greatgamegate (greatgamegate) wrote,

75. Tetris Series - FITS

My original play, way back when, was to do a Tetris series around posts 46-48. As the time got closer, I was not happy because I was having a difficult time choosing Tetris-like games. So, I changed from a Tetris series to a puzzle series, using Blokus, Ubongo, and The Hanging Gardens. I kept looking because Blokus and Ubongo were just so Tetrisy, it seemed like there had to be another game in that category. In May, the Spiel des Jahres nominations came out, including a game that I had not heard of that was absolutely perfect for a Tetris series, so I pushed Blokus and Ubongo back and substituted Zendo and Ice Flow for the puzzle series. We've now arrived at our third game, and the game that determined that would be a Tetris series, FITS.

(BGG image by user Goodsound)

FITS (an acronym for Fill In The Spaces) is a game for 1-4 players, designed by Reiner Knizia and published in the US and Europe in 2009 by Ravensburger.  The game is more similar to Tetris than any game I've talked about in this series.  Not only does it include Tetris shaped pieces, but also involves sliding them into place on a rectangular board.

(BGG image by user jaugusto72)

With the game you get eight game boards, two per color.  Each board is printed on the front and back, and each player will have the exact same set of boards.  You'll also get four plastic ramps that will hold your board, and four triangular no-skid pads for each ramp that will hold them in place during play.  There are also four transparent covers that will go on top of the board and help guide your pieces down.  There are 16 building cards, each one showing one of the 16 different Tetris pieces that come with the game (there are 64 Tetris pieces in the game, 16 each in four colors).  In addition, there are four starting cards.

The first thing you'll do is assemble the ramp, which I won't describe now.  You get the idea.  Each player takes a color, receiving the same colored ramp, Tetris pieces, and game boards.  You'll also get a cover.  The building cards get shuffled, as do the starting cards.

(BGG image by user hrc333)

The game is played in four rounds, and you'll be playing with a different board each time.  Obviously, you'll be using board one in the first round, and so on.  Above, you see the board for round three.  Take the proper board and put it on your ramp, using the transparent cover on top.  Each player will then draw a starting card, and place the tile shown on their board.  This is done by positioning it in the empty space atop the board, then sliding it down until it reaches the bottom.

(BGG image by user jaugusto72)

After playing the first tile (which will be different for everyone), start drawing building cards and placing those tiles.  These will be played by everyone.  If a building card is drawn that matches your starting tile, skip your turn.  You do the same this in placing these...position them at the top of the board, then slide them down until they can't go down anymore.  It's important to note that this deviates from Tetris in one important respect - once you've started sliding your pieces down the board, you cannot move them from side to side.  So, if a gap is left somewhere with no openings above, it will remain empty.

Keep playing until all building tiles have been drawn.  You don't have to use a tile when it comes up, but just know that you won't be able to use it again that round.  Also, your tiles may go over the top of the shown grid, and that's fine - they just can't go off the sides.

(BGG image by user helioa)

Once all building cards have been drawn, it's time to score.  Every dot that is still visible counts as a penalty point against you.  Other than that, the boards all have special rules.  For board one, every gapless row is worth one point.  For board two, there are some bonus points that if left empty actually add points to your score.  For board three, there are bonus points and penalty points on the baord - you'll want to cover the penalty points and leave the bonus points open.  For board four, there are symbols in pairs on the board.  Leaving a pair of symbols open gets you three points, while only leaving one open costs you three points (covering both does nothing to your score).

The above image shows board three midway through the game.  So far, 12 points are for sure left uncovered, while 5 dots will definitely be exposed at the end.  This means that the player's current score is 7.  Most of the penalty points are covered, but note the -5 at the top right of the grid.  The player will definitely want to get that covered up.

(BGG image by user doojini1004)

Once all four rounds have been played, the game is over.  Add up the scores to find the winner, then fire off a rocket in celebration.  Also included in the rules is a solitaire variation, giving you scores to shoot for.  Read more at BGG, and expect to pay $33 in an FLGS.

Since I've been in such a Tetris mode here lately, expect a digitally themed expansion coming soon.  I'll also be making an announcement about the future of this blog (I'm not going anywhere, just changing things up a bit).  Happy gaming!

Tags: 2009, reiner knizia, tetris series

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