The makers of Bananagrams unveiled their latest creations at the American International Toy Fair this month.
Zip-It is a two player game in which each player gets 12 letter cubes (dice with letters on all sides) and then has to assemble them into a grid of words as quickly as possible. The first to finish their grid says "Zip!" and scores one point. You can keep track of the score by incrementing the two zippers built into the bag for the game pieces.
Coincidentally, I have been recently thinking that it would be neat to make a game with letter cubes, like in Boggle, except that the player would get to choose which side to use. The cube aspect of Zip-It is tantalizing. Imagine playing Bananagrams with letter cubes. I imagine that there might be a lot of head-tilting to look at cubes from the sides. If you don't like one of the face-up letters, you could just rotate it until you found a letter that you liked. But is that the fastest method? I really want to play this right now and find out!
Oh-Spell! is the first card game from Bananagrams International. It sounds somewhat like Quiddler in the sense that the cards have letters rather than numbers, and the objective is to form words. There is a twist involving the cards having suits... It's not yet clear how that will play into the game. And I have a suspicion that rather than making separate words, players will form a word grid from the cards in their hand. But at this point, that's just a rumor (which I started because I think it will make a cool game).
I will report back when I have more details on these games.
Zip-It and Oh-Spell! should be available in a few months.
UPDATE: OK, these games were not released by the summer, as I had expected. Oh-Spell has been delayed indefinitely, but Zip-It is now out. Get it while it's hot!