A few years ago, I thought I would help out the parents of my gifted and talented students by writing about some games, toys, or books that I thought might make good purchases during the holiday season. I called the series of posts, “Gifts for the Gifted,” and I have continued to do it annually on every Friday in November and December. These gifts are suggestions for any child – not just those who qualify for a GT program. Sometimes I receive a free product for review, but I am not paid for these posts, and I never recommend a product that I wouldn’t buy for my own child. For past “Gifts for the Gifted” posts, you can visit this page.
When ThinkFun sent me the game Swish to review, I knew right away that it would be a challenge for me. I have a hard time with spatial reasoning – which is why my students can easily leave me in the dust when we play another spatial reasoning game, Set.
There are several differences between Swish and Set, however. First of all, Swish is the second game in my “Gifts for the Gifted” series this year that has transparent cards. (See “Anaxi” for the first.) Although both Set and Swish require you to look closely at the attributes of shapes on the cards and to collect sets that fit certain criteria, the Swish cards’ transparency is strategic because they must be stackable to create winning sets. You must “swish” all of the ball shapes into matching colored hoop shapes on the cards. A swish could consist of two cards, but you may be able to combine even more. (Apparently, you can make a swish of up to 12 cards!)
When our family played the game, my daughter had about 5 pairs of swishes before my husband and I could even get our eyes to focus on the cards. It wasn’t long before she was collecting swishes with 3 or 4 cards stacked on top of each other. Apparently, she is some kind of 14-year-old Swish Savant who isn’t bothered one bit by humiliatingly crushing the parents who brought her into this world;) Fortunately, the creators of the game built in a cunning solution to this, which is that you can differentiate for the ability levels of the players. Foundational players may only need to look for two stackable cards while advanced players can be required to find swishes that contain at least 3 or 4 (or 12!) cards.
Swish is for 2 or more players, ages 8 and up. Younger players may want to begin with Swish, Jr. Swish has won numerous toy awards, and is great for home or the classroom. You can see reviews of more ThinkFun games and others on my Pinterest Board here.