29 December 2009

Board Game Review: Bananagrams

To be fair, this isn't really a board game, as there's no board. The game equipment consists entirely of 144 letter tiles and a banana-shaped zipper bag in which they are all stored. Even so, it's a lot of fun, and I'm going to review it for you now.

For starters, we have the statistics: 
Strategy: 2
Randomness: 4
Complexity: 1
Humour: None
Attractiveness: Useful
Expected Length of Game Play: around fifteen minutes.The game is amazingly simple. All the letter tiles are placed face down in the centre of the play area. Each player takes some tiles (the number depends on how many players there are). Someone calls 'Split!' and all players turn over their tiles. Each player uses his tiles independently and simultaneously to create a crossword-style grid of words. When a player uses the last of his tiles, he calls 'Peel,' and all players take another tile from the centre. If you have a tile you don't like, you can return it in exchange for three new tiles.

Once there are more players than tiles remaining in the centre, the first person to use his last tile calls 'Bananas!' The other players then get to inspect his grid. If there are any errors (proper nouns, misspelled words, non-words, &c.), that player is out and the remaining players continue. If there are no errors, he wins that round.

That's all there is to it.

This game is fun and easy, and best of all, amazingly portable. The bag containing all the tiles can easily be carried with you, and in fact, one of the rules variants is designed to keep you entertained at a restaurant while waiting for your food!

If you want to try it before you buy it (and I recommend that you buy it; it's a worthwhile investment!), there is a facebook application that excellently models the physical game.

So there you have it. A very short review, but it's for a very simple game. Quick and easy. I hope you enjoyed it, and until next time,

Game on!

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