Published on May 28th, 2012 | by Gerald Chan1
Caption This! – Dixit The Board Game
Over the weekend, the regular board game group exploded to 10 players which is a big figure when you consider that most games cap out at 6 or at the most 8 players in total.
Thankfully, Dan bought/brought along a new game that he had purchased that very afternoon and we have to honor of playing Dixit fresh out of the box!
Dixit is a game based on bluff essentially and the official description would do a better job detailing the core gameplay mechanics:
One player is the storyteller for the turn. He looks at the 6 images in his hand. From one of these, he makes up a sentence and says it out loud (without showing the card to the other players).
The other players select amongst their 6 images the one that best matches the sentence made up by the storyteller.
Then, each of them gives their selected card to the storyteller, without showing it to the others. The storyteller shuffles his card with all the received cards. All pictures are shown face up, randomly, and every player has to bet upon what picture was the storyteller’s.
If nobody or everybody finds the correct picture, the storyteller scores 0, and each of the other players scores 2. Otherwise the storyteller and whoever found the correct answer scores 3. Players score 1 point for every vote gotten by their own picture.
The game ends when the deck is empty or if someone reaches 30 points,so he wins.Otherwise the greatest total wins the game.
So, the real objective as the storyteller is to be both vague and accurate in describing the card that you are trying to play. The other players will try to ride upon that description to earn more points for themselves.
I found that depending on your community or gaming group, the descriptions of the cards for Dixit requires one to have a good grasp of language. After all, pretty hard to describe something without a solid vocabulary YET not being too distinctly obvious.
This is the odd thing. Despite, being a game where there is an eventual winner, one cannot be too competitive in order to rack up the most points by describing the card that you are going to play perfectly. It nets you no points.
There is a fair amount of luck involved when playing cards out of your “Storyteller” phase as well. One has to match the cards in their hand to throw off the other players into voting for them at the expense of the storyteller in that round.
Apart from the above points, Dixit really scores in keeping a large gaming group entertained and engaged. Not many games have that ability and yet be fast paced as well. We had played 2 sessions in total with each taking roughly 40 minutes each. Set up of the gameboard was very fast and thanks to the simple and straightforward rules, we were able to jump right into the game after a very short explanation of the game.
The highlight of Dixit would be its artwork. Because of the interpretative nature of the game, no one views a particular card in the same way. Some cards were draw a tid morbidly (which I approve!) but because it is the storyteller’s job to make sense of the card, it can lead to rather humorous instances. Kids would simply take the card at face value without thinking too much about the underlying message.
While not exactly the genre of board games I enjoy. Board games that require players with a flair of conversation usually gives little control due to the interpretative nature of the game in achieving the ultimate goal. Dixit was a refreshing change in that many of my board games I prefer have a higher degree of scheming and strategizing.
What was really impressive about the game was how it was able to engage and entertain a maximum of 12 players while not being too thin on the aspect of strategy (you will have to play smart but there’s no need to rack your brains). Definitely a better platform for anyone who would like to move on from mainstream board games and explore what other offerings are available out there!
Locally, Dan had bought Dixit from Paradigm Infinitum, one of the very few board games stores available in Singapore. IIRC, the base game cost about $50 and the expansion which includes more picture cards came in at about $40.
If you don’t mind waiting, you would also be able to grab the game directly from Amazon as well. Not exactly the cheapest route due to shipping but if you are interested do add it to cart and visit Amazon again closer to Black Friday.