Review – Dixit: Disney Edition
|Publisher||Llibellud (Asmodee North America)|
|Release Date||Fall 2023|
Some games are classics not only for gameplay that holds up over time, but also for the legacy they left behind. You don’t get The Game or The Mind without Hanabi; and likewise, you don’t get Mysterium or Codenames without Dixit. But Dixit itself is still going strong, and with its 15th anniversary, we have a new core set, Dixit: Disney Edition. Is this just a cash-in, or does the Disney theme add anything? And does Dixit still hold up? Let’s take a look!
The first question is whether it’s still worth playing Dixit, with its many, many successors. I would say yes. While beginner players still think up boring one-word clues, it’s still got all the enjoyable beats it had in 2008: a fun discussion of what was really meant with the clue, admiration for the artwork, the trickiness of trying to target just one or two players. It’s never been a hyper, laugh-out-loud party game; it’s a pleasant stroll through an art gallery turned into a dream world. I was reminded just how fun the original system is, and how fast and simple it is. The scoring still takes a minute to explain – by far the hardest part of the game – yet you’re still going in just two minutes or so.
But really, Dixit has always thrived on its artwork. Marie Cardouat’s original illustrations were absolutely captivating, as were most of the expansions, even as artists changed. This time we have an artist new to Dixit, although not new to gaming, Natalie Dombois. It cannot be understated the extent to which she knocked this out of the park. It would have been so easy just to use stills from Disney movies from this edition. Instead, they spent several years creating 84 unique illustrations inspired by the movies but with that surreal Dixit touch. It is honestly one of the most beautiful things I’ve experienced in 15 years of board gaming.
The question, really, is whether the Disney aspect actually enhances the Dixit experience. I would say yes. Looking for little easter eggs in the artwork and just appreciating the takes on the various movies (some of which are a bit obscure) is fantastic. It ostensibly makes clue giving a little easier, although you run the risk of being way too obvious or one too many ideas removed. As an example, I said “Fast and the Furious” for a picture of Wreck-It Ralph, but Venelope wasn’t in the picture. Big surprise: no one got it. But simply having that initial place to begin your thought process is a big help for players who have a hard time being the storyteller. The last thing to add is that the other components are absolutely stellar as well. The scoring meeples shaped like Disney characters, the score dials instead of the various tokens in the older editions, the insert which has room for more Dixit cards – this is a beautifully produced package. I remember Dixit costing $35 in 2009; the fact that this licensed edition is only $40 in 2023 is amazing. Honestly, the only thing that keeps this from being a 10/10 is that there are sometimes when someone just doesn’t vibe with Dixit in general; everyone gets their clue, then no one gets their clue, and they get frustrated. Even in that case, I might try Stella – with Dixit: Disney Edition cards. This set is so good, and I’m so happy to have it!
The Bottom Line
This is the definitive version of Dixit, and a beautiful treat for Disney fans.