#10 – Dixit / Dixit Odyssey

Dixit Odyssey 001

Base price: $35, Dixit; ~$40, Dixit Odyssey.
3-6 players, Dixit; 3-12 players, Dixit Odyssey
Play time: 30 minutes.
BGG Link: Dixit
BGG Link: Dixit Odyssey
Buy Dixit on Amazon (via What’s Eric Playing?)

Might as well take a departure from the norm for #10, and talk about one of my favorite games / party games, Dixit. Just as a minor clarification, I own both Dixit and Dixit Odyssey (“Odyssey”), and find certain parts of each better than other parts so I combined them into SuperDixit. I’ll explain.

Contents

Dixit lives in the same neighborhood / apartment complex as other party games like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, but the similarities stop there. It’s a bit closer to the Game of Things and Balderdash, if I were to place it somewhere. I’ll explain why in Gameplay, but first we should get the game out of the box.

Setup

Dixit Odyssey 003

So, if you’ll notice, you’ll have one of two boards that come with the game, depending on which one you buy. If you’ve bought Dixit, you’ll have a board with 1-30 on one side and the rules on the other, and 6 spots along the top. If you bought Odyssey, you’ll have a board with 1-30 across it, and spots 1-6 on the top and 7-12 on the bottom, like the board in the picture. Take that out, lay it flat.

Next, assign everyone a rabbit token and place them on the 0 / not quite on the board, depending on your board. There should be either voting tiles (numbered 1-6, Dixit) or voting boards (numbered 1-12, Odyssey) with green or red pegs. Give them the matching tiles / boards + pegs, and you’re almost good to go.

Finally, there are a bunch of cards. Shuffle them as best you can and deal everyone six (seven, in a three-player game). You’re all set up! Let’s talk about gameplay.

Gameplay

Dixit Odyssey 004So, as you might have noticed, the cards are a little weird. Beautiful, but weird. This is important! Here’s how the game is played:

  • Choose a player to be the Active Player for the first round. Active Player is then passed clockwise.
  • The Active Player picks a card from their hand and places it face-down in the center of the play area, and gives a clue. The clue can be as long or as short or as specific or as vague as you’d like, but it has to be something audible. I’ll explain why picking a good clue is important below.
  • Each other player picks a card from their hand (two if you’re playing with three players) and places it face-down in the same play area.
  • Shuffle the cards out and place them in the slotted number areas on the playing board.

If done correctly, your board should look something like this:

Dixit Cards and Rabbits
Players (except the Active Player) now vote secretly on which card is the Active Player’s card. (If you’re playing with >= 7 players, you can vote for two cards, if you want. Use the red peg to indicate your second choice.) For this one, the clue was “Life In Danger”, but that’s not super important. Once everyone’s decided, they reveal their votes to the Active Player and the Active Player reveals which card was theirs. Scoring happens as such:

  • If every player guesses the Active Player’s card: Every player except the Active Player scores 2 points.
  • If no player guesses the Active Player’s card: Every player except the Active Player scores 2 points. Each player scores an additional point for every person who guessed their card (max 3 extra points if you’re playing with >= 7 players).
  • If some, but not all players guess the Active Player’s card: Every player who guessed correctly and the Active Player score points. Each player who guessed correctly scores an additional point for every person who guessed their card (max 3 extra points if you’re playing with >= 7 players). If playing with >= 7 players, you score an extra point if you only made one guess.

Everyone draws another card, and the player left of the Active Player becomes the new Active Player. First to 30 wins, sure, but you can play as long as you’d like.

As you might surmise from the scoring, there are definitely strategies to choosing a clue and playing to win, though as with most party games, you might not really … care. Either way.

Strategy?

  • Don’t be too vague. As you note, if nobody guesses your clue, you’ll get nothing. So don’t say something like “flurbleblurp” and play a card, because then you’re just trusting your fate to random chance.
  • Don’t be too specific. If your card has a picture of a bird looking out a window, you really don’t want to make your clue “This is a picture of a bird looking out a window. The bird is in a birdcage and looks somber, and it’s nice and sunny outside.” There are a lot of cards, but not that many that there’d be more than one card that fits that description. Everyone will guess your card and you will get no points. Sad times.
  • In-jokes or references are good. Remember, your goal is to basically put out a clue that only one person will guess, so it’s okay to try and snipe them.
  • This isn’t really competitive. Actually, though. It’s hard to try and talk this up to be a competitive game, since it doesn’t really feel like you lost if you don’t win. I would just play it for fun.
  • Don’t react to cards as you’re flipping them over. If you’re like, “Wow! What an interesting card!”, that implies that you’ve never seen it before. If you’re the Active Player, that means it’s probably not your card. Whoops.

Other obvious strategies include trying to trick people into guessing your card instead and guessing the correct card. Hooray!

Pros, Mehs, Cons

I’ll preface them with Dixit or Odyssey if they’re specific to that version.

Pros

  • The cards are beautiful. Just absolutely amazing. Full-bleed cards, really expressive and interesting artwork. They’re just awesome.
  • The gameplay is far more creative than Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples. I often feel like those two games are about jamming a peg into a hole and hoping for the best, where this requires you to generate your own description, a la Balderdash. This means you’re really getting a different experience without needing to resort to crude humor, but the option is still available.
  • Light, short, and mildly competitive. Everything you want out of a party game, honestly. There will be laughing, there will be minor frustration, and the points don’t really matter.
  • Odyssey: The game board is better than standard Dixit’s. Having 1-30 on one side of the board feels a little crowded, and if you’ve played Dixit more than like, twice, you don’t need the rules explained again every time you look at the board.
  • Odyssey: The tokens are better than Dixit’s. The rabbit tokens in Dixit do not stand up properly. It’s incredibly frustrating. See cons. The Odyssey rabbit tokens DO stand up properly.
  • High replay value. Everyone’s gonna come up with different clues for cards they have, and even if a certain card starts to be paired with a certain clue, that’s okay! It means that playing with a variety of people will allow you to score off of that in-joke.
  • Expansions are pretty cheap. Need to add some variety to the mix? There are currently 5 expansions (counting Odyssey as a standalone game/expansion), and each one adds an additional Dixit’s worth of cards to the mix. They’re also like $20-25 apiece, which is nice.

Mehs

  • The cards are slightly too big. It makes them hard to shuffle / hold, in the opinion of my friends with smaller hands.
  • Some of the cards are a bit … creepy? Just a note. You’ve been warned.

Cons

  • Once you buy expansions, shuffling becomes a pain. Ah, the first-world problem. The cards
  • Dixit: 6 players is too few. I really think this is best as an 8-player game. Just enough variety that guessing is really difficult, and you very rarely have more than 8 people who want to play a game.
  • Odyssey: The voting boards kind of suck. I’d honestly rather have 12 sets of 12 tiles, though I can understand why that’s a bit unfeasible. It’s harder to conceal your vote, the pegs are weird, and the whole thing is less convenient than the tiles. Alas.
  • Dixit: The rabbit tokens are terrible. They’re too top-heavy, so they always fall over. It is a very mildly annoying thing, but it was one of many things that pushed me over the edge to getting Odyssey.
  • Odyssey: I think it’s out of print? Surprisingly difficult to obtain, and since it’s the only 12-player version it’s a bit obnoxious. I’d say start with Dixit and then get Odyssey if you REALLY love it.

Overall: 9.5 / 10

Dixit Odyssey Gameplay

Honestly? If you don’t own this and it even mildly appeals to you, you should buy it. It’s super fun, it’s super light, and it has high replayability. All are fantastic reasons to get this game. I think it’s probably one of the best (if not the best) party games I own. I frequently get requests to play it and I’m always happy to oblige. It’s a classic that belongs in pretty much any gamer’s collection, and I see it being a mainstay of mine for a while.

Also, how could you not love cards like this?

Dixit Odyssey 017

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4 thoughts on “#10 – Dixit / Dixit Odyssey

  1. When you play with 8, do you use the scoring in Odyssey? I bought Dixit and added in a set of ten D10s to make it playable with 10. Wondering whether to add in one more set…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should use the 7+ scoring rules from Odyssey, yes. That way people don’t run away with the game if they put in a good clue.

      Smart move with the D10s though.

      Like

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