Dixit is a storytelling card game and won the Spiel de Jahres in 2010. The game is made up of 84 abstract art cards. Expansions are available that also have 85 cards, so there is a lot of variety available.
Each player has a hand of 6 cards. Gameplay starts with the storyteller choosing a card from their hand, placing it face down in front of themselves and giving a short word or phrase that describes the card. This phrase should be somewhat cryptic. Each other player chooses a card from their hand that they feel best matches the storyteller’s phrase and plays it face down. Then all cards are collected, shuffled and placed out faceup. Each player then votes for the card that they feel best matches the description. If no one or everyone selects the storyteller’s card, then the storyteller gets no points, and each other person gets two points. Otherwise the storyteller, and everyone who voted for them gets three points, and each other player who received a vote gets one point per vote on their card. The object is to get to 30 points (various different editions of the game have different point tallying mechanics). You cannot vote for your own card. The story teller doesn’t vote, but uses their vote to indicate their card, so will always “vote” last.
The storyteller must carefully craft their wording to that it isn’t too obvious (or everyone will vote for theirs and they get no points) or to obtuse (in which case no one votes for them).
For example, the picture on the cover could be described by the storyteller as “Adventures in reading” “Imagination” or “And they rode off into the sunset”. Using the word book or waves in the description might pinpoint this card too much. Sunset might also do the same thing, but since it isn’t the focus of the card, could be abstract enough to get by. Using “Imagination” might not be specific enough, but gives the overall “feel” of the word, so would probably get a vote or two. Much of the voting and storytelling will depend on who you are playing with and is a good “get to know you” game.
With a little of “Apples to Apples” and a lot of artistry, this game is fun for all ages. A good imagination is very helpful, and I probably wouldn’t recommend this game to incredibly literal thinkers. Playing with kids is good, but they will probably tend to be very specific about their cards. This game can be great for teaching abstract thought and storytelling.
Very much recommended for creative minded folks.