Game Review: Bananagrams

By Drew

 

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Background
Bananagrams is a tile laying game where the goal is to be the first player to complete a word grid after the pool of letter tiles has been exhausted.

Initial Thoughts
The game is inexpensive and very quick to learn.  It uses elements from Scrabble and Boggle; so, players familiar with those games will have almost no learning curve.  Bananagrams is a multiplayer game, but you have little interaction with the other players.  The only player interaction is racing to complete your grid first after the last tile has been drawn.  There are no turns.  Everyone places at the same time.

Review
Pros: Bananagrams has very high replayability.  Its easy rule set makes getting new players up to speed a quick process.  If you get bored with the base rules, there are variants to the game that people have posted online.  The game has a heavy dose of luck which does help level the playing field when playing with poorer spellers.  Bananagrams is great for causal gamers and those looking to take a break from more complex games.  The only set up is placing all of the tiles into the middle of the table face down.

Con: I have few, if any, complaints.  The game does bounce between being skill based and luck based, but many games are.  The basic game can get repetitive if you play too many rounds, but that’s while variants exist.  The pieces are high quality.  The packaging is very thematic (it’s a zip up banana), but it can make putting Bananagrams away more difficult.  You can’t just put it at the bottom of your game pile.

Final Thoughts
This game is loads of fun, quick to teach, quick to set up, and a great breather from more complex games.  It’s fun for heavy table gamers and casual players.  Each round is short, and you can keep playing rounds until you are bored with playing making the game last essentially as long as your group wishes.  I highly recommend playing this game.

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Breimh’s Anime Review – The Princess and the Pilot

The war between the Levamme Empire and the Amatsukami Imperium has been raging for years. In the midst of this struggle, the prince of the Levamme Empire declares his love for Juana del Moral and vows to end the war in one year, as part of his marriage proposal. When the Amatsukami catch wind of this, they assault the del Moral residence, targeting Juana’s life. As a last-ditch effort to bring the prince his bride, the San Maltilia Airforce employs a mercenary of mixed blood—a bestado—to fly Juana to the prince in secret.
Published by: NIS America

Watching this anime, I was drawn back to days in my youth as I would sneak into my dad’s special comics collection and page through his WWII graphic novels and comic serials. Sweeping views of aircraft whirling around one another in a dangerous dance was only part of the magic of this magnificent movie! The characters, and the story are solid, and offer a cherished tender moment as the hero and heroine realize a shared past. With an understated score accompanying only a few brief moments of the film, I found myself only vaguely drawn toward other distractions, but the dialogue and movement made me gravitate back almost immediately. Beautiful scenery and sleekly drawn characters are sure to make this one a classic in it’s own time.
With it’s ballet of story, breathtaking visuals and sublime interplay of characters, I would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy this one on some level. I have to give it a full 5 of 5 stars rating.
Princess&Pilot