Wow. Just wow. That’s about all I can say about our latest Thrift Treasure, an unassuming card game called “Set”. A whole eighty-eight cents it set us back at the local Goodwill. And of all the finds we’ve touched on so far, this one has quickly turned into our favorite.
I should have paid more attention to the “6 Best Game Awards” on the front of the box. In fact, Set has received 37 Best Games Awards & Recognitions to date! And these aren’t small, regional awards either. They include the 1991 MENSA Select Award, 1992 through 1995 Games Magazine Games 100 Awards and a 1996 Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Games award.
What’s inside? A deck of cards. Yep, that’s it, a deck of cards. At first glance it appears to be another version of Concentration or any other generic matching game. Not even close. Your object is to race to find a set of three cards among twelve dealt face up meeting this criteria:
- All three cards must have the same color or three different colors.
- All three cards must have the same shape or three different shapes.
- All three cards must have the same pattern fill or three different pattern fills.
- All three cards must have the same number of object or three different numbers of objects.
Sounds easy, right? Wrong…your set has to meet ALL four of these criteria, not just one!
Now, compare it to what my wife thought was a set:
Let’s see, all the same color (check), all have different numbers of objects (check), all have different shapes (check) and all have different/same pattern fills (insert rejection buzzer noise here). I forgot to mention, each time you point out a set incorrectly you lose a point. I’m embarrassed to admit that Nicole ended up with a large negative score for the first game…
The game seems so simple, yet the sets can be very hard to spot. Good for teams or any number of players since everyone plays at the same time racing to find one set before three more cards are added to the mix. Solitaire is even suggested as practice (cough…Nicole…cough).
A great game with a TON of replay-ability. My girls have made it their current choice for evening entertainment for four nights in a row! Why someone would donate this without giving it a try is beyond us. Did I mention that one of the decks was still shrink wrapped?!