Synopsis: BITS is a puzzle game that bears resemblance to Tetris and is the successor to Knizia's FITS. In BITS, each player has a personal board with a 6x6 grid and a set of rectangular 2x1 tiles, each containing two colors. Every turn a card is drawn depicting a particular tile. All the players simultaneously place the corresponding tile onto their board with the intent of creating shapes that match the current goals. The player who best places his tiles will be crowned the BITS king.

Designer: Reiner Knizia

Publisher: Ravensburger

Player Count: BITS plays 1-4 players and is equally good with all player counts. Let's face it, this is multiplayer solitaire to its core.

Game Length: I normally play a 4-round game in 20-30 minutes. Game length does not change with more players, except that the game plays at the pace of the slowest player.
Bits is played over 3 rounds with each round playing out the same. There is also an optional 4th round, which I recommend always playing. To start the game, players receives a playing board and a set of tiles.

Each round starts out with a new goal card reveal; the goal cards depict a shape and how many points are earned for creating that shape. The goals carry over from round to round, so in the 3rd round, there will be three goals. Players usually get points for creating the shape shown on the goal card; however, the 3rd round gives negative points for creating a certain shape. Avoid negative points at all costs.

Once the goal is revealed, players receive a starting tile that they place on their board in a location and orientation of their choosing. The starting tiles are all different, which ensures that the round will be played out differently for each player. After all players place their starting tile, gameplay begins.

One players reveals a tile card from a shuffled pile, and each player takes the shown tile from their stock and places it on their board. When placing a tile, the following rules apply: the tile must be placed, the tile must slide down from the top of the board (i.e., you can't stick a tile into holes or gaps), and the tile cannot protrude over the top of the grid. Once all players have placed the tile, a new tile is revealed, which players place on their board in the same manner. The round will proceed in this way until the last tile is drawn or until none of the players are able to place a new tile. At this time, the round is scored.

Players receive points for each shape they made that corresponds to a goal card. The shapes must match the goal card in shape and color (if shown) exactly. The player in the picture below receives 6 points (6 for the first goal, 2 for the second goal, and -2 for the third goal).

This round structure will be used for all the rounds, and at the end, whoever has racked up the most points is the winner.
My Opinion
What I Like
The Puzzle: I like puzzle games in general, and BITS tickles my brain in a slightly different way than FITS or other puzzle games. I find it interesting that all the pieces in BITS are the same size. I like that the game is about manipulating colors to create shapes, as opposed to manipulating shapes to fill space.

The Weight / Length Balance: The length of the game is perfect for the weight of the game, and I'll often play a quick game with my wife when we only have a small amount of time. The lower amount of brainpower the game requires allows me to multitask, which I find rare in games; I can easily play a few round of BITS while watching a TV show, listening to a podcast, or chatting with my friends.
What I Dislike
The Difficulty: The game feels a bit too easy and doesn't force you to make many tough decisions. I like that the 3rd round has a shape you DON'T want to make, but I wish that kind of restriction happened more often. Maybe if every round had a positive shape and a negative shape there would be more tension. I also think the bigger shapes aren't properly rewarded; you often score 3 points for a three-size shape and 4 points for a five-size shape, which seems a bit unfair to me.

The Production Value: To be fair, this quibble comes only from comparing it to its predecessor, FITS. BITS has well-made plastic player trays, but it doesn't have the segregated rows and columns of FITS. The tiles in BITS are high quality but not quite as nice as those in FITS. On its own, BITS has good components, but I can't help but compare it to FITS. I admit, it's a silly qualm.
Final Thoughts
I recommend this game for most people because who doesn't like fun puzzles? However, I would recommend FITS over BITS. Keep in mind, though, that both games are currently out of print, so you may need to do a bit of hunting to get your hands on them.