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Party Game Review: FitzIt

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Gamewright has launched FitzIt, a new card-matching Port-a-party game reminiscent of Scrabble in its mechanics but with all the laugh-filled arguing of In a Pickle. The premise is simple enough: name something that matches as many cards as possible. In practice, of course, trying to figure out what has eyes, can be found in a vending machine, and is usually transparent requires a good deal of creativity, imagination, and vocabulary, making it a great game for childhood development as well as grown-ups looking for a clever challenge.

In FitzIt, every player is given a stack of 15 cards, and the goal is to run out of cards first. On each turn, a player draws off the stack to hold five cards in hand and can play as many of them as possible off a previously played card. As the game goes, the table becomes an increasingly complicated grid of cards, not unlike a Scrabble board. Unlike Scrabble, however, FitzIt requires more lateral thinking, trying to determine a tangible object that will match the most of the descriptive cards and enable the player to run out of cards fastest. For example, if a player had cards reading usually used in athletics, round, outdated, usually runs on gasoline, and makes a loud noise, he or she might say “An old-timey medicine ball” and play the first three. An argument could be made for making a loud noise, at which point another player announces a challenge and the original player makes a defense. A democratic vote among players decides whether the card stays or if it must be taken back and the turn skipped.

From its card-playing and arguing, FitzIt has several avenues of skill and adds strategy. Once an object has been named in the game, no other player may use a synonym even with different cards, so it may be beneficial to take common items such as “car” out of the game early. For further strategy, the game gives bonus to players who play four or more cards or can add cards to a row with four or more descriptions already, naming a new object. In both of these mega-plays, the successful player is able to pass cards from his or her stack to another player, coming closer to victory while potentially slowing down someone in the lead.

In our play-testing, we found a wild card in the deck: fictitious. This allows for something of a loophole around the “tangible noun” rule, but only if the player can think of something wild enough to get ahead with the cards in hand. In the aforementioned eyes, vending machine, and transparent case, naming invisible tiny elephants launched one player from third place to the lead.

FitzIt is a clever 20-minute thinking game for two or more players ten and up. For five or more players, the rules advise forming teams, which gives another level to play. Two heads may be better than one, but too many cooks ruin the kitchen, meaning players in a team have to convince their teammates even before naming an object and laying out their cards. It makes for an exciting game either way, but not one to be played with half-attention.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.