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154
4.6 out of 5 stars
ThinkFun Swish
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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2011
Got a review copy of Swish from Thinkfun. Originally, I thought Swish would be good for my fifth grade class...but then I borrowed it for use with my wife and mother-in-law. Although I had feared it might be too hard to find "matches" and that gameplay might be slow - turns out things go pretty quickly and everyone got hooked. We played in the evening at an "official" game time, but then the game got brought out for breakfast - the sign of a winner. The same thing happened with my students who kept asking me where to get it.

The cards are fairly attractive and well designed for their purpose. Just the look of the cards got my students intrigued - they look like no other cardgame cards. They are transparent and have only colored hoops and balls that you can see from each side. We have noticed that you need to play on a surface that makes it easy to see colors and the hoop/ball symbols. The cards are a little tricky to pick up from certain surfaces, but my students quickly devised a workaround solution by squeezing the sides of the card to make it bulge and facilitate pickup.

As I noted above, with a few people playing, game play goes pretty fast. The game builds visual intelligence and pattern recognition as well as math concepts of rotation and reflection as players turn and flip cards to try to match balls with hoops and vice versa. It is very satisfying when you find a match and the fact that others are simultaneously looking for matches makes it pretty competitive. A number of Thinkfun games are solo in nature and I have always thought that an asset, but it is great to see that Thinkfun can make the same kind of puzzly/thinking game and make it work for more than one player. That will really work for many kids, such as my nephew who likes thinking games - especially visual oriented ones - but who is very much into competition.

Oh...one more thing - the game has a very natural way of extending the challenge by letting you find multipe matches and I have seen some players really gravitate to that extra challenge.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2011
In classic Thinkfun fashion, Swish is a fun and addictive game. The directions are very clear, and the game is easy to play. At first, Swish seems impossible, but the more you play, the easier it gets. This won't take too long, considering you won't be able to put the game down! I LOVE Thinkfun games because I actually enjoy playing them myself. I also LOVE them because they get kids thinking in ways that they usually don't. They really do make thinking fun, and my class of 3rd graders are big fans of the games. They are also wonderful to use in an educational setting because you can easily differentiate the games. The only reason that this is rated 4 stars is because it's not my favorite Thinkfun game. However, it's certainly worth adding to the collection. If you enjoy other Thinkfun games, you'll enjoy this one, too! It reminds me a bit of Set with the clear cards and the kind of mental challenge it provides.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2012
ThinkFun's Swish goes where few card games have gone before: into the visual logic and speedy focus players need to find good matches of balls and hoops when 16 cards are dealt out on the table in a 4x4 tableau. Only "Set" has a similar action where all players search simultaneously and the fastest grabs the match. The winner is the player with the most cards collected when the cards run out.

Surprisingly, the Swish cards are transparent and can be rotated and flipped to layer the matching elements. Each card has one hoop (a Lifesaver-sized ring) and one ball (solid dot that exactly fills the space in the ring). An analysis of the distribution of the hoops and balls, each in 4 colors, shows that indeed every combination is represented, with one color only on corners, one only on the inside, one only on centers of the short side, and the last in the two positions on the outside edges of the long sides. (Imagine the card divided into a 3x4 checkerboard.) To my delight I found that every card has its matching opposite, so the full deck of 60 cards can be sorted into 30 pairs with one or two colors. However, why there are 8 duplicate pairs, and why particularly those pairs, escapes me. It seems erratic, somehow, though the two teachers who designed the deck must have had their reasons. I, for one, being a purist in these matters, would love to know.

To match up a pair during the game is thus quite straightforward. The challenge grows when you try to find trios or even quartets that stack to fill all their hoops with matching-color balls. It has a lovely round-robin effect, a loop or chain sequence. Searching for them and finding them is a singularly pleasurable pay-off for the mind. The game, therefore, is deservedly addictive. You just try to find the matches before another player does.

My one quibble is that the cards are very shiny and their glare reduces visibility, depending on the light source where you're playing. And the beautiful clarity of the flexible transparent plastic will eventually cloud over from innumerable little scratches from shuffling and handling, like those plastic desk pads. But unlike paper playing cards, Swish cards can be wiped clean to remove fingerprints and pizza residue.

Good repeat play value for ages 8 to adult (yes, grown-ups groove on it, too, and it's good for our brains). The aerated drawstring pouch makes Swish a fine take-along entertainment. Not easy to play in the car (things slide too easily), but great when visiting friends or family or waiting in restaurants. Looks super on a white tablecloth.

As for the solitaire aspect, the rules say you can make a Swish with up to 12 cards. Now I wondered whether it's possible to make 5 swishes of 12 cards each simultaneously. After an assiduous assault on this challenge, I'm sorry to report that it is not possible to build more than 4 stacks of 12, simply because of a shortage of two orange and blue hoops and balls, and a surplus of two greens and purples. Did someone miscount my deck? ThinkFun folk, can you swap me out some cards? Will you indulge my obsessive yearning for completeness, now that you've got me hooked on Swish?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2011
I have played many classic card games through the years with varying degrees of success. These games range from Bridge to Poker. I would even include Old Maid, Crazy 8s and Go Fish when opponents needed age appropriate game play. SWISH has become my latest addiction. The game is all about layering 2, 3, or 4 cards from a field of 16 on the playing surface so that graphic balls and hoops merge over one another when oriented correctly onto each other. The fact that the cards are transparent plastic makes the merge possible when cards are flipped, rotated, and stacked. A player wins the cards with a correct stack. The game winner has the highest card count when all 60 cards are played. SWISH is a true visual and spatial challenge that changes each time the field of 16 cards changes which makes for endless fun. SWISH's recent arrival on the card scene may not qualify it as a classic just yet. But if my experiences with repeat play suggests anything, it will be ranked with other most popular card favorites soon.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2013
Verified Purchase
I was excited to get this game in time to take to a family gathering (approximately nine people tried out the game). at first it was a lot of fun, but after a little practice, even staggering the rules (the very youngest only had to match one ball and hoop while ignoring the other balls and hoops, the middle players had to make one set of swishes, and the older players had to make triple swishes), it quickly got old. as other reviewers mentioned, the dealer frequently missed any opportunity to play as all of the other players immediately jumped on the cards. ultimately, it was too easy for everyone and we moved on to other games.

also, the clear cards got scratched easily. the paint didn't come off and the cards are still useable, but I was disappointed at how easily and how much they scratched (we were near the beach, so we had more sand than most game rooms probably experience, but any place with children is bound to see SOME amount of dirt and such).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2012
Verified Purchase
Game is rated for ages 8+. But for a young learner, try this: First, take out all cards with orange on them (half the set), as these are the most tricky to rotate/flip mentally. With the remaining 30 cards, lay out a 5x6 grid. Then, try an unrushed game more like classic "memory": on your turn, point to two cards that you believe will make a swish. If you can pick them up and flip/rotate to prove the swish, you get an extra turn. If not, next player takes turn. (Adults can have further self-handicap of needing to find 3-way swish on their turn, and/or find a swish before kid counts to 12, says the alphabet, whatever.)

My only complaint about game as it arrived was some hazy white printing residue on some cards (dramatic against black table). Seems it can probably be washed/scraped off. I hope the clear cards don't get too easily scratched up over time, as I'm looking forward to playing it far into the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2011
Swish is challenging but enjoyable because you will quickly improve your skill. You can handicap players by disallowing two card combos to make it fair for begginners. My 11 year old does this for me! Cards are cool and durable. A great portable travel game too.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2011
As a parent and a teacher, I love SWISH! My 7 year old students love playing this game any time. They even ask to stay in at recess to play. Better yet, two of my students and I read the directions and played. After that, they taught others how to play. It spread like wild fire.This game moves as fast as the players make it move. Because they can play with two, three, or more card matches, everyone can enter the game where they are. Experienced and non-experienced players can play together. Win-win. My 10 year old loves it as much as my 7 year olds for all the same reasons. Every classroom and home needs SWISH!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2012
Swish is created by a company named ThinkFun Inc. This was my first clue that I wasn't in for your typical brainless, draw-a-card-and-match-the-color type of game. I was excited that we'd actually get to use our noggin and really think about our moves! My 12 year old son gets enough brainless activity with video games and the internet, so as a parent, I'm always looking for a way to get him to use his brain while not even realizing it! The great thing about this game is that it can be played alone, or with as many people as you want!

Swish contains 60 see-through cards. 16 cards are placed on the playing surface for everyone to see. On each card are different colored balls and hoops. The object is to stack between 2 and 12 cards so that each colored ball fits through a hoop of the same color. Here's the tricky part - the cards can be flipped or rotated to make the balls align, BUT you must do it in your head before touching the cards. If you touch the cards and they aren't a match, you're penalized.

I played with my son and husband. The game started out fairly quickly, as we used the beginner rule that you could only make stacks of two. Once we picked up on it (which we did very quickly) we allowed stacks of any number of cards. This is when it got really difficult. We all really enjoyed the challenge of trying to find matches, and all had a good laugh when someone was so sure they had a good match but didn't quite make it.

One thing that we had a problem with was picking up the cards. We played on a hard surface, and the cards were so slippery they were nearly impossible to pick up. We were able to fix that easily by putting a kitchen towel under the cards, or I believe playing on carpet would have worked as well. I also loved that it came with a small carrying pouch. So many games take up so much room on the shelf, but Swish really isn't much bigger than a deck of cards and is easily portable - instructions and all. Speaking of instructions, there weren't many. This is one of the easier games that I've played in terms of picking up on it quickly. In fact, my son missed the reading of the rules, so he just watched my husband and me make about 3 matches and was able to join in from there with no problem.

Swish is a game that will remain dustless on the family's game shelf. I have no doubt that it's a game we will play on a regular basis. It's adult enough that my husband and myself can play it alone, or we can play it as an entire family. I love how versatile it is, and I love that it really does make you think. Our goal now is to start making matches of 4 cards or more, but I have a feeling that may take quite a bit more practice!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2011
When this game arrived, my husband was the first to play it. He loves any kind of game like Swish, logical thinking, visual perception...me? Well, it took awhile for me to get the hang of it. Now, I like it. ;o) My 14 yr. old son thinks it's "cool". The directions are easy to follow, it all fits nicely in a draw string bag for easy take along fun.
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