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Set is a gloriously simple game that also manages to be mentally stimulating and thoroughly engaging.
Each card has four elements, and each element has three possible properties:
1) Symbols - diamonds, squiggles or ovals.
2) Number - there will be one, two or three of the symbol on the card.
3) Color - the symbols can be red, green or purple.
4) Shading - the symbols can be empty, striped, or completely filled.
Twelve cards are laid on the table, and players look for a "set" of three cards. For three cards to form a set, each individual element must be all identical or all different (but it can vary by element).
For example, the following three cards are a set:
- 2 purple striped diamonds
- 3 purple striped squiggles
- 1 purple striped oval
because color and shading are the same for all three cards, and number and shape are different for all three cards.
Set is that easy to learn, and plays as many people as you feel like fitting around the table. With no real "rounds" (unless you choose to impose them) a game can last as long or short as you want.
The pattern matching mechanic is great mental development for children, and a challenge for anyone.
The only negative is that the choice of red and green as two of the colors makes it colorblind unfriendly (I have several friends who are, and even the ones who are only slightly red-green colorblind have trouble with the shades used here).
Outside of the unfortunate color choices, Set is one of the greatest and most elegant card games there is.
"Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."
"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
Nice concise review. We play this game with folks of (almost) any age for years. 'Course those who don't excel in 'spatial' areas of IQ tests don't seem like this game either.