Sometimes you just want to play a game that’s nice. Something where extra monsters don’t spawn at the most tense moment, your luck doesn’t depend on the roll of a many sided die, and you don’t need to commit a whole lot of strategy to your game plan. When this mood strikes, I turn to Dixit.
The game starts like many others – with a hand of cards for each player. Unlike many other games though, these cards have no text, numbers, or any instruction. Instead, they have unique, often-beautiful, always-intriguing illustrations that are very much open to interpretation.
Each player takes turns of being the “storyteller” – they use a phrase, a word, or even a sound to describe what’s happening on their card. Everyone else chooses a card from their hand which also best describes that phrase / word / sound. These cards are all collected and shuffled together before being placed face up.
Everyone except the storyteller then secretly votes for which card they think most accurately depicts the storyteller’s clue. If the storyteller has chosen their clue well, some but not all of the other players will have picked the right card; because if all the players choose the storyteller’s card, the storyteller gets no points. Likewise, if no players choose the storyteller’s card, the storyteller still gets no points (to add insult to injury, everyone else gets two points).
Points are also given to those who vote for the correct card, and to those whose cards have been voted for. The scoring is absolutely the trickiest part of the game, but after a few rounds you won’t need to refer back to the rulebook. The beginner’s-trickiness of the scoring is counteracted by the fact that the tokens are cute little bunnies. The first player to get said cute little bunny to 30 points is the winner.
On one hand, Dixit is fun to play with people you know, and with whom you share in-jokes, or at least specific pop-culture knowledge. On the other hand, it’s a great icebreaker party game, played with more general references and a great way to start a get-together.
You can play Dixit with your little sister, your grandpa or your friends and still have a great time; because you set the clues, you adapt it to your specific opponents. I say “opponents”, but Dixit isn’t a game you play to win, necessarily. Competitive types need not apply. More important is enjoying the great arty illustrations and your creative interpretations.
Typically, everyone has an understanding of how the game works after a single round, which leaves more time for enjoying the game.
Dixit also boasts a number of “expansions” which more or less add more illustrated cards to your stock, giving players an expanded array of illustration cards to decipher clues for. Many of these illustrations – from both the original game and the expansions – I would like in poster size, to hang from my walls.
Pretty much, Dixit didn’t win the 2010 Spiel des Jahres (basically the Nobel Prize of board games) for nothing, and it’s a game I like to play with friends of all gaming-enthusiasm. I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who didn’t enjoy it.
If you’re after a nice party game, with pretty pictures and references that you can tailor to your interests, Dixit is your game.
- Number of Players: 3-6
- Game Length: 30 minutes
- Designed by: Jean-Louis Roubira
- Published by: Asmodee
- Game type: Party Game
- Cost (AUD): $38-55
Watch Dixit being played on TableTop!