Wednesday April 17th 2024

Bananagrams – You’ll go bananas for this simple game

I discovered Bananagrams at my in-laws house over the Christmas holiday. It is a fun game that you can play with just two people or a larger group. The rules are not very complicated – it is quite similar to Scrabble with a few fun twists. The game pieces come in a cute little canvas pouch that is shaped like a yellow banana. The pouch contains about 150 beige tiles with a single black letter on each.

How to Play

The rules of Bananagrams are quite simple. Each player takes between 11 and 21 tiles (depending on how many people are playing). The players then individually start to make words out of their tiles – you do not take turns in this game but play at the same time, racing against each other. Just like Scrabble you need to make your words attach to the other words, but in this game you do not have a game board. When you can not form anymore words from your remaining tiles you yell “dump” and trade one of your tiles for three upside down tiles in the bunch.

If you use all of your tiles you yell “peel” and every player needs to take another tile. Once all tiles have been distributed the first player to use up all their tiles yells, “bananas” and is declared the winner. Of course, with a bag full of letters you could really make up your own game and rules to your taste.

Fun Factor

This game is both fun and good for the mind. It would be a good game for younger children to practice their spelling or great fun for older family members with a competitive spirit. You might even try and make the game more challenging while playing with friends by picking a theme for the words that must be spelled. The instructions even suggest the game would be well played alone “solitaire style” where you play try and use the tiles as fast as possible and beat your previous times.

On the downside there is nothing fancy to the game. These days we are all so used to video games and things with lots of moving parts so some people might have a hard time sitting still long enough to play. The game is best played with a competitive group who can hoot and holler over misspelled or made up words.


I think this is a great game for everyone old enough to spell. There is not much to the game, just a stack of tiles and some basic instructions. The tiles come in an easy to store pouch making the game very portable. Pull it out of your bag and you have an instant crowd pleaser.

Also posted to Epinions.

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