A to Z Gaming: SET

We looked for sets of shapes, colors and shades in SET, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.

Players: 1-20
Time: 30 Minutes
Designers: Marsha J. Falco
Artists: John Langdon, Franz Vohwinkel
Publisher: Set Enterprises, Inc.

SET is a simple card game where players stare at a display of cards to be the first to identify sets of cards. Whoever can get the most sets by the time the deck runs out will win.

Game play

The game is set up by shuffling the deck and laying out a 3×4 grid of cards. That’s it!

The cards have four attributes: number, shape, color, and shade. During the game, players simultaneously look at the grid of cards to find a set of three cards where each of those attributes is either the same or different across the set. for example, one set could be a one outlined red squiggle, two shaded green ovals, and three solid purple diamonds — in this case, everything is different for each attribute. However, another set could be a two solid red squiggle, two solid green oval, and two solid purple diamond — here the shading (solid) and number (two) is the same for all cards, but the color and shapes are all different.

As soon as a player sees a set, they yell, “set!” and identify the cards. If the group agrees that it’s a set, they take the cards in front of them, and then the cards in the grid are replaced and play continues. It might be possible that no set exists in the grid, if all players agree that there’s no set, three more cards are dealt out. When this happens, the grid goes back to 3×4 after the first set is identified.

Play continues until the deck is depleted and no more sets can be found. Then, whoever has made the most sets wins.

My Thoughts

This was one of the earliest games in our collection. In fact, I believe my spouse picked it up when we were still dating and before we were fully immersed in the hobby.

I love looking for patterns, so this game is right up my alley. In fact, I’ve taken this out as a solo game before, practicing finding those sets. It’s super simple, though understanding what makes a set can take a little explanation. But all-in-all it’s a great filler game.

Three Quick Questions

How is it as a 2-player game? SET works well at two. I don’t know that I’ve played it with more than three or four, but it works at all of the counts I’ve tried. Not sure I’d want to play with more than four.

How about the art and component quality? The cards are fine, and the art on them is super clear. I’m not sure how it would be for those who are color-blind, since there are red and green cards, so that is something to be aware of.

Will this stay in my collection? Yes, this is an easy yes. It’s a small card game, fun, and something that brings a bit of nostalgia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *