3 rounds total the final score. Let me say, we had a blast that way, there was a LOT of laughter that game. The power cards REALLY did liven the game up when you are not playing with the under 8 crowds. I will say, when I was reading the rules, I was a bit confused about why they choose tie-breakers if power cards are played at the same time to be based on age. In a more gamer-y game, it must likely be whoever is closest to the dealer in a given direction. Here, it is the oldest to youngest. That said, some of the cards can negate other cards, giving the youngest player an advantage – or at least in theory.
Some family thoughts:
Olivia Meeple (Kindergarten) thoughts: Well, I loved it. I really like cake, but since I got negative I don’t like that. But, what I think about the game is it’s just the best, I love it! I want to know if we can play it again tonight.
Gavin (5th-grade): I like the idea of unhealthy food being negative and that healthier things have higher points. I like the power cards, as they can give you a boost. I think the game is pretty cool.
My Final Thoughts:
Overall, Yes! Broccoli! is a simple but pleasant enough little blind-bidding game at both the 2 & 4-player count, and one that would be great to use to introduce elementary-age children to the gameplay mechanic. Would I play it with just adults? Honestly, no, for that I have games like Money or For Sale. To me, besides the A-MAZ-ING art and the unique theme – the selling point on this one is, you can play with the whole family and with kids of various ages together. If you’re playing with some older elementary age or middle school children you can throw in those power cards. If you’re playing includes lower elementary age children too, play the basic version of the game. I mean there are not many (if any other) bidding games that a Kindergarten can play along with. So, if you are looking for a new mechanic to introduce to your family of elementary-aged children – make sure to look into Gangway Games’ Yes! Broccoli!
If readers would like to learn more about the story behind the creation of the Yes! Broccoli! you can do so by reading this interview we did with the designer, by clicking here: https://www.inquisitivemeeple.com/mark-oconnor-wants-you-to-say-yes-to-broccoli/
If you like to pick up a copy of Yes! Broccoli! you can do so by clicking here: https://www.gangwaygames.com/shop.html
Thanks to Gangway Games for sending a review copy for an honest review.