Published on January 15th, 2011 | by Amanda0
Dixit and Dixit 2: Prettiest Board Games Ever?
Our first board game review of the year, and the first on the new TrulyGaming.com site, is for a game that is one of the most beautiful that we've ever played and it's expansion. This is more of a party game than a board game, and features art nice enough that we wanted to hang the cards on our walls. Published by French company Libellud, and released in the USA by Asmodee, Dixit is an easy-to-learn family-friendly game that combines a bit of Apples to Apples with Balderdash. Dixit 2 offers a bunch of new cards and art, allowing additional replay but not expanding the number of players or offering any other modifications- not that we minded too much!
The game won "Best Game of the Year" awards in several countries for a good reason- it's suitable even for non-gamers. We brought it out at holiday parties without fear of boring or upsetting either those who are more into twitchy video games or those who hate games in general. The idea is simple- there is a storyteller and two to five other players each round, and each player has a hand of cards. The cards are simple- only a unique picture on each- and the artwork is the crux of the game. As a storyteller, your job is to tell a short story- a sentence, phrase, even a word or poem- and then select a card from your hand that fits. The other players also choose the best card from their hands, and everyone places their cards face down in the middle. Once everyone has chosen, the storyteller displays all of the cards so that the other players don't know which card is the source of the story. The other players then vote on which art piece they think is most likely to have been the storyteller's. Everyone draws additional cards and the storyteller position rotates each round.
Scorekeeping is a bit complicated, and the rules vary slightly if you're playing with 3 people (not recommended) versus playing with four, five, or six total. Sadly, you can't play with more than that, limiting the party a bit, but teaming up does work. Suffice it to say that your goal as a storyteller is to concoct a vague-enough story that other voters do not all select your card correctly… but keep in mind that at least one voter must for you to earn any points. The game ends when the card deck is exhausted or when a player reaches 30 points.
It's a unique and utterly unexpected game, one that features a bit of strategy and a fair amount of left-brained imagination. Kids can play easily with adults, and it's a great icebreaker game. We just wish it was playable with two players or larger numbers (an advantage of Apples to Apples for instance). It's well-designed, and if the name doesn't quite strike you as suitable, it's at least fairly memorable. It'd make a great iPad or iPhone game, though a good part of the fun lies in figuring out the people you are with, and looking for clues- the way they set down the cards, the ones they look at or skip over, the subtle tastes they are likely to demonstrate. And this version isn't quite suitable for travel, though it's easy enough to construct a pouch and scoresheet that works.
84 cards are included in the original game, which is required for use with the expansion. Dixit 2 adds another 84 new images to guess with. With a six-player game, you may use up all of the cards, giving some players a limited advantage if they have seen them before- but we found that it didn't make too much of a difference. It takes about five minutes to learn, less than that to setup or cleanup, and is suitable for ages 8 and up. We highly recommend this one, at under $30 and available online, and we can't suggest it highly enough for those tired of the same old board game routine. The expansion is a bit less expensive, and also worth a purchase, though it's a good idea to try out the initial edition and see how often you play.