Instant Game Night Reviews: Dixit
“Is Dixit a good game to bring to game night?”
Year Published 2008
Designer Jean-Louis Roubira
Artist Marie Cardouat
Age Range 8+
Playing Time 30 Minutes
Dixit is a classic clue-giving party board game in which players earn points for correctly guessing which card the clue giver played, as well as for "tricking" other players into voting for their cards instead of the clue giver's.
The twist in Dixit is how the clue giver scores points. If their clue is too obvious and all players guess it correctly, the clue giver gets no points. On the flipside, if the clue is too obscure and no players guess it correctly, the clue giver again gets no points. So, when giving a clue, players need to strike a perfect balance and give a clue that most players will guess correctly, but not all players. So, think carefully!
Below you will find a brief summary of the game play along with our thoughts on whether or not Dixit is a good game to bring to your next game night get-together.
Please note: We do not intend this review to be a thorough explanation of the rules of a game or how to play. Rather, our reviews are aimed to provide you a basic overview of the game play along with our thoughts on how suitable a particular game is to bring to a game night with family or friends. If this is your first time reading an Instant Game Night review, please click here to read about our review format and rating system.
To begin the game players choose a scoring marker and take the appropriate number of voting tokens depending upon the number of players (4 tokens for 4 players, 5 for 5 players, etc.). Each player is then dealt 6 cards. The starting player will select one of their 6 cards and give a clue to the other players.
This clue can take almost any form including a word a phrase and even sounds. There is virtually no limits to the type of clue that can be given, affording players a lot of freedom when creating their clue. Once the clue has been given, all other players will select one card from their hand that they feel most closely matches the original clue. Players will give this card face down to the clue giver, who will then shuffle all the cards and arrange them on the game board randomly. Each card will be assigned a number value from 1 to 6. All players except the clue giver will then select the one card they believe was played by the clue giver to vote for.
Players will then select the corresponding vote token ( Token 2 for the card in position 2 and so on) and place the token face down in front of them. Once all players have selected a token, they then reveal their tokens simultaneously and scoring commences.
Scoring in Dixit
Scoring each round depends on whether or not the clue giver's card was voted for.
If no one voted for the clue giver's card they receive no points and all other players receive 2 points, plus 1 additional point for each vote that they themselves received.
If all players voted for the clue giver's card the clue giver would also get no points and all players would receive 2 points.
If the clue giver received some but not all of the votes they are awarded 3 points. In addition, players will receive one point for each vote their card received.
When the points have been tallied, each player moves their scoring marker the appropriate number of spaces and then all players draw a card from the deck to refresh their hand.
To begin the next round the player to the left of the previous clue giver will now become this round's clue giver.
Play will continue in till either one player has reached 30 points on the scoring track or the draw deck has been depleted of cards. When this happens the game ends and the player with the most points is declared the winner.
Dixit is a modern day classic in the party game genre of board games. There is no denying that this game has had a significant impact on hobby board gaming and has served as a gateway game for many newcomers to the hobby since it was released in 2008.
In particular the scoring mechanic where the clue giver must balance between being too obvious or too obscure has since been implemented in many other board games over the years and has been met with critical acclaim. And it is indeed this idea of needing to be specific enough to get votes but not too obvious that you would earn all the votes that truly makes Dixit an amazing game for game nights.
Simply put, Dixit is a game that can be learned by anyone and enjoyed by just about everyone. It is a game that doesn't take itself too seriously and gives players ample opportunities to interact and have a fun experience. While veteran gamers will find it an extremely light game in terms of rules and gameplay, the beautiful artwork and creative opportunities give it a lot of appeal for this group as well.
There will certainly be people with whom Dixit does not resonate, however, we expect these people to be few and far between. In closing, Dixit is a game that we unanimously recommend for just about any type of game night and any type of game group. It may be enjoyed as the feature game of the night for less experienced groups, or a wonderfully fun filler game for more experienced gamers.
If you haven't tried Dixit yet, we highly recommend that you check it out!
Our rating system:
G rabs your attention
E asy to play & teach
N ewbie friendly
G ood rulebook
H olds attention
! our experience
Dixit Rating Breakdown
Grabs Your Attention
While the card art work in Dixit is visually stunning, when the game is first set up players will only see the card backs and the game board. This makes Dixit much less of an eye catcher then it should be at first glance. Because of this, Dixit runs the risk of seeming like quite a boring game to a newcomer before they have taken their first term. However, once players pick up their hand of cards we are confident that their attention will be sufficiently grabbed by the beautiful artwork.
You would be hard pressed to find a game more agile to set up and play then Dixit. The amount of components is minimal and rules are extremely easy to pick up on. We have experienced turns taking a bit longer than they should, especially for new players who are trying to think of appropriate clues. For this reason we recommend that if you have more experienced players that they go first to give some good clue examples for others. Despite the fact that players may trip up the first few times they give clues, we find Dixit to be a wonderfully streamlined and quick playing experience.
When it comes to being memorable, certainly the card art in Dixit does the heavy lifting. The artwork is certainly beautiful and is bound to help create a memorable experience. In addition, the interaction between players also helps to create a fun experience. While we certainly think Dixit is memorable, there are also a lot of other games out there that are even more so. We still have to give this classic its due - there is no way it would be as popular as it is without being memorable!
Easy to Teach and Play
Dixit could not be easier to teach or play. Five minutes is an overly generous estimate of the amount of time it will take to set up and explain the game. In our experience, new players always catch on very quickly and might only struggle in thinking of their first couple of clues. Beyond that, Dixit is an extremely low barrier to entry game.
For all of the reasons above we find Dixit to be very newbie friendly. There are no complex mechanisms or rules to learn in the game. Most everyone should be familiar with the concept of clue-giving and voting. The way scoring works might have to be explained a time or two, however, even this is very simple to pick up on. For these reasons, there are very few circumstances where we would not recommend Dixit to new players.
By its very nature, Dixit is an extremely interactive game. Players will be constantly conversing back in forth both during clue-giving and after voting on/revealing the clue giver's card. While we certainly find the gameplay of Dixit itself enjoyable, it is the interaction with other players during the game that keeps us coming back to it.
Good Rule Book
The rulebook for Dixit is extremely short and to the point. In fact, the first time you read it you might think you are missing something. But you really aren't. The rulebook sufficiently explains all of the concepts of the game along with end of round scoring and game end conditions. It also includes some graphic examples to help with understanding the scoring system. We had no issues with the rulebook and found it to be very well streamlined.
Dixit does a good job of holding the attention of players. When players aren't thinking about a clue that was just given, they are thinking about what card to play, what card to vote for, or what hint they are going to give next. This, combined with the high level of interaction between players, makes Dixit a game where it is very difficult to lose focus or attention.
Like so many party games, Dixit is essentially a themeless game. We always have to deduct score for a game with no attempt at theme, however we do appreciate that with Dixit it is often the players' hints and interactions with each other that actually create a unique theme with each play. That being said, we are always of the mindset that integrating some type of theme into a game is important, particularly for a game night experience.
Finally it's time to tell you about our personal experiences with Dixit. We have played the game with as few as 3 players and as many as 6. You might think that Dixit is always better with more players, but actually with the modified 3 player rules we have actually found that the game scales extremely well at all player counts. While we do prefer a larger group, it is a completely enjoyable experience to play Dixit with just 3 players.
Everyone we have introduced this game to has always had an enjoyable time and has never turned down the chance to play again. This is a game that requires very small spurts of critical thinking with the rest of the time open for interacting with others and simply enjoying the experience. It is for this reason that Dixit will always hold a spot in our collection and will likely always be one of our top game night game choices for casual players. Score: 1/1