Wednesday, November 12, 2014


As far as my gaming experience goes, Apples To Apples was the start of a new genre of boardgames for me, the basic theme of which is a single judge that others are playing towards. The massively popular adult party game Cards Against Humanity is cut from the same cloth, but I find it difficult to enjoy. I'm simply not that vulgar at heart, and find it difficult to laugh at some of the more extreme cards[1].

Dixit is a beautiful card game about imaginative descriptions. Each tarot-sized card contains no text, just a single, stunningly painted image. The judge for the round picks one of her cards in her hand and describes it in some imaginative way. In games I've played we've had players sing, name a popular TV series, simply point to another player announcing "You and me"[2], speak a phrase in Chinese, and play a short piece of music from his phone, to name just a few of the more imaginative clues given.

Based on the clue, it is then up to the other players to pick a card in their hand that most closely matches the clue. All the cards are put together, shuffled and then dealt out. The other players then have to guess the judge's card from the ones revealed, secretly choosing a card and voting simultaneously.

The fun of Dixit is in describing your card, or choosing a card that matches the description given. Interpreting the art on the cards in an unusual way requires some ingenuity, and even more when you need just one or two other people at the table to key into what you mean.If the judge was too obvious and everone guesses her card, then she gets no points, and everyone else gets a few. If the judge was too obsure, and no one guesses her card, then, again, she gets no points, and everyone else gets a few. In the Goldilocks zone, where a few vote for the card and few don't, the judge and those who voted for her card get points. Other players cards who received votes also get a small number of bonus points.

Dixit is a popular game at my table. It's short playtime allows us to break it out before a bigger game, or fill in time before food. It's also one of the few games that comfortably allow above six players, and we've had a few games with seven. While there was a 12 player version of Dixit available in the past, that is now out of print, so we've had to fudge the components we have to allow extra players.

The core game comes with 84 cards, and each expansion adds another 84. As a nice touch, the the latest edition of the core box has space for three expansion desks, giving you a huge selection. But part of the fun is seeing the same card described in a new, imaginative way, so don't feel obliged to buy expansions too quickly.

A fun game that always results in a lot of laughs, Dixit is simply beautiful to look at. A lot of time every game is spent just staring at the beautifully presented cards.

[1] - "Super-soaker full of cat pee" stills gets me every time, though.

[2] - I used that clue with a friend, and it worked. She was the only one to guess my card; a picture of a little boy sitting in front of a TV playing Super Nintendo, with the characters flowing out of the screen.

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