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Subject: A Set review or: Train yourself to have a photographic memory with Set!!! rss

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Libby Campbell
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Set is a wonderful game that really helps all who play it to expand their mind and give it a little exercise. What most people do not realize about playing this game is it's easy and great potential for training your photographic memory. This game has won at least 1 award every year since its release, and has been selected by Mensa.

This game resides in the realms of visual and mathematical stimuli, and works wonders for teaching someone about magic squares. It is an excellent and appealing learning tool for all ages.

When I was first introduced to this game in math class (learning about the theory behind magic squares), I almost at once understood this games potential for training your brain. Especially while playing with others, this game relies on your brain's quick and accurate reactions to what it sees. After a little practice, a player's mind is able to analyze the different attributes of the cards, their location, and then match those cards with the others it is processing. Just like the simple childhood game Memory, Set helps your brain practice thinking through visual memorization. And because of this a person, through playing, can help bring out their latent or weak photographic memory potential. Within about a month of daily quick games my academic work was more quickly finished and more easily understood. What a miracle! Class became a breeze and less mentally tiring.

The bottom line:
The is an essential game for almost everyone. It is affordable, selling for $12 on the Set website. It is easy and fast to set up. All you do is shuffle the cards and lay them out. And once you get the hang of set making, the game is easy to play but quite a challenge at the same time. The game has immense potential for use as a learning tool or even a solitary pastime. It makes a fun and fast paced party game. And there is no minimum or maximum player count. The game comes in a small case so it can be brought along on restaurant trips, vacations, etc. and can be stopped quickly and, for the most part, painlessly. If the game is interrupted and needs to be cleaned up, hours of hard-earned game play are not lost, simply lay out another 12 cards and you are back! I see hardly any reason for a person to live life without this game. Though it does take up a small amount of space, and thus does not work as a car game.

So now let's walk through the simple rules of Set so you can start training and perhaps make your life a little easier!

The rules:
Set is a game of pattern recognition. And in the basic game you pick your patterns in sets of 3. There are 4 different categories to the cards presented in the game. Category #1 is the symbol presented on the card, #2 is the shading type used in the symbols ; #3 is the color of the symbols, and lastly #4 is the number of symbols on the card. Simply have the dealer shuffle, then lay out a rectangle of 12 cards. When a player finds a set, they declare "set' and remove the cards from the play area and have them checked by the other players. If the cards make a true set, the set maker keeps the cards and the dealer replaces the removed cards.

But what happens when everyone agrees there is no possible set in the 12 card rectangle?
Simple, just have the dealer lay down another 3 cards, bringing the total to 15 cards. BUT REMEMBER, if you have 15 cards out do not replace the first set that is picked up. That way your rectangle will drop back down to 12 more quickly. A 12 card rectangle is how this game works best. In an ideal situation the rectangle remains at 12 the entire time. If you are playing a solitaire game you lose if after 15 cards you cannot find a set.

OK, that all sounds fine but I don't understand how to make a set.
Don't worry about that! With a few minutes of practice you'll be making sets with ease. To make a set, each of the 3 cards must have all the same categories in common, OR all different. For example, you cannot have two solids and one open in a set of three purple squiggles. If you have a set of squiggles, they either need to all be solid shading or each have different shading, such as an open with a stripe and solid.

So to recap
:
Pick three cards and make sure each card EITHER shares that specific category with the other two cards OR each card is different in that specific category. If this all seems a bit confusing try playing a practice game on the website with their daily puzzle: http://www.setgame.com/set/puzzle_frame.htm OR try some harder puzzles on the nytimes site: http://www.nytimes.com/ref/crosswords/setpuzzle.html

Once you get the hang of it try taking it a step further and using all 4 categories in your sets instead of just 3. If you thought your brain was getting a challenge with 3 categories, just you wait!!!
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Chris Ferejohn
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Drowtung wrote:

Once you get the hang of it try taking it a step further and using all 4 categories in your sets instead of just 3. If you thought your brain was getting a challenge with 3 categories, just you wait!!!


Wait. What? That's how the game works. You use all four categories - number, shape, color, and pattern.

Also, "Mensa Select" isn't necessarily a guarantee of a good game. Fluxx and Tribond got that too.

As for training your brain: I'm not sure it's trained my brain for anything other than playing Set, but it is a pretty good game. I really like playing it with kids because they often pick it up much faster than adults. Best player I've ever seen at this was a 7 year old girl, and it was easily the most fun I've ever had getting mercilessly destroyed at a game.
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M@tthijs
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Did you visit my www.kobudovenlo.nl? It has game info
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In addition to your review:
on the bright side: Set can be played with nearly any number of players. We played it with people dropping in and dropping out, and still had a good time.

Only gripe: the colors are a bad choice, so it's (nearly) implayable for color blind people. Using clors with different greytones (like yellow, red and really dark purple) would've solved that.
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