I got two board games for Christmas; the first was Camel Up and the second one was Dixit. Of these two board games, I think my friends like Dixit more and it’s easy to see why! The game is simple but it promotes a massive amount of creativity. The rules are like a combination of Apples and Apples and Balderdash with a fantasy twist to them. Basically, each player (3-6 usually) gets six cards with very strange, surreal drawings on them. The “active” player picks a card and says a clue that represents his/her card. This clue can be anything from a phrase, a poem, song, word, or, my favorite, sound effects! You lay down that card and all of the other players pick a card from their hand that best matches that description. Once the cards are in, the active player shuffles them and lays them down for all to see.
Now. This is where Dixit’s true unorthodox nature comes through and what makes it stand out. If at least one player, but not all, correctly guess which card is the “active” card, both the active player and the other player(s) get points. But if none or all of the players correctly guess the active player’s card, then the active player gets no points. The beauty of this game comes from your clue. Your clue should not be too obvious or too obscure, you have to find that healthy balance between the two. And that is where the real fun of the game comes in. What clue will you think up of when you see an armored rabbit looking at three doors, or a self-mutilating plant, or planets arranged on a galaxy-size abacus? “The unknown?” “Depression?” “John Lennon?” The possibilities are almost endless.
Unfortunately, this can also be a drawback for new players as I found it hard initially to get in the swing of things. Mine and other player clues were either too vague or too easy for our opponents so we didn’t score a lot early on. There is definitely a certain mindset you should have when approaching this game similar to how you would tackle Scrabble, Boggle, or Balderdash. But once you find that train of thought you ride it forward towards the Land of Enjoyment!
The other major drawback of the game is the number of playable cards. Although 84 cards is an amazing number, there definitely should be more cards to help satisfy the intense variety of illustrations. Some cards are just so specific that it can be easy to identify them no matter what clue the active player gave. Luckily, there are several expansions to this game that adds more cards to the already large set. Each expansion, from what I can tell, adds 84 more cards making the expansion set well worth it. What’s more, Dixit is one of the few board games that’s organized to handle more expansions in its box which is AMAZING. So many games don’t do this and it’s a bit of a pain to carry two boxes of the same game around. Dixit cuts the BS out and gives you a great box that can easily handle several expansions.
Buy it? Buy this game if you want something light that is easy to learn and not competitive. This game is fun for those who have a creative flair (plus a beer or two helps makes the clues all the more crazy!)
Leave it? Leave the game if you want a strategic game; this is not one of those games. Also, if you don’t like Balderdash or Once Upon a Time, then this is a game you should skip.
So in the end, Dixit is a great, fun little game that should be played for fun, low key parties, family, or as a break between longer, more intense board games.