If you’ve ever played the SET game, you know how incredibly addictive this mind puzzle is. I find that it’s a great family game to play with family and friends.
And now it’s on the iPod too.
The object of SET is to find consistent patterns in the cards presented. The patterns need to be either unique (for example, three different colors/shapes/shadings) or all the same (three cards only of one diamond but all in different colors). Wikipedia explains it best:
Several games can be played with these cards, all involving the concept of a set. A set consists of three cards which satisfy all of these conditions:
- They all have the same number, or they have three different numbers.
- They all have the same symbol, or they have three different symbols.
- They all have the same shading, or they have three different shadings.
- They all have the same color, or they have three different colors.
In other words, if you like pinpointing patterns and spotting anomalies or similarities and love card games that can be played alone or with others, you’ll love SET.
In the Classic game, which can be played quickly, you are supposed to find 10 SETs in the least amount of time. In Puzzle mode, you are supposed to find all possible combinations of SETs in the least possible time. The cards, in this mode, do not change once you find a set.
There’s also a Timed mode where you are tasked with finding as many SETs as you can in a 2 minute period. It’s not as easy as it seems and you’ll find that time flying by pretty quickly.
Finally, Arcade mode is for those who want to play a longer game. You need to find as many SETs as possible before time runs out. You can continue advancing as you get more and more SETs and more time gets added. This is my favorite SET mode.
The two levels are Basic and Advanced. The former only has three different colors, but the latter introduces shading, adding an additional advanced element to keep you on your toes when you get good at the Basic level.
So what do I think? I love the game — I always have. I remember, however, playing a similar game called Grouper on the PalmOS back in the day. One of the most addictive elements of Grouper was a “hint” feature where you actually see how many possible SETs you can create in a possible turn. I was shocked to find that there were occasionally about 10 possible SETs that I was able to create on a single board! It merely displayed the number (“10 SETs found”), but it was fun to know this, especially when you’re stuck on one of the harder turns. It’d be great to have such a feature where I can see the multiple possibilities of SETs on a single game board in all modes (except Puzzle, where this feature is already present).
I also got pretty immersed in the Arcade mode. The one catch: eventually I had to stop playing. There’s no ability to save the game right now, so despite playing for a long time, I had to stop abruptly and my progress was lost. A “save” feature would be great.
Overall, the game is great. I think that there are some things needing some small changes (cosmetically, the menus make the game seem more appropriate for young children despite it being an appropriate game for children of all ages), but aesthetics aside, SET for the iPhone is a keeper.
Giveaway: I have one extra redeemable code for SET. Simply try to guess how long it took me to complete my first Classic game of SET in basic mode. Hint: it’s less than 3 minutes. Remember: I only needed to complete 10 SETs and had it in “easy” mode. The person who guesses closest to the real answer will win a redeemable code of the game at the iTunes store so that you can experience SET in the palm of your hands. Trust me, it’s worth it. :)