Engine Publishing (enginepublishing.com)
The Forgotten Bananas
My wife, Alysia, and I played our first game of Bananagrams last night. We both love word games, and we wanted something quick before bed -- this seemed like a good fit, especially since we'd never tried it before. We opted to play one "hand" and then see how were doing on time, and wound up playing two hands.
Our first hand took 15 minutes, and was a lot of fun. It took us several minutes to use up our first few letters, which was a surprise, and we both dumped tiles multiple times throughout the game. Being behind wasn't always a bad thing, either, since a lucky tile or two drawn when the other player Peeled beat out taking three tiles in a Dump.
In the end, it came down to the wire: I Peeled with two tiles left in the Bunch, and Alysia had just used her last tile. Since the game ends when there are fewer tiles in the Bunch than there are players, we figured that as long as I could place my tile it was over with me winning by the thinnest margin.
Looking at our crosswords afterwards, I noticed that I'd built mine as though I were playing Scrabble, bunching up two-letter words and keeping things compact, while Alysia had adapted better to the actual game and built a more sprawling crossword with fewer clusters of letters.
Our second hand took 10 minutes, and I consistently got better (easier to use) letters. After a few dumps I took the lead, and I won while Alysia still had a handful of tiles to play.
For being a textbook example of multiplayer solitaire, Bananagrams was surprisingly fun -- and surprisingly tense, with the pressure of the race and knowing that every time you rearranged your letters you were losing precious seconds. We both enjoyed it, and I think it's a safe bet we'll play it again.
I think playing with more than two players would amp things up even more, since everyone's crosswords would be smaller and take less time to assemble.
- Last edited Thu Apr 3, 2008 6:43 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:31 pm