$10.00
Edgars Zakis
Latvia
Riga
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Introduction
I first heard about this game in my local game shop where I work, when one of my co-workers was speaking with our frequent gaming friend and somehow the subject came across this game. They told me the idea of the game and my first thoughts were “Huh!? That sounds silly... and FUN!” (sidenote – I really do like bananas and everything that is banana-ish or at least yellow and banana shaped). As they didn't have the game with them we didn't play it and I forgot about it for a few weeks until just recently I remembered about it's existence and as my curiosity arose I tried it. I ordered it from Asmadi games (the game costs only 1$ there, however the shipping was 8$ so I threw in some other promising games as well to even the shipping cost out), however I felt impatient so I made a copy myself using some random white paper (it had some random pale pencil drawings on one side, but still it was white paper nonetheless) and tried to play it with my girlfriend and her sister at 2 AM after a gaming evening. Sidenote – only a few days later I received my original copy from Asmadi (they even had put two copies although I had paid for only one), which surprised me a lot – shipping from USA to Latvia only in 4 days!? It felt wrong, however – delightfully wrong. So now I also have the beautiful original game that cost me 0,50$.

Components
The game consists of three cards – one of them has “Win”, other has “Lose” and the third has “Banana” written on it. No surprises there. There is also a small rules sheet and it all comes inside a small plastic bag. The cards are made of quite thick cardboard and what differs them from many other cards I've seen is that these do not have rounded corners – not even a minor changing factor for me but I believe that some may be either diasppointed or pleased by this aspect. All in all – components are in pretty good quality (especially if you consider the price) and the artwork is pretty nice too, although I myself am not a fan of this kind of art.

Rules and gameplay
Game is meant to be played by 3 players. The rules are very simple – deal all three cards face down, on to each player. The one who has the Win card immediately reveals it. He is the winner. Sort of. In order to really win the game he has to guess which of the other two players has the Banana card. This is the part where the fun begins. The player who has the Banana card of course knows he has deserved the victory together with the winner (obviously anyone who has a banana should be considered a winner but still...) so he clearly and honestly states the fact that he is the proud owner of the Banana. However, the person with the Lose card now realises that his only chance of winning is to pretend that he has the Banana and try to convince the winner by any means (which may include anything, except revealing the card (rules statement) and, hopefully, violence or any kind of abuse (my statement)) to choose him. If the winner chooses the Banana player then they both win and share they joy. If, however, the winner chooses the Lose player only the Lose player wins as a reward of his convincing abilities and effort he put in.
I find the game fun. And loud! Like really, really loud (though it probably depends on the players). It's just so amusing watching two people trying to convince me that both of them have a banana, especially knowing that one of them is lying. After a few games or so you start developing some strategies. For example you try to slide your hand slowly towards one players' card and see how the other one reacts. If the other has Banana he of course is shocked and panics. If, however, he is a beginner with a Lose card he usually becomes very quiet as foreseeing his defeat, which is wrong as the winner at that point realises that his choice is correct. Of course after several plays also the Lose player, if not chosen, screams and panics, realising that shouting “No, no, NOOOOOO!!!! What are you doing!? I have the banana!” is the only and actually a pretty good way of convincing the winner. So, as I said, the game tends to become loud. And fun. And it has a banana! It's like the prefect combination when it comes to playing a small game without much of thinking. At least for me.

Positive aspects
It's fast – the game tends to end in 30 seconds up to 1 minute or so (depending on how much the winner wants the other players to shout).
It's fun (de javu, anyone) with the right people – if the players are willing to shout, scream, think of many amusing ways how to prove that they have the Banana and so on, then the game really shines and you can laugh until you cry. But I'm also sure that for some part of the players it just wouldn't work.
It's social – it involves a lot of communicating, which is very nice if you are tired of quiet mind twisting strategy games or if you just want to express yourself verbally.
It's small and cheap – really, you can get a copy for a dollar and carry it anywhere as it takes only as much space as three cards and weighs close to nothing.
It's easy and light – perfect for moments when you have just had played a several hour game of pure thinking and planning or actually for any moment when you just feel like having a banana or pretending to have one at least.

Negative aspects
No box – as the game only has three cards it pretty unprotected when it comes to carrying it around and can become damaged if not taken care of proprely. However, it is easy fixable if you just put it in the wallet or in the box with some other game, so it's a minor disadvantage.
Not strategic – you should already have figured this out. Because of the factors mentioned above the game is clearly not a mind breaker of any kind, however, it involves quite a lot of social aspects. So if you are a serious hard-core gamer who turns down anything that is lighter than Caylus you will definetely not enjoy this. However, if you are a serious hard-core gamer who turns down anything that is lighter than Caylus you are probably not even reading this. For me this is a positive aspect of the game but I believe for some it could be a turn off.
Specific player count – it is playable only with 3 players. Yes, there are options how you can vary the player count by adding cards from a second copy but it feels kind of wrong then. I mean – you have Win, Lose and Banana. That's the core. That's the essence of this games' existence. If there are different numbers of some of these cards then it can become tragic (imagine – you have five cards, but only one is Banana! I would cry, probably...).

Final thoughts
As you may have guessed I like the game. Quite a lot. It has given me a respectable amount of entertainment even though I haven't played it a lot. Yet. It is fast and amusing, it involves a lot of social and communicating skills and almost no thinking at all, which makes it great for specific occasions. I have rated it 8 and believe that the rating could stay at this level. I feel that it is easy to play some 10 games in a row until you get tired of screaming (it of course depends on how many times you get the win card). So all in all – a nice little game that you should consider at least trying some time and yes – be ready to have a banana even if you don't. More than ever.
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Jeremiah Lee
United States
Sylvania
Ohio
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Quality.

I really enjoy this game, and I'm looking forward to finding time to play it again.
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PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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I adore this game AND We Didn't Playtest this and ALL of its expansions... GREAT REVIEW!!

And I hope I don't cause the system to overload...

But I just gave Win Lose or Banana, my first ever rating of 10.
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G W M
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
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Annie was a Bayesian....
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A review of astounding complexity and depth - currently winning the 'best review I've read this year award!' GM
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Bruce Walton
United Kingdom
Banbury
Unspecified
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katarakt wrote:
if you are a serious hard-core gamer who turns down anything that is lighter than Caylus you will definetely not enjoy this. However, if you are a serious hard-core gamer who turns down anything that is lighter than Caylus you are probably not even reading this. For me this is a positive aspect of the game but I believe for some it could be a turn off.


You forget that some of we serious hard core gamers also have small children to entertain. I'll definitely try this one out on my kids!
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David Me
United States
Bowling Green
Kentucky
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It's a balanced form of 3-player Werewolf/Mafia.
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Jack Byrd
United States
Wynnewood
Pennsylvania
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My wife is a psychologist, and is deadly at this game. She'll often guess correctly before anyone has a chance to say anything.
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Mike Lee
United States
McKinney
Texas
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Shouldn't there be a board, or pieces or something to Jenga?
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I wish the setup didn't take so long.
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Chris Cieslik
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
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Oh hello.
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MrTheFalcon wrote:
I wish the setup didn't take so long.


We're working on it!
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Jonathan Harrison
United States
Fisher
Illinois
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So long ...
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... and thanks for all the fish.
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jackbird wrote:
My wife is a psychologist, and is deadly at this game. She'll often guess correctly before anyone has a chance to say anything.

My wife, on the other hand—

—I’ll just quote my from my game comments list:
Quote:
I enjoy this but my asshole wife and nonwife gaming partner refuse to play except after violent wheedling. And then they don’t play properly: Neither one tries to divine who is the banana. They just choose a name, I swear out of the evil in the whites of their eyes, and say, “There, that’s over, now we can play something else.”

I should rate this game a 2 because of that, but instead I rate them both a 2, including my own wife, and I don’t care if she sees this.

I eagerly await the physical and mental maturing of my children so that I can play a proper game of Who’s Got the Banana? for the first time in my fucking life.
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Jade Youngblood
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Lol!
 
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