Bananagrams is a word-tile game designed by Rena Nathanson and Abe Nathanson, and is published by Bananagrams. Each player gets a certain number of tiles at the start of the game and the goal of each player is to be the first to use all of their tiles to create words in a crossword pattern. If you have a tile that you just can’t figure out how to use you can yell “BUNCH”, put that tile back and take three more! If you use all of your tiles you yell “PEEL” and then each player (including you) takes a new tile. The first player to complete their crossword with no remaining letters either in their hand or in the center of the table yells “BANANAGRAMS” and wins!
Everyone has heard of Bananagrams and the many, many fruit-encased games that have come after it. I had never played the game before, but I must say I really enjoyed it. The game isn’t as serious as Scrabble, as everyone is racing to use all of their tiles first, and you aren’t worried about points or anything like that. But the tension builds as you struggle to find words for that “X” you just picked up, and you are hoping that the last tile in the middle is a stupid “Q” or something so that you can get your tile into place before your opponent! I enjoyed Bananagrams quite a bit. For such a relatively simple game, it really builds the tension and excitement.