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SET - The Family Game of Visual Perception



SET? is a highly addictive, original game of visual perception

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The object of the game is to identify SETs of three cards. Each card is unique in its four features: color (red, green or purple); symbol (diamond, squiggle or oval); shading ( solid, striped or open); and number (1, 2 or 3 symbols). A SET consists of three cards on which each individual features is either all the same OR all different on all three cards.

SET is a highly addictive, original game of visual perception. Its a fascinating challenge for either solitaire or competitive play.? Age is no advantage in this fast-paced family game.? SET is great fun for the whole family because there is no previous knowledge required.

History of SET? by designer Marsh Jean Falco:
The SET? Game is becoming a phenomenon! It seems everybody is playing it. Who would have thought? I invented it for my own amusement in 1974 and introduced it to the outside world 16 years later in 1990.? I am constantly asked, 'How did you think of it?' The story goes like this.

In 1974, I was living and working in Cambridge, England. One part of my job as a Population Geneticist was to try to understand if German Shepherds who get epilepsy, inherit it. Geneticists, as you may know, try to connect the traits that plants, animals and people have to the genes and chromosomes in their cells. To help me understand what I was looking at, I wrote information about each dog on file cards. Because blocks of the information were the same on each file card, rather than writing the data, I drew a symbol to represent a block of data. I used symbols with different properties to indicate different gene combinations. The veterinarians working with me would look over my shoulder at the cards spread out on the table. As I tried to explain to them what to look for, the idea came to me that I could have some fun with this.

At home with my husband and friends, I worked out the game which we now call SET?. Years later, my daughter and son, who enjoyed playing it so much, urged me to put the game in stores. Since then the SET? Game has become very popular.

What is SET Doing to my Brain?!
Because the SET? Puzzle involves learning a rule of logic, players must invoke their 'left brain' thinking skills. Left brain thinking skills, such as logical thinking, are the ones predominantly taught in modern western society. However, to find the 'SETS', players must examine the spatial array of cards and locate, in the overall pattern, the cards that satisfy the rule. To do this 'right brain' thinking skills must be used. Right brain thinking skills are usually associated with spatial, intuitive thinking. These skills are usually underdeveloped. To effectively employ creative thinking requires use of both left and right sides of your brain. Both right brain thinking skills, and whole brain thinking receive little attention in school. They remain underdeveloped as we go through life because only a few occupations such as a football quarterback, pilot, or artist require them. However, everyone will gain by developing them. Every time you find a 'SET' you are using your whole brain and increasing your potential to be creative.


  • 2007 Creative Child's Preferred Choice Award
  • 2007 TDMonthly Classic Toy award
  • 2005 'Top 100 Games of 2005' Games Quartely
  • 2004 ASTRA Hot Toys
  • 2004 Parents' Choice 'Best 25 games of the past 25 years'
  • 2002 Bernis's Major Fun award
  • 2002 NSSEA - Top New Product
  • 2001 Teachers' Choice Learning Award
  • 2001 Educational Clearinghouse A+ Award
  • 2000 Top Ten Games - Wizards of the Coast
  • 1999 Parents' Council award
  • 1998 Parents Magazine
  • 1997 Parents' Choice Award
  • 1996 Dr. Toy's 10 Best Games
  • 1996 ASTRA Top Toy Pick
  • 1995 Games Magazine 'Games 100' Award
  • 1995 Deutscher Spiele Preis
  • 1994 Games Magazine 'Games 100' Award
  • 1993 Games Magazine 'Games 100' Award
  • 1992 The Consumers Association of Quebec
  • 1992 The Canadian Toy Testing Council
  • 1992 Games Magazine 'Games 100' Award
  • 1991 The Detroit News
  • 1991 OMNI Magazine
  • 1991 MENSA Select Award
  • Winner of? Over 25 Best Games Awards

Contents: 81 cards, a durable plastic carrying case, instructions.


Number of Players 1 to 20
Playing Time 30 to 45 minutes
Suggested Ages 6 and up
Mechanics card game, puzzle, real
Designer Falco, Marsha J.
Publisher Set Enterprises
Year Published 1991

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