|Setup time||1–2 minutes|
|Random chance||Low (tile drawing)|
Bananagrams is a word game invented by Abraham Nathanson of Narragansett, Rhode Island, wherein lettered tiles are used to spell words. Nathanson conceived and developed the idea for the game with the help of his family. The name is derived from the founding family's claim that it's the "anagram game that will drive you bananas!" Beginning as a family innovation, Bananagrams was made available to the public in January 2006 at the London Toy Fair. The game is similar to the older Scrabble variant Take Two.
Game play involves arranging one's tiles into a grid of connected words faster than one's opponents. The object of the game is to be the first to complete a word grid after the pool of tiles has been exhausted. The tiles come in a fabric, banana-shaped package. Bananagrams is listed as a must-have  and one of the top ten best travel games, and it has been listed as a best-seller among toy and gift retailers.
Game play 
The game consists of 144 lettered tiles that are placed face down on the playing surface. The same number of tiles are drawn by each player, and at any player's call of "Split!", all players turn over their tiles to reveal the lettered sides. Each player begins arranging the letters to form words, which must be connected in intersecting or interlocking manner (i.e. word-tiles are not isolated, at least not before the first "Peel!"). When a player uses up all of his tiles, he calls out "Peel!," and each player must draw a new tile from the pool of remaining tiles, called the "bunch." The name "Bananagrams" is a play on the word anagrams, as one must often rearrange the words one has already formed in order to allow newly-drawn tiles to be placed into one's grid.
If at any time during play, one has a letter or letters that he does not wish to fit into his or her word arrangement, he can announce "Dump!" and exchange any letter for three tiles from the "bunch".
Play continues with players announcing "Peel!" when they again fit all their tiles into their crossword-style word arrangements until there are not enough remaining tiles in the "bunch" for all players to take one; at this point, the first player to have placed all of his or her tiles into her word grid calls out "Bananas!" and is declared the winner if all of his or her words are valid upon inspection.
The letter distribution is as follows:
- 2: J, K, Q, X, Z
- 3: B, C, F, H, M, P, V, W, Y
- 4: G
- 5: L
- 6: D, S, U
- 8: N
- 9: T, R
- 11: O
- 12: I
- 13: A
- 18: E
Comparison with other games 
Bananagrams uses elements of both Boggle and Scrabble. It is similar to Boggle in the sense that game play is simultaneous, yet players build interlocking puzzles similar to those in Scrabble. Because Bananagrams can be played by players at any (English) reading level, the game is useful for children who are learning to spell, and has been touted as both educational and popular among consumers. An independent psychologist reviewed Bananagrams and expressed her recommendation of Bananagrams as a positive example of creativity stimulation because, perhaps unlike Scrabble, the goal is to play all of one's tiles, which generates a need to configure and reconfigure one's word grid to accept all of the letters.
Bananagrams has won numerous awards for its innovation, popularity among consumers, and educational value:
- Game of the Year 2009 by TOTY Awards
- UK Local Government Award: Best Game Ever Made in Chester (2011)
- Gold Award, Good Toy Guide (UK 2006)
- Best Toy Bronze Award, Right Start Magazine (UK 2006)
- Top Toy of the Year Award, Creative Child Magazine 2007
- NAPPA Honors Award, Parenthood.com
Online gameplay 
Note: The description below refers to the online version of Bananagrams, which by mid-2012 had been deactivated on all platforms. Although the manufacturer has said it is developing a new version, as of May 2013 it had provided no specific timeline for a release despite repeated complaints, requests for information and offers to subsidize the product.
The online version of Bananagrams was developed by Large Animal Games, in partnership with Majesco Entertainment. Online Bananagrams is available on Bebo, and MySpace. The online version adheres to the same protocol as the tabletop edition, but includes features to simulate a real-life game experience. Certain game play adjustments and social features are also available.
There are several play options. Players can send challenges to friends or play live games. Live games include features that allow players to chat via text, and view their opponents’ ‘trees’, or groups of words created with the letter tiles in a crossword-style formation. Also offered is the option of solo play. This includes solitaire games (long or short) and Banana Café, where the objective is to beat one’s own best time.
The online game version offers players the opportunity to customize the game with "Banana Chip" credits. Banana Chips are earned by playing games and by issuing and winning challenges. They can be used in the virtual store to purchase new tiles and playing boards, and to buy in-game hints and bonuses to gain an advantage over other players. Multi-tier achievements are also awarded to players in recognition of outstanding skill, and a leaderboard contains information pertaining to other players.
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