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Bananagrams Split

BananagramsNo, it’s not a stuffed banana. Bananagrams is a great new word game that’s sort of a takeoff on Scrabble. Players are “dealt” a predetermined number of letter tiles, and then each player uses his/her letters to create a personal assortment of intersecting words. As the letters dealt get used, more letters are taken from the pile, and when the letters are gone, the first player to have used every letter wins. The banana serves as a pouch to hold 144 letter tiles as well as the game instructions.

My friend Jessica, an elementary school teacher, discovered this game at Toy Fair. She raved about it, brought me to their booth to play with her, then roundly beat me (and a table of others). I liked it so much, I bought one for my mom and teenaged sister, who both love word games. More enthusiastic thumbs up, and they even invented a new variation on the game. The truth is, you can do a lot with a pouch full of letters and a little bit of creativity, and I think that’s part of the idea. The company’s website suggests a number of alternative instructions, including a variation that can be played at a restaurant while waiting for dinner. Recommended for ages 7-107, and can be played solitaire or with 2-8 players.

2 comments

  1. Thank you so much for your wonderful review of our game. It really is nice to know that from a few ideas two years ago, to create a more portable & fluid word game, that we have made what is turning into a ‘must have game’, and dare I say, “a future classic”!

    I would be really interested to hear more information on the variation your mom and teenage sister came up with. Who knows, we may even include it in future instructions and on our website.

    Again many thanks.

    Simon – The Bananagrams Team

  2. Hi there,
    Thanks for your comment. My mom and sister played the game a bit more like Scrabble, working together on one, big matrix of words instead of having each person work on her own. They took turns, and followed the existing rules for taking tiles. On each turn, the player could rearrange the whole matrix in order to use the most letters. They played cooperatively, with the goal to create a game board that included all of the letters in the game.

    For some, it won’t seem as much fun without the speed and competition, but it is really nice to have a game that can be played cooperatively on occasion. I think it’s a great variation for younger children, too.

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