Dixit

Players: 3-6
Playing time: 45-60 minutes
Cost: £25 (ish)

This is a board game unlike most games. It’s based around colourful cards showing storybook scenes. A player chooses a card from their hand, and without letting the others see it, says a word or phrase which represents it. The other players choose the card from their hands which most closely matches the word or phrase. All the chosen cards are shuffled and placed in the centre of the table by the main player, and the other players vote on the card they think was the original. Scores are given to those who got it right and to those who managed to fool others into voting for their card instead.

I’ve played this twice with a group of parents and babies/toddlers, and both times it’s worked well. It’s easy to grasp and really is quite different to most other games. It’s also quite different depending on who you’re playing with, and it can be tricky to guess whether your fellow players are more likely to get clues based on Shakespeare or on the periodic table.

It does require all players to concentrate on a set of cards in the centre of the table, but that concentration is only needed for a short time. It’s very easy to pause in order to chase toddlers or feed babies. You need to keep your hand hidden, but you don’t need to look at it very often, so can quite happily leave it face down on the table. A grabbing baby could choke on the small wooden figures used for keeping score, but it would be easy to either keep these out of reach or to keep score another way.

Summary: easy to learn and easy to pause – definitely worth playing.

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