A few days ago, I played Bananagrams with friends (pictured below – the back of my head is in the bottom left corner). I was struck by the simplicity and fun of the game. Essentially, the end goal is to use all of your letters to form Scrabble-type word formations before everyone else. Each player begins with 12 letters, but adds more and more to their collection each time someone has finished using all of their letters.

Below are some key design decisions that I appreciated:

  • Rounds are very fast-paced and end quickly, keeping people engaged and hopeful that, maybe next round, they might also win (unlike Scrabble, which is a slow, drawn-out war)
  • With just a handful of letters, people can form a variety of permutations and English words
  • The rules and limitations are incredibly simple. You are given the letters you are given, and you need to use all of them before everyone else does
  • The physical game itself is very portable – and the banana bag it comes in is fun and playful