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Board Game Spotlight: Bananagrams Party Edition

Board games are the ultimate power-up for any occasion. Whether you’re gathered around a table with friends, family, or even your arch-nemesis, these little boxes of joy bring a tidal wave of excitement and laughter to any room. From strategy showdowns to fast-paced races against the clock, board games are the secret sauce to transforming a basic gathering into a rip-roaring good time.

With so many games on the market today (and housed in the game room at The Corner in Ferndale), it can be difficult to know which one you enjoy the most and which ones just aren’t your vibe. Thankfully, we’re here to help you determine which game you should bring to the next game night with our board game spotlight. 

Today, we’re highlighting a popular tabletop word game, Bananagrams. You may not have heard of it, but we assure you, you won’t be able to stop talking about it once you’ve played a couple of rounds! Learn how to play this fast-paced game of spelling and cleverness when you visit The Corner in Ferndale.

What is Bananagrams?

Before we dive into Bananagrams, we want you to meet the family behind Bananagrams, Inc. Based in Rhode Island, this small family-run company strives to produce games with super simple rules, extraordinary packaging, and high-quality tactile components. The best part? Anybody can enjoy the games created at Bananagrams, no matter their age or expertise.

This innovative word game is similar to that of Scrabble—but with a twist. Packaged in a cloth banana pouch, this fittingly named game for up to eight players is packed full of wit, wordplay, and silliness. As if that weren’t enough, there are a variety of different Bananagrams versions available to play, so you’ll never grow bored of this fun and fast-paced tabletop game.

How To Play Bananagrams Party Edition

Setting Up the Game

Bananagrams Party Edition comes with 144 letter tiles, which should be placed face-down in the middle of the table, forming what’s called the BUNCH. Additionally, there are 14 party tiles with icons on them (we’ll get to these later). The object of Bananagrams is simple: be the first person to use all your letters. Each player will take their allotted number of letter tiles from the BUNCH and place them face down in front of them. The party tiles will then be added (face down) to the BUNCH and mixed in thoroughly. 

Let’s Go Bananas: Game Play Rules

To start, any player calls out, “SPLIT!” Everyone now turns over their tiles and races to arrange them in their own connecting, intersecting word grid. Here is where the interesting part happens—no one takes turns; everything happens simultaneously, with the goal of being the fastest word creator. Words can be made horizontally or vertically and must be read from either left to right or top to bottom (no backward or diagonal readings).

Once a player has used the last of their letters, that person calls out, “PEEL!” Every single player will now have to take another tile from the BUNCH and find a way to fit it into their grid. If at any time you have a letter you just can’t find a place for, you can yell out, “DUMP!” and put it back, face down, in the BUNCH. The trick here, though, is that you must pick up three tiles in exchange for the one you put back—adding to the difficulty level.

It’s Time to Party: What Happens if You Draw a Party Tile?

Party tiles are similar to dares and must be used immediately. When it comes down to it, party tiles are designed to hinder your opponent's ability to complete their mission using all the letters. But don’t be fooled; there are some party tiles that could impact your own gameplay, so be strategic when choosing who to shell out punishments to.

There are a variety of actions you might be asked to do or say, including using only one hand to arrange tiles, not being able to use your thumbs for the rest of the game, sitting in a 10-second timeout while other players continue on, and so much more. But wait, there’s even more!

The creators of Bananagrams acknowledge the fact that some people playing might try to cheat the system, which is why the party pooper penalty is in play for the entire duration of the game. If you catch a player not following a rule or hoarding a party tile, you yell out, “PARTY POOPER!” and that player must immediately take two letters from the BUNCH.

Winning the Game

Just like in Scrabble and other common word-related games, there must be an inspection period before you crown a “top banana.” If a player calls out “PEEL” and there are fewer tiles in the BUNCH than there are players, you’ll say “BANANAS.” This indicates to the other players that you believe you’ve won the game and it’s time to look over your words. 

Any unacceptable words, including abbreviations or misspellings, will result in a “ROTTEN BANANA” verdict, and you’ll be eliminated from the game—leaving the remaining players to duke it out for the win. If the grid is accepted as accurate, you have just won the game.

Play Bananagrams & Other Similar Games at The Corner

The Corner in Ferndale, MI, is dedicated to bringing gameplay fun to everyone in the area, regardless of your age. We believe that a night out doesn’t have to consist of just sitting at the bar enjoying a cocktail and appetizer; it’s much more fun when you incorporate board games into the adventure. With board games galore (over 100), The Corner offers you and your friends a way to bond and be as competitive as you want while also quenching your thirst and fueling your stomach.

Forget the dull small talk—it’s time to roll the dice, shuffle those cards, and embark on epic quests, all while bonding, competing, and unleashing your inner game night champion. We offer games like Bananagrams Party Edition that test your spelling and quick-witted abilities, as well as a variety of other games to hone your critical thinking and strategy skills, and so much more. 

Come check out our extensive board game wall and play a game, or three, with us the next time you’re in need of a night out or an afternoon away. 

Come Play Games in Ferndale Today!

The Corner in Ferndale is one of Metro Detroit’s best bars, offering unusual experiences, quality bar service, excellent food, and one of the largest board game rooms in town. Grab your friends, get comfortable, and prepare to dominate the competition. Call us to reserve your spot at one of our games tables or ask about menu specials at (248) 291-5470.

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