The best games often involve a type of balance, keeping a player from using the same strategy or technique over and over for an easy win.  Dixit, a French game published in the United States by Asmodee Editions, achieves this balance by making itself a visual party game -- with a big twist.

In Dixit, everyone has a hand of six cards.  These cards have colorful, often surreal art that ranges from the whimsical to the scary.  Each round one player is the storyteller, choosing one of their cards in secret and offering a description -- from a single word or sound to several sentences -- to everyone.  The other players choose a card to match that description, and then the cards are all shuffled together and laid out, side to side.  Everyone but the storyteller secretly votes for the card they think best matches the description (but not their own card).
But there's a catch.  If every player or no player votes for the storyteller's card, every player but the storyteller scores two points.  If some players pick the storyteller's card, those players and the storyteller score three points.  And each player scores a point for each player who chose their card.  After scoring is done, everyone draws back to six cards, the player to the storyteller's left becomes the new storyteller, and a new round begins.  When the deck runs out of cards, whoever has the most points wins.

Dixit is an unusual party game.  The unusual feel of the artwork makes this feel different than most U.S. games, and the storyteller faces an unusual challenge: Being too specific is as risky as being too vague.  Dixit is a pretty simple game that's also pretty enjoyable.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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