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Fit to Print

In 1897, the New York Times coined the slogan 'All the news that's fit to print!'. In his design for this game, Peter McPherson has taken the slogan more literally than that slogan intended because in Fit to Print, you are racing to lay out news items, photos and ads to create a newspaper page - so you need to get everything to fit, polyomino-style. And it's not just about filling space willy nilly: scoring depends on content, or rather the specific adjacency requirements of each type of content; so, for example, you cannot have two photographs touching or two articles of the same colour. You also need to have a balance between good news and bad news items.



We referred to this being a race because Fit to Print is a real-time game. You set a 3, 4 or 5-minute timer, depending on how hard or stressful you want the game to be, and in that time you first have a scramble for content. In this regard, the game is very reminiscent of Galaxy Trucker (Czech Games Edition): the content pieces are all scattered in a face-down central pile and players are picking them up and deciding whether or not to add them to their cardboard standee news desk or return them to the pile face up. Meanwhile the timer is ticking away...


The game tho' is not so much in the collecting as in the layout as you try to fit the items you've collected into your newspaper page. There are quite a few rules for adjacency and it's all too easy to forget one or more of them under the time pressure, especially on a first or second play. If you do fall foul of a rule, you'll have to flip the article or photo and it will cost you when you come to tot up your score.



The game is played over three rounds, representing the Friday, Saturday and Sunday editions of your newspaper, and the size differs for each day's edition. That's significant because Fit to Print is mostly about spatial awareness, so you need some mental agility as you switch to the next day's paper. The game can feel chaotic, especially at first, and it can be frustrating when you find you can't quite get the items to fit as you'd hoped they would, but we've found it more satisfying than Galaxy Trucker: when you do finish up with a reasonable-looking page before the timer runs down then you do feel a smug sense of achievement.


We weren't particularly enamoured by the anthropomorphic animals but Ian O'Toole's artwork is attractive and of the usual high quality. That's true too of the package put together by Flatout Games and AEG, with a game that includes several optional and variant rules that should keep players coming back for more.


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