Dixit (Game Review)

Dixit

Dixit

As one of the more distinctive games in the Apples to Apples genre, Dixit has gained a lot of popularity over the past couple years. Though I’m not the target audience, I have to say the attention is well-earned. One game every few months is enough for me (sometimes more than enough), but it’s interesting, and I can play it with people who wouldn’t otherwise be interested in games.

Dixit is by otherwise little-known designer Jean-Louis Roubira, but artist Marie Cardouat deserves at least as much credit. After all, the first thing anyone notices about it is the evocative artwork. Each card is wordless, with a dreamlike, almost menacing, picture. They’re almost too weird to work for a family game, but the creativity and soft focus make them more interesting than off-putting.

The mechanics are solid, too. Players take turns being the storyteller, who must say a word or two about one card and then play it face down. Everyone else plays a card they think matches the description, and then each player except the storyteller guesses which one was played originally. Points are, of course, earned for choosing right and for convincing other people to choose your card.

Dixit cardsAll of that may sound like a typical Apples to Apples-style game, but Dixit is the only game I’ve seen like it that actually provides a balanced gameplay. First of all, almost everyone at the table is making a quick, simultaneous choice, which feels a lot less arbitrary than a single leader choosing one person to get a big bonus. But also, the storyteller’s goal is to have at least one person choose their card, and at least one person choose wrong! This forces them to be creative, offering hints that aren’t too strong, especially since a lot of the cards have similar themes. This resolves a lot of the issues that plague similar games. There’s no motivation to be especially clear or vague, and if the description is well-chosen, other players will have to play cards that are also only slightly like the description. There are real choices every round.

Playing with the same cards over and over does get tiring quickly (even if you buy some expansions), and it can be difficult to catch up if someone else gets a lot of points in the first few rounds. As I mentioned above, this isn’t the kind of game that usually grabs me. I definitely respect how well it fills the niche it aims for, though, and it’s a great choice for a lot of people. Dixit is proof that games with popular appeal don’t have to be lazy and unbalanced.

Grade: B

 (Images taken from Board Game Geek. Follow the links for the originals and photographer credits.)

 
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