Set is a match-three puzzle cardgame. Set was inspired by the designer's day job as a population geneticist. Marsha Jean Falco was keeping track of traits in the population of German Shepherds, sort of a simple database on index cards. Since many of the traits were the same, she created symbols for traits. One day as she explained her card system to a veterinarian...inspiration came to her. A few years later, we have Set.
Game play is simple; you lay out twelve cards in a 4x3 grid. Each card has the following features:
- Color: red, green, or purple
- Symbol: ovals, squiggles, or diamonds
- Quantity: one, two, or three symbols
- Shading: solid, open, or striped
As soon as you see a Set of three cards that have all same (match) or all different (mismatch) in each feature, you yell out "Set!" and take that set of cards. Next, three new cards are drawn to replace the open slots in the 3x4 grid. Repeat this process until all cards have been collected. The player with the most cards is the winner. For unknown reasons, younger players tend to beat older players, and girls tend to beat boys in Set.
Set has won numerous awards, especially educational game awards, and thus has excellent distribution in the US as well as Europe. Furthermore, multiple digital implementations exist but the best solo implementation is the New York Times Crosswords & Games daily Set Puzzle. As for multiplayer, the best is the publisher's own iPad app, Set Pro HD.