Dixit – a party game of subtlety, sensitivity and creativity

Dixit is a surprisingly lovely and subtle party game in which players try to guess which image was selected by the “storyteller.” The rules are simple enough to learn in a few minutes. The 84 large cards are beautifully and evocatively illustrated. And the whole game can be played in well under an hour.

The subtlety of the game comes from the scoring system and from a growing understanding of the art of being a successful storyteller – for art is what it is.

The game begins with each player receiving six cards, dealt randomly from the deck. One player is selected storyteller. Once the storyteller has selected a card, she can give any kind of clue she wants. After she has given her clue, the other players try to find a card that will fit the clue well enough to get voted for. The storyteller takes her card and the other players selections, and lays them out, face-up, in random order. Everyone uses their voting chips to select the one card they think belonged to the storyteller. Players get the most points by voting for the storyteller’s card. They also gets points for every player who votes for their card. In addition to the cards, the game includes a race track scoring board, voting chips, and 6 wooden bunny-like playing pieces, each of a different color.

What makes the game so intriguingly subtle is the result how the storyteller scores. If her clue is so good that everyone votes for her card, or so vague that no one votes for it, she gets no points. So there’s an art here. If you’re the storyteller (you don’t actually have to tell a story, you can sing a song, utter a poem, act, mime, whatever you think will communicate your choice to almost everyone), it pays not only to be subtle, but also to have a good feel for your audience.

The need for both subtlety and social awareness makes Dixit a true party game. Though children as young as 8 can understand the game, unless they are compassionate and theatrically gifted (like my granddaughter), they will have trouble playing it successfully with anyone other than their peers. Though it may remind you of other games (Balderdash, perhaps? Apples to Apples?), it proves to be impressively unique, and hence a valuable addition to your games collection. Designed by Jean-Louis Roubira, with art by Marie Cardouat, Dixit invites strategic thinking, sensitivity and, most importantly, creativity. And for people who possess all these strengths, Dixit proves to be Major FUN.

(thanks to Marc Gilutin for recommending Dixit so strongly – he was right again)

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