The card game, SET, was invented in 1974 and its packaging looks like it is from that era. This isn't a bad thing but it was interesting to me because I only just recently became aware of the game while attending a recent toy show. It feels odd to do a review of this game and try to share it with the community at large (like if I had a, "Have you heard of this Monopoly game?" type post) but since I hadn't heard of it before I am guessing it will be new to many of you.
The great thing about card games is that they are very portable. It's the reason why I picked up Sushi Go! for my recent family vacation in Hawaii. It's also the reason why I'll be taking Set with me on my upcoming camping trip. Trust me, when you are out camping the fewer loose pieces in a game the better. As much fun as a game of Pandemic would be by the campfire, you better just order some replacements for those token pieces now if you go that route.
But portability isn't the only thing that Set has going for it. It is highly interactive. It is one of those games that rewards people with the fastest processing skills. Once you see a set, yell out, "set!" as fast as you can and grab the cards. But if you yell it out and the set isn't there then you will be penalized.
So what is a "set". The rules of this game are deceptively simple but tough to comprehend in the heat of battle. Pulled right from the website: "A SET is three cards where each feature, when looked at individually, is either all the same OR all different. Each card contains four features: color (red, purple or green), shape (oval, squiggle or diamond), number (one, two or three) and shading (solid, striped or outlined)." It is the act of deciphering what is the same or different in that fraction of time that makes this an exciting and fun filled game.
The game is listed as being for ages 6 and up but I think that might be a bit off. My 7 year-old plays this game well (better than me) but he is really advanced when it comes to games. I would say that if you are going to be competing straight up with the kid (not going easy) then an 8-year-old child is likely the cutoff. But feel free to try it with a 6-year-old and see.
Overall, this is a great game and it is no wonder it has been around for over 40 years. There is a high replay factor and it works as well as a 2 person game as it does a 6 person game. It could even be played as a 1 person game where you time yourself at how long it takes to get all of the sets. And as we discussed, it is one of the best games for travel. That type of versatility in a game is awesome! Pick up a set now and start playing!