Game Types

Keith Syska
Lesson by Keith Syska
Magoosh Expert
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Example of a Sequencing Game

A rescue shelter is housing seven cats: Gato, Helado, Igloo, Jericho, Kalamazoo, Lolo, and Milagro. Each morning, all seven cats must be fed, but no two cats are fed at the same time. The order in which the cats are fed must conform to the following conditions:


Example of a Grouping Game

Chef Remy is making three dishes for today’s dinner service: an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. Those dishes will include six types of vegetable: artichoke, broccoli, carrots, daikon, eggplant, and fennel. The types of vegetable used in each dish must conform to the following conditions:

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In this lesson, we'll discuss the major type of games on the LSAT. Essentially, there are two main types of games. Sequencing games and grouping games. A vast majority of logic games are one of those two types, or a hybrid of the two. The most common game type is sequencing. Simple sequencing games ask you to put things in order.

More complex sequencing games ask you to group the variables in addition to order them. Grouping games are the other main type of logic game. These games ask you to group the variables. Sometimes the number of spots in each group is given or fixed. There are tougher grouping games, however, for which the number of spaces in each group is not given.

We called those floating. In addition, a grouping task can be combined with a sequencing task to create a hybrid game. Some test prep materials list more than these categories of logic games. Most of the additional categories are variations of the grouping game. For example, in out games, a really just grouping games with two mutually exclusive groups.

Some materials discuss matching games. However, the difference between grouping and matching is purely conceptual. And you can use the same type of diagram to solve either game type. Finally, there are a few rare game types that appear from time to time. For example, mapping games and pattern games have appeared on recent LSAT exams. You shouldn't study rare game types until you've mastered sequencing games, grouping games, and hybrid games.

For one, the main types of games comprised more than 90% of the official logic games. The rare game types are truly rare. Second, the skills you learn for the standard game types will give you a solid foundation for studying the rare types later. In order to attack a logic game efficiently, you must be able to identify the game task.

Let's discuss some ways to identify sequencing games. Here's an example of a sequencing game. Pause the video now, read the setup, and press play when you're done. There are a few phrases that are typical of sequencing games. Many setups to sequencing games use the word order or consecutive. Sometimes, sequencing games use ordinals such as first, second, third, etc.

Another typical phrase is one at a time. There are two phrases in this set up that indicate we're dealing with a sequencing game. First, the set up states that no two cats are fed at the same time which is a paraphrase of one at a time. And the setup uses the word order.

Another key feature of sequencing games is that they typically involve just one set of movable variables. In this example, the cats are the variables. And our task is to put them in order. To solve sequencing games, it's helpful to draw a diagram. An efficient diagram is a table of column and rows.

With one column representing each place in the order. Each row represents one solution to the game. The diagram that picks the structure of the game and the variables can be drawn into the diagram to test different solutions. For simple sequencing games, there's a one to one relationship between variables and boxes.

One variable goes in each box. Next, let's discuss the identifying features of a grouping game. Here's an example of a grouping game. Pause the video, read it now and quick play when you're done. The key feature of a grouping game is that there are two list of things. One of those lists is a set of movable variables, and the other list is a set of groups.

Your job is to put the variables into the proper groups. Grouping games are tougher to recognize than sequencing games. So if a game doesn't seem to be a sequencing game, it's probably a grouping game. In this example, we have two lists, dishes and types of vegetable. The types of vegetables are the variables that must be grouped.

The dishes, appetizer, entree, and dessert, are the groups. The diagram for grouping games is similar to that of sequencing games, in that, it consists of a table of columns and rows. Here, however, each column represents one of the groups, instead of a place in the order. Therefore, grouping game diagrams do not have a 1 to 1 relationship between variables and boxes.

Instead, multiple variables can go in each box. And some grouping games allow boxes to be left completely empty. Next, we'll discuss hybrid games. These games ask you to put things in order and group them. Therefore, these games contain language that is typical of sequencing games, but they also contain multiple lists of potential variables in groups.

There are two main types of hybrid game. The first type requires you to put all the variables in order. And then assign each variable to a group. All the variables must be put in order. So the diagram for this hybrid resembles the diagram for sequencing games. In so far as each column represents one space in the order.

However, a second row is required to keep track of the groupings. Therefore each solution in this diagram requires two rows instead of one. The final variation of the hybrid game requires you to put things into groups and then put them in order within each group. The set of variables for this game type is not ordered as a whole. Instead, the variables are ordered only within each group.

To diagram that feature of the game, use a table with a wide column for each group. And then subdivide each column into the appropriate number of slots for that particular ordering. That's an overview of the various game types. We'll discuss each type of game in more detail in later lessons.

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