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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Picture This...

Today we have two more of our friends joining us at MoJoe's Coffeehouse in downtown Indy off of Michigan St. to play the classic, creative, storytelling game known as Dixit.  The staff at MoJoe's Coffeehouse were respectful and have served me well the times that I have gone there before.  The two most important things to us no matter where we get our brewed drinks, is that the people are kind and the beverages are great, both of which MoJoe's Coffeehouse has fulfilled for us, and we look forward to returning again.  Dixit is a 3 - 6 player, storytelling, voting, party game primarily geared toward the creative and open-minded individual.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so come with us as we delve into the abyss of artistic dreams to explore the mystique and wonder that is Dixit.
In the game of Dixit, the active player takes on the role of the storyteller.  That individual examines the 6 cards in their hand.  Based on a single card of their choosing, he/she thinks up a clue to describe their chosen card, and says it out loud (without revealing the card to the other players).  The clue can take on various forms.  It could consist of one or more words, a longer phrase, a sound or group of sounds that represent the clue.  It could be invented on the spot, or it can take the form of already existing works from a book, a poem, a song, a movie, a proverb, anything you wish.  Next, the remaining players choose one card from their 6 cards that best illustrates the clue given by the storyteller and places them face down in front of him/her.  The storyteller then collects these cards, keeping them face down without revealing anything to the other players or themselves.  The storyteller then shuffles the cards (along with the one they chose) together.  The cards are then randomly revealed in a row or on the numbered spaces by the scoreboard if you have the newer revision of Dixit.  The next stage is voting.  The goal of the other players is to find the storytellers card from the revealed cards.  Each player (other than the storyteller of course) votes in secret for the card he/she thinks is the storytellers card.  This is done by placing their numbered tokens face down in front of themselves which when revealed, will display the card on the numbered row that they believe is the storytellers card.  After the tokens are flipped over and revealed, those tokens will be placed on the corresponding number of the cards in that row.  Once everyone has voted and designated which card they think is the storytellers card, the storyteller reveals which card was his/her card.
This is where the game can get slightly tricky so you need to be on your guard and keep these factors in mind when you first reveal your clue to the group.  As the storyteller, you have to be careful how obvious you make your clue to the other players.  You do not want everyone to vote for your card.  If every player ends up voting for the storytellers card, you are awarded no points and everyone else gets 2 points each.  If no one votes for the storytellers card, you still get nothing and everyone else get's two points plus a 1 point bonus per vote that they may receive for his/her card.  If at least one player, but not all players have found the storytellers card, the storyteller receives 3 points, and the players who have found the card receive 3 points each, plus a 1 point bonus per vote that they may receive for his/her card.  If I'm the storyteller, it's to my advantage to know the people around me and how they think.  The flip side can also be said for the players looking to find the storytellers card.  I may want to purposefully make my card obvious in the event that others around me may be thinking, "No, he/she would not choose this card with that phrase, it's just too obvious."  The problem with this is if the others around you don't over think things too much, it may not be so easy to sway them towards a card or in the opposite direction.  It might be easier to completely throw everyone else off and make the powers of deduction too difficult for them to play, and just see what happens.  Again, this is what can be tricky at times, because as the storyteller, you do not want everyone to vote for your card, but you also do not want for everyone to not vote for your card either.  There is a delicate balance to keep in mind with Dixit.  Ahhhhhh!  Creativity meets deductive reasoning! 
At first glance, the overall game appears that it would only be a children's game, but that could not be further from the truth, and it's absolutely designed to work across nearly all ages groups.  Dixit is a really light weight game and can be taught in 5 minutes and then played in 30.  Although, the biggest thing that this game has going for it is the gorgeous artwork by French illustrator Marie Cardouat.  If there is one thing that stands out more in Dixit it is the truly creative, wondrous artwork that is demonstrated on each of the cards.  It's funny how one aspect of a game can drive a person to say, "This artwork is amazing, I must have this game!"  The large cards carry a tarot-style feel and are printed well for a fun, quality experience.  The mechanics and scoring of the game are not as difficult as you would think for first timers, but the ability to balance your judgment in this game is another great aspect to the execution of the gameplay.  Dixit is not designed to be a gamers game, it's designed to provide a fun and creative outlet for gaming groups that are looking for something light weight or a filler game for the evening.  We've played Dixit many times over the span of our tabletop experience, and it's been a while since we've played it.  However, coming back to it today has really reminded me of it's enjoyable fun and good replay ability that it provides.  It was a joy to meet up with Valerie and Jamie to practice our creativity, and cunning trickery.  If you're looking for a great family game for creative people that know literature, movies, music and more, this is an especially great game for those type of groups.

Overall Meeple Rating: 7/10

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