The Bears and the Bees

The bears and the bees

Game: The Bears and the Bees (Grandpa Beck‘s) Players: 2- 5
Time: 30+ Age: 8+
Difficulty: easy Replay Value: medium

You are a hive master, trying to lay down all of your cards before anyone else does in an increasingly difficult puzzle. The bears and the bees is a 2-4 player game playing best with 4 for complimenting game length and strategy. Place all your color coordinated tiles before someone else does. Use Domino-style to match colors and sides to other tiles in the game. Take advantage of the worker bees or the drones for a bonus. The objective can be reached in 30 minutes or less and is great for a family game night or an after work 2 player quickie. Let’s see what all the buzz is about.

What I Don’t Like

I do wish the bears had a bigger impact in the game. Playing a bear down in the game just eliminates that section of the hive from being used. So imagine it removes a couple of the options from you to play a tile. With more bears being played in the game, it’s the same story. I know that the bear is not supposed to be a good card and something you’d want to discard–but the discard punishment is worse than playing it and ending your turn right after.

What I Like

But what I did enjoy was how strategic this game felt! I didn’t rely on much luck to win but tried to plan my moves a couple turns ahead. I would be Filling in gaps that my opponents were eyeing, scoring some 3 sided placements for bonus actions, playing tiles that I thought would potentially influence my opponents’ next move. I love the added content of the worker bees, flowers, and the drones that really spice up the gameplay with forcing card draws or receiving bonus plays.

It’s so simple but crafted so well, there is no filler fluff and each placement of cards or bonus actions are something to celebrate. The changing landscape, the 4 or 5 sided placement power plays, it’s all rewarding to say the least. The rules catered to my expectations nicely. Fluid roadmap to how to play the game answering the questions I had at the right time. Very accessible.

Final Thoughts

This is a game that can be open to anyone who wants to play. Color matching for the kids and strategy for the adults. Major celebrations for power placements and the adrenaline rush of seeing that perfect move while still having to wait for your opponents’to take their turn. The artwork compliments the theme really well and I’m actually pretty impressed with how well the different colors still keeps a nice look without looking like a mess. If you’re looking for a solid tile placement board game give this a go.


Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.

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