We play this same game simply by using the letters from a Scrabble game I got at the thrift store for $1. My kids love it, so unless you "need" the banana pouch to store your letters, just go buy a used Scrabble game. How the game is played: Lay all letters out showing blank side. Each players picks 7 letters & begins to make their own crossword puzzle. As soon as someone has used all their letters, they say "Take 2!" Which means everyone has to take 2 more letters. As soon as a person has used all their letters again, they say ,"Take 2!". This goes on until all the letters are used up or you establish a time limit. We call the game "Take 2" & have been playing it since before the invention of Bananagrams. It is highly educational & very fun. My kids who play range in age from 7-19 & I play with them, helping the 7 yr old so he can keep up. You could also have younger kids take only 1 letter when everyone else is taking 2 so they can keep up.
The regular bananagram game is quick for 3-4 people. More than 4 people playing means less tiles to start with. If more than 4 like to play you would have more fun with the 288 tile game and play would last longer.
The rules say that you can only "peel" as in get new letters if there are enough for all players. So it one letter is left, and there are two players, the last letter does not get used. If someone can use all of their letters, minus the remaining letter, they win.
I was wondering the same thing -- don't own any yet and have been looking for the answer. Pairs has 4 kinds of patterns (like a the 4 suits of a deck of cards), so if you are playing with patterns, Bananagrams would lack that. The main problem I see with Appletters is that the tiles are thicker and stand up so others can't see your tiles, so Bananagrams wouldn't do that.
But this is just a "best guess" and I would really like to hear a response from this from people who have actually played/own the games. :)
The letter breakdown is at the bottom of the instruction sheet, as I discovered after counting all the letters and finding I was a 'g' short. Here they are: A13; B-3; C-3; D-6; E-18;F-3; G-4; H-3; I-12; J-2; K-2; L-5; M-3; N-8; O-11; P-3; Q-2; R-9; S-6; T-9; U-6; V-3; W-3; X-2; Y-3; Z-2; Hope this helps. Pep.
My daughter has ADHD and loves math also but hates reading .I do have this game and although I am not saying children are able to play it,She never ever wants to play it and it has become another closet clutter toy.
I had more luck with the LeapFrog products in which she could wear headphones and follow along,besides the huge selection of charaters this compony has,hope it helps.