Toy Corner

Review of Dixit

Jun 11, 2024

dixit board game

If you're a fan of board games that not only entertain but also stimulate the mind, then you've probably heard about Dixit. This award-winning game from Libellud, touted to enhance kids' imaginative and descriptive skills, has been making waves in the gaming community.

Overview of Dixit Board Game

Dixit is a game defined by the association of image cards with a storyteller's given phrase. Every player plays both, the storyteller and the listener, using their imagination, communication, and deduction skills. In essence, it's a competitive interweaving of stories. It's surprising how a game with such simple rules can lead to such thoughtful gameplay.

Let's break it down. In Dixit, one can score the most points by cleverly aligning their image cards with the phrase given by the storyteller. While this might sound simple, the true fun lies in the interpretation of the phrases across different players, making each game unique and engaging. It's a test not just of strategy, but also a tantalising challenge of one's creativity.

The response to the Dixit game has been somewhat mixed. On one end, there's a roar of applause from those, who like myself, have found it to be a refreshing detour from typical party games. It's a gem that flexes your creative muscles and lets introverts shine. Yet, others seem to prefer strategy focused games like Splendor or Carcassone over the abstract nature of Dixit.

Game Contents and Quality

Unlike some games that are built purely for quick thrills or minimal engagement, Dixit stands out because of the high-quality materials used in its construction. Each Dixit game set consists of several components which take the game from a basic card game to an engaging and storytelling visual journey. The game comes with a deck of oversized cards, a scoreboard, and even wooden bunny markers that add a certain charm to the game.

The cards in Dixit deserve their mention. Each player receives a hand of six standard cards or nine for a more advanced play; the quality of the cardstock is impressive. We've all been there - card games that start to wear out after just a few rounds. But with Dixit, that's not the case. These cards are made to last, allowing you to enjoy this game for years to come down to their fantastic quality.

But believe me when I say the value of these cards goes way beyond their durability. Dixit's uniqueness lies mainly in the artwork that adorns each of its cards. If you are familiar with the art styles of Dali or James Christensen, imagine their creativity, whimsy, and warm appeal all blended together and distilled into Dixit's deck of cards.

Each card is like a page ripped from the diary of a dreamer, filled with visual expressions that range from the fantastical to the absurd. They invite a sense of wonder, leave you pondering, questioning, and most importantly, engaging in limitless storytelling possibilities. Expect surreal scenes of sentient clouds, flying ships, inflatable castles, and even trees playing soccer. The imagery is so diverse; it's like having access to a compact visual library of imagination.

dixit board game and components

Rules and Gameplay

Every board game lover is aware of the importance of grasping the game rules before settling down to enjoy the play. Dixit is an engaging game that offers equal measures of creativity and strategy. In the following sections, let’s look further into the specifics of how to set up and play this game.

As you get ready to step into this game of imagination and whimsy, you should note that Dixit accommodates anywhere between 3 and 6 players. Each player is dealt 6 image cards at the beginning of the game. However, if you're in a more intimate setting with just three participants, each player is dealt an additional card, making it 7 in total.

A draw pile is then created with the remaining cards, signifying the beginning of this fun, creative journey. The effortless set-up paves the way for an unforgettable bout of storytelling and guessing that will exercise your brain while entertaining you greatly.

The game plunges players into an intriguing world where one player assumes the role of the storyteller each round. This storyteller then looks at their hand and says a phrase or sentence that associates with one of their cards but doesn't directly describe it. There's space for creativity here, as your sentence can be inspired by ideas, emotions, quotes, lyrics - practically anything - as long as it ties in some way to your card.

Rival players then choose a card from their hand that best matches the storyteller's phrase, and place it face-down. The cards are shuffled and revealed, building suspense for what's to come. Subsequently, players vote for the card they think the storyteller owns, with the twist being they're not allowed to pick their own.

Scoring is delightfully tricky in its own way: if nobody or everybody correctly identifies the storyteller's card, the storyteller scores nothing while the others earn points based on votes. Conversely, if some players guess the card correctly, both the storyteller and those players earn 3 points each. Players also get points for each vote their chosen card received.

The first player to reach 30 points wins the game. Dixit creates a tantalising balance between vagueness and clarity, as the storyteller tries to not be too obscure or too obvious while describing their card. Breaching this balance could potentially lead to scoring nil points, adding a wonderful tactical scheme to the game.

dixit components

Pros of Dixit

One of the most notable advantages of this game is its simplicity and accessibility. The rules, easy to understand and apply, bring about quick setup and gameplay. Whether you're a board game novice or an old hand like me, you'll love the ease of jumping right into the game. Got a big group for game night? No worries. Dixit is as versatile as it is fun, adapting well for 3-6 players.

Dixit undeniably stands out for its ability to spark creativity and storytelling, a rare quality among board games. Through the interpretation of abstract artwork, you'll be stoked to see how the game encourages imaginative thinking. Be prepared for some laughter and gasps as each round offers unexpected interpretations from your peers.

Dixit's social and interactive essence can't be overstated. It's a fantastic medium for communication between players and a fun way to gain insights into how other people think. I've always believed that good games bring people together, and Dixit certainly fits the bill.

For the cherry on top. Dixit is expandable and has won plenty of prestigious awards, including the Spiel des Jahres. This assures you that your investment isn't just in any board game but in a celebrated one with an innovative design.

Cons of Dixit

While Dixit has many points in its favour, it may not be an ideal choice for everyone. One considerable downside can be the game's limited replayability if you're playing only with the base game cards. Without the additional card sets provided in expansions, I've found that the gameplay can begin to feel a bit repetitive. Thus, if you're someone who loves variety in your games, investing in an extension is recommended.

The abstract artwork on the cards is visually stunning but can sometimes add a layer of complexity, making them difficult to interpret, especially for younger players. The game relies heavily on creativity and imagination, and if these are areas where you or your game group struggle, Dixit may prove to be less engaging than expected.

Moreover, the scoring system in Dixit tends to make it exceptionally challenging to determine a clear winner if players frequently guess the clues correctly. This aspect could potentially decrease the game's appeal for competitive players, who might crave a more definitive way of winning.

Further, it's been noted that the game's physical components, such as the voting tokens, could be of better quality. They are functional but don't necessarily reflect the premium experience that Dixit's pricing might suggest.

Final Thoughts on Dixit

In spite of its strengths that shine, I do agree that Dixit may not be the perfect fit for all gamers. It's not packed with strategic manoeuvring or world domination plotting that games like Splendor, Carcassone, or Pandemic entail. Rather, it chooses to tread a different path – one that turns the spotlight on creativity and storytelling prowess.

It's pivotal to know what you are in for when you venture to try Dixit. If you cherish the idea of submerging into a gaming experience filled with creativity, where your imagination and intuition are the double-edged sword, this game could be your next favourite. It acts as an excellent ice breaker, making it a brilliant party game without demanding much in terms of physical theatrics.

Dixit's charm is subjective, mirroring its mechanic of interpretation. My score echoes this sentiment, landing at a solid 9.5 out of 10. Whether you would rate it the same or have a different score in mind, one thing's for sure - Dixit commands you to think, to delve, and to interpret. Maybe it'll be a hit for you and your troop or just a passing moment. Either way, getting your hands on Dixit looks like it's worth a try.