Saturday, March 25, 2006


Paul’s note: Scott is a father of two adorable girls and an expert on games and puzzles. Recently, he re-introduced me to Set and agreed to share his thoughts on this great game with all of us. This is Scott’s first contribution to (at least) one cool thing. Scott writes:

setWhen looking for gifts for our daughters this last Christmas, Paul inquired as to game ideas. At the time, our oldest, Alia, had recently shown an interest in one of my all-time favorite mind-card games, Set.

The game features 81 cards with symbols of 3 variations across four dimensions (hence 3^4, or 81 cards), the dimensions being color, number, shape and shading. The goal is to find a "set", which is defined as any three cards that are all the same or all different within each dimension.

a set sharing color, shape and shadingThe simplest example is shown on the left. This shows three cards that all share the same color, shape and shading, but vary in number. The example below left shows three that vary in every dimension.

a set varying in every dimensionThis game became a favorite for a time amongst our adult friends, as it seemed to bring out their competitive spirits and was easy to pick up. Then, one day Alia showed interest and surprisingly was able to spot most combinations pretty quickly as well.

It is a great game to expand the budding pattern-matching abilities of the young mind. Even little Carina likes to sort them by colors or shapes while big sister plays with Dad. So give Set a try.

Can you find the 2 other sets in the first picture above? The website has daily Set games, alternate styles of play, and directions for ordering. Happy matching! Oh, the game Paul eventually did pick up for the girls, Gobblet Jr., is a great one too.

Set can be found at neighborhood toy stores like Adventure Toys & Teacher Supply
173 Main Street, Los Altos, CA,(650)941-6043.