The Bananagrams is a game that is played by at least 2 people. The objective of the game is to be the first to use all your tiles in spelling out words correctly either left to right or top to bottom of the grid.
Immediately you use your last tile, and the remaining BUNCH tiles are less than the players, you must shout out BANANA and then become the winner of that hand.
Setting up the Game
First place all the 144 letter tiles at the center of the table. Make sure they face down. That forms the BUNCH tiles. Next, pick up the unique 14 Bananagrams party tiles and place them aside.
That forms the party tiles. Make sure that each playing partner understands the role of every party tile.
Each player should then pick the starting tiles for the game. The number of starting tiles for each person will depend on the number of players taking part in the game. For example, when you have about 6 players you can pick 15 tiles each.
After each player has picked his starting tiles, take the 14 party files and mix it to the BUNCH thoroughly. All these time the tiles face down.
With the stage set for playing, anyone among the group can start the game by calling out SPLIT.
Immediately thereafter each player turns over their files to show up. Unlike other games where players take turns, in this game players take no turns.
Each person then struggles to use his tiles to make words to make meaning either from left to right or top to bottom.
Immediately after joining the last tile to the others in the grid, you must shout out PEEL. Every player (including the person who has shouted PEEL) must then pick one more tile from the BUNCH.
What if you are Stuck with a Tile and Can’t Join it with Other Tiles to Make a Word?
In that case, you must shout DUMP, return the tile to the BUNCH and exchange it with three other tiles. You are allowed to DUMP as frequent as you can unless there remain less than three tiles in the BUNCH.
But if you pick a party tile, you have to make use of it immediately. Some party tiles call for one-off use while others can be used till the end of the game.
Having Fewer Tiles Left in the BUNCH Compared to the Number of Players?
Soon there comes a time when the BUNCH has fewer tiles than the players. If after exhausting your tiles you are faced with such a scenario, instead of shouting PEEL you will have to say BANANAS.
Other players then scrutinize your grid for any misspelled word, abbreviation or punctuation. If all the words are correct then the player emerges the winner. Otherwise, if the grid contains some unaccepted words then the players shout ROTTEN BANANANS.
The victim then misses the game. The tiles with the misspelled words are then returned to the BUNCH and the game continues until a TOP BANANA WINNER emerges.
The Role of Party Tiles
Except for two-party files, the rest of the tiles take effect on your opponent.
THIEF; permits you to steal strategically located tiles from your opponent. It provides an easy way to get a letter that you need. If you become a victim of the THIEF you must replace the tile before you can announce PEEL.
FLAMINGO; gives you the power to choose a player to stand on one leg till the end of the round.
BOMBASTIC; although there are two tiles of this kind, picking just one bestows no power on you. Simply keep it beside you. On picking the second one, in the same round, it permits you to bring down your opponents’ grid thus forcing them to start afresh.
SINGLE-HANDED; Place it in front of another player and force the player to use one hand when arranging his tiles.
POUCH HEAD; it gives you the power to choose the player to wear the pouch to the end of the round.
THE SHIELD; When you pick it and Place it before you, it shields you from the power of other party tiles, except BOMBASTIC.
THUMBLESS; when placed in front of a player, that person can’t use his thumb till the game ends.
SWITCHEROO; gives you the power to trade seats with another person. However you don’t swap over tiles, you have to leave them intact at your seat.
TAKE A LAP; place it in front of another player and he’ll have to take a break and go round the table once.
THE RE-GIFTER; It’s a one-off action tile that gives you the power to hand over three tiles from your grid to your opponent.
ANNOUNCER; the receiver of this tile then say aloud each word they arrange on their tile.
SPELL IT; this tile forces another player to spell rather than say the word PEEL for the remaining period of the game.
TIME OUT; the recipient of this tile takes a ten seconds countdown. He does that by counting one banana, two bananas, three bananas, …., up to ten. Even though such a payer is permitted to take new letters even after another person has shouted out PEEL, they cannot add the letters to their old grid.
PARTY POOPER PENALTY; if at any given moment you find a player breaking the game rules, you must shout to him PARTY POOPER. That will force him to pick two tiles or the single remaining tile from the BUNCH. Otherwise, he goes scot-free.
There you have the rules and how to play the Bananagrams game, party edition. Does it look interesting? Why not gather a few persons like five or six and try out this game?