DixitgameDixit is an absolutely beautiful card game with a twist. Instead of having set rules, point scoring is left in the hands of the players interpretive skills. The main point of the game is to choose a card, and then have the players guess your card, but with a few added quirks.

At the start of each game, players are given six cards. When a person is chosen to go first, they select a card that they wish to play and think of a term to describe it. The main focus of the game is in these ‘terms,’ which can consist of words, phrases, quotes, sounds, songs, random noises, or anything you can come up with. Once a term is uttered and the card put down, every other player then chooses one of their cards that they feel somehow matches this term.

The difficult part of Dixit is the scoring system, as players need think of a term that, once all the cards have been shuffled and laid out, is not blatantly obvious. The point of the game is to be subtle in your approach. If everyone can identify your card from what your descriptor, you do not receive any points. Alternatively if no one can identify your card then you also do not receive any points.

The real fun and difficulty of Dixit comes from playing the cards. The term, be it a vocal or physical interpretation of the card, needs to be both obvious and subtle. Where you may get a reference or quote of a film, others may not know the film and do have no idea what the term means. Where you may think you are being too subtle, the rest of the cards laid out, may easily identify your card. It can be quite fun to see the terms that are played, as well as the cards that are chosen to match.

With game play similar to that of Cards Against Humanity, Dixit is a game that stimulates the imagination through the choosing of terms. However, this unique game play is not the only charm of Dixit, the physical cards themselves are quite lovely. The artwork by Marie Cardoaut open up so many avenues of thought, with their beautiful and oddly ambiguous images. Where one card may be quite simple, others are very detailed; where one card may be quite straight forward, others can be quite perplexing.dixit-1

The mix of cards coupled with the imaginative freedom that the game offers you, makes Dixit not only enjoyable but re-playable.

If you are interested in Dixit, why not have a watch of Will Wheaton’s Dixit Tabletop episode.

Once Upon a Time

onceuponOnce upon a Time is a story-telling card game that harks back to classical fairy tales. Created by Atlas Games this game is one that challenges players to create a story amongst themselves, all the while working towards individual and different endings.

The first time I encountered this game was on Geek and Sundry’s TableTop and it was a case instant love. Not only is the art incredibly beautiful but the example game play that was on the show was hilarious. Once Upon a Time is a game that is very welcoming to new comers and seasoned players alike, with stories being only limited to players imaginations.

The rules of the game are relatively simple, with players each being dealt a varying amount of cards (dependent on the number of players) and are charged with the task of telling a story that incorporates these cards. Examples of cards available in the game range from ‘Princess,’ ‘Journey,’ ‘Blind,’ ‘Palace,’  ‘Stepmother’ with many more being available in not only the starter deck but additional expansion packs. Each card is representative of a fundamental element found within fairytale lore. These cards fall under five different categories which include character, aspect, event, thing and place, and can be played at anytime during a persons turn at story telling.

Methods of ensuring an even flow of game play across players can done through the use of interrupt cards, phrase matching and player decided stops. Interrupt cards and phrase matching allow players to stop the current storyteller by matching symbols on held interrupt cards or when the story teller utters a phrase or word that appears on a card held another players. Additionally, if a player appears to be rambling or at a loss for words, players can interject and stop the storyteller, thus moving the story onto the next player.

My first time playing this game was with a few of my university, creative writing buddies and needless to say it was lots of fun. After more than three hours and over six games, the range of stories had seen ugly giants looking for love, a human-eating horse names Rufus Hoofus and an extended adventure of a nearly always naked, Sinbad.

The best moments to be had with Once Upon a Time are in the number of twists and turns that a story can take as each player battles it out to end the story the way they want it. The final moments as a player weaves an agreeable and often case bittersweet ending, are what that make this game such a delight.

The sheer amount of fun and enjoyment that can be had with Once Upon a Time are truly only limited by players imaginations.