Entertaining puzzle game for the holidays


Going up!

Do you like puzzle games and are up for a new way to puzzle?If so, SETUP is for you!

In SETUP, you don’t just place the tiles next to each other on the board, but you can also place them on top of other people’s tiles. As a result, you gain height and different towers are created on the game board. Which literally and figuratively gives the game an extra dimension.

Putting together sets

You start by preparing the game board: each player sits on one side of it and thus has two squares of a unique colour in front of them (your personal bonus squares). Of the same colour, the player also gets the pawn. Next, everyone takes 4 tiles from the bag and places them on the tile holder in front of them.

You then place four tiles face-up in the centre of the game board. This is the common area that everyone gets to use. If you play with three or less, you also fill the remaining personal squares and they become common area. Finally, on the side of the board, you create another market with four open tiles.

And then you are ready to start. But first:

1. What is a set?

A set always consists of at least two tiles and can include:

  • the same numbers in different colours
  • consecutive numbers in the same colours

Good. So now you know which two types of sets you can make. For each set you make, you get points. It may happen that by putting down one tile, you make several sets.

2. Make sets

You place one or more tiles from your board and/or from the market on the game board. You may place them on open spaces in the common area or you may place them on a tile that is already there. You may also build on tiles in your opponent’s personal area. By doing so, you do give your opponent an extra point on the scoreboard for free.

By the way, the tiles you put down must be part of the same set. For example, you may not place three separate tiles scattered across the board.

3. Or you swap….

Of course, it can happen that you can’t (or don’t want to) make a set. In that case, you have to swap some tiles from your board with the same number from the bag. Your turn is immediately over and you have to wait until the next turn to put something down again.

4. Scoring points

Of course, in the end, it’s all about the points! With your pawn, you walk as many squares as you have made sets. Each tile from the set you made scores 1 point. So you also get points for the tiles that were already there. And if you have made several sets with your tiles, you count points for each set. By the way, a tile belonging to multiple sets is only worth 1 point.

If someone has used tiles in their set that are in your personal area, you get 1 point for each tile they have used. So you can get a maximum of 2 points.

5. Replenishing tiles

At the end of your turn, you replenish the tiles on your board and in the market to four.

Entertaining puzzle

I have now played several games of SETUP and every time that word comes to mind: friendly. The game gives me a bit of a Scrabble/Rummikub vibe. You work on a shared board, so get in each other’s way a bit. But you can usually pick up some points on your turn. Because you gain height, you can also deliberately break sets or make it difficult for others. The most fun, of course, is to puzzle together the longest possible set.

But don’t despair: it can be quite a puzzle to get your tiles out. A good game to keep your brain active this holiday!

This game comes out of the hat of Denmark’s Bezzerwizzer Studio. I previously wrote about this studio’s trivial (shorter and more fun) Bezzerwizzer variant.

Want more inspiration for beautiful, fun, funny and original games? Then check out the complete A-Z for the holidays. You still have plenty of time to buy gifts that will impress soon! If you buy through a link in this review, you also support Pen & Pion!

General information on SETUP

  • number of players: 2 – 4
  • time: 25 minutes
  • from: 8 years, the game is language-independent so younger players can also puzzle along. The numbers go from 1 – 10.
  • price: around € 25 (summer 2023) Buy via this Dutch link.

I received a presentation copy from Asmodee to try out the game. This review was updated autumn 2023. You will find affiliate links in this text. If you purchase the game (or anything else) through these links, you support the website and the work ofPen & Pion 🎲🧩♟️

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