Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2011 Games
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Asmodee
Price: $34.99

Dixit impressed with its artistic beauty. The French-made game has quiet, soft, zen-like art on its eighty-four picture cards. In fact, it's more fun to just look at the cards than it is to play the game.

The game, it's true, is a bit unusual. Each player is dealt six of the pretty picture cards. One of the players becomes the "storyteller" for that turn and must make up a short sentence based on one of his six cards. The other players then select one of their cards that they think best matches the storyteller's story. Each player gives their selected card to the storyteller who shuffles them with his selected card and places them all face up. Players vote on which of those cards was the storyteller's original card.

The scoring is a bit convoluted. But from the lush and dreamy artwork on the tarot-sized cards to the little wooden rabbits used as game pieces to track points on the game board, Dixit is a crafty game. It's so surreal that you'll wonder whether Salvador Dali created a forgotten kids game.

The storytelling factor, while wholly imaginative and creative, is also impossibly subjective. Players are more likely to win with overly vague or intentionally deceptive stories that mislead the other players than with accurate or precise sentence that give too much of a clue about which card is theirs. That's because if all players guess correctly, then the storyteller receives no points. If no one does, the storyteller also receives no point. It's best to try to aim for somewhere in between obscure and direct.

Don Oldenburg   ©2011 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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