If you love word games, then the fun-filled, fast-paced Bananagrams game is one you will surely enjoy.
Abe Nathanson, inventor of Bananagrams, created the game to fill his family's desire for a word game that his entire family would enjoy playing. Avid word game players, the family wanted a game that all members of the family could enjoy, regardless of their ages. At the time, the three-generation family ranged in age from seven to 75.
Originally, the Bananagrams game was created just for the family's use. However, everyone who played the game loved it. Family and friends suggested that Abe Nathanson, who was in his mid-70s, launch his invention at the 2006 Toy Fair in London. The game became a huge success and has won many awards including the 2009 Game of the Year at the Toy of The Year Awards.
The Bananagrams Game
Unlike the classic board game Scrabble, Bananagrams is not played on a game board. No one keeps score, and letters are all equal in value. Players do not take turns, instead they all play at the same time in a race against each other.
Packaged in a unique way, the game is inside a banana shaped casing instead of a box. The packaging makes the game very portable. Bananagrams lovers often take their tile-filled banana with them into restaurants and play while waiting for their meals.
Game pieces include following:
- The banana shaped case
- 144 letter tiles known as the Bunch
With the exception f the word bunch, all of the other game terms are called out during game play.
- The Bunch - Refers to all 144 word tiles.
- Split - This word begins game play.
- Peel - Used when a player uses all of his original letters.
- Dump - Used when a player trades an unwanted letter tile back to the bunch and is required to take three tiles back.
- Bananas - This is the word the winning player must call out at the end of a hand.
- Rotten banana - This refers to the player that calls out "bananas" and is found to have a word that is misspelled, incorrect, or unacceptable in his hand. A rotten banana must return all his played letters back to the bunch and is not allowed to continue playing that hand. Play continues with the remaining players.
Playing the Game
To begin a game, place all the tiles face down on a flat surface. The number of tiles each players chooses depends on the number of people playing the game.
- For games with 2-4 players, each person chooses 21 tiles from the bunch.
- For games with 5-6 players, each person chooses 15 tiles.
- For games with 7 or more players, each person chooses 11 tiles.
Any player calls out split to begin the Bananagrams game.
- All players turn their tiles letter side up.
- All players form their own separate groups of words arranged in any direction connecting and intersecting the letters. The players play independently of one another and can rearrange their words at any time.
- Once a player uses all of his letters, he calls out the word "peel" and chooses one tile from the bunch. All other players must do the same.
- If a player wants to return a letter to the bunch, he must call out "dump" to let the other players know what is happening. The player must take three letters from the bunch and add them to his tiles.
- The hand ends when a player uses all of his letters and there are fewer tiles in the bunch than the number of players in the game.
There are a number of fun game variations found on the Bananagrams game website. These variations include the following:
- Best of .....
- Banana Smoothie
- Banana Café
- Banana Solitaire
- Banana Challenge
Where to Find Bananagrams Online
The Bananagrams game is available at:
A perfect addition to family game night, the Bananagrams game is fun for all ages.