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Posts Tagged ‘guessing’

“Jinx!”

March 18, 2014 Comments off

Dixit is one of the games that Miss B spends a lot of time enthusing about, but we very rarely get to play. If we have a decent number of players available, we are more likely to play Apples to Apples, which is always a lot of fun, while Dixit, while excellent in concept, can be quite stressful as it is based on some pretty intense psychology which Miss B (and many adults, it must be said) can struggle with.

We probably need to tidy that square up...

We probably need to tidy that square up…

Anyway, S was away on a business trip recently and came back bearing Dixit Jinx, which comes in a pleasingly small and portable box. Inside there are a pile of double sided cards with a different image on each side; unlike the surreal illustrations in Dixit itself, these images are mostly just abstract patterns or look like extreme close-ups of some stylised pop art image. Dixit Jinx and its elder sibling play very differently, though there is just enough similarity to justify the name connection.

You lay nine of these cards in a three-by-three square in the middle of the table and one of the players uses a second set of cards (which show locations within the square) to select a card. The active player then gives some sort of a clue (usually just a word or two) and the other players have to put their finger onto the card that they think matches the clue, with only one person allowed to point at each card. Whoever guesses right keeps the card as a prize. If nobody guesses correctly, the active player is penalised a card.

Miss B, by the way, wanted the title of this post to be “Jinx!” because that is what you are meant to shout if two people point at the same card at the same time — whoever shouts first wins the right to point at the card alone.

So while Miss B claims to prefer the original Dixit game, this one certainly flows a lot easier, despite the occasional bit of “I meant to point at that one!” frustration. Apart from the odd moment like that (this is probably not a game to play too close to bed time!), it’s enjoyable and certainly easier to get to the table than its elder sibling, largely due to the fact that it really does take about 15 minutes, as stated on the box, and it does work pretty well with just the three of us playing.

The verdict from Miss B (aged 7): “I’d say that the original is actually better because it is a 10 out of 10 but this game a 9 out of 10.”

The game: Dixit Jinx (Asmodee), 3 to 6 players aged 8+.

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Oh! The guard is a girl!

April 7, 2013 Comments off

Over recent months I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about a little game called Love Letter. It’s a game from Japan that has been picked up by AEG and themed into their Tempest game world, and it seems the whole world loves it. The first print run sold out in double quick time and a second printing has just made itself out to the retailers, most of which have sold out again right away.

If one of those is a Guard, we'll see Miss B's unerring ability to guess when I have the King.

If one of those is a Guard, we’ll see Miss B’s unerring ability to guess when I have the King.

I say this is a little game and I mean that literally. It comprises 16 cards for playing, 4 reference cards, and a bag of little cubes which are used for scoring, all in a cute velvet bag which fits nicely into a pocket. The idea of the game is that players are suitors for the beautiful princess and are trying to get their love letters to her in order to win her heart and hand. Mechanically, it’s a guessing and deduction game, where you hold one card, draw a second, then play one of them and do whatever the card you play says. Some of the cards allow you to guess what another player is holding (in an attempt to knock them out), some let you see their hand, and so on. If you are the last player to be knocked out, or you have the highest value card when the draw pile runs out, you win a cube.

Hands of Love Letter can last for mere seconds, or up to maybe a couple of minutes if everyone is playing slowly. Then you play another. This is really a quick moving game, where swings of luck can wipe you out in a moment. But somehow that is all part of the fun as you are then back in the game again a minute later.

I usually write these posts up after one or two plays, but this has really caught Miss B’s imagination (and mine too), so we have played several games so far, and will probably play loads more in the near future. If we carry on like this, Love Letter may even overhaul Sleeping Queens as our go-to game, it is so quick, portable and fun. Watch the monthly round-ups to see if I am right on this.  Miss B learnt the game very quickly and generally does pretty well, though she is still learning how to draw inferences from cards played.  She does win sometimes though, which is great.

This write-up has really been a bit gushing, hasn’t it? I’ll offer no apologies. Love Letter really does appear to live up to its hype. It’s not for everyone, but everyone I have played it with so far has liked it and for its price (I believe the RRP is about £8) you can’t go far wrong. Over to the real expert, though…

The verdict from Miss B (aged 6¼): “I like the pictures on the back of the cards and the game was 10 out of 10 so I think it was a really good game.”

The game: Love Letter (AEG), 2 to 4 players aged 10+.

Run, rabbit, run!

February 6, 2013 2 comments

A few days back we had a lovely day of gaming with friends, with a total of five adults and five kids.  The afternoon saw several games get played, including one that I had been wanting to play for some time, Dixit.

A can't remember what the clue was for this lot, but there was a great deal of pondering to do.

A can’t remember what the clue was for this lot, but there was a great deal of pondering to do.

Dixit is a lovely, visual game that needs at least three people to make it worth playing.  The idea is that one person chooses a card from a selection of beautiful illustrations in his or her hand and gives some sort of clue to describe it.  The other players choose one of their own cards that, hopefully, could match that clue, and then everyone tries to guess which of the shuffled and revealed cards was the original choice.  People who guess correctly get points, as do people who have their card chosen; however, the first player gets nothing if everyone chooses their card.

Now, this last point is the key one when playing with many youngsters as at Miss B’s age they can tend to be very literal.  Hence we had a point when Miss B had a card with lots of letters of the alphabet on it, so her clue was “alphabet”, which was rather obvious when the cards were revealed.  This could get a bit frustrating, but luckily the game is enchanting enough (and relatively quick) that it remained fun throughout.

I’m definitely sold on Dixit now.  It’s kind of a more visual and more creative version of Apples to Apples, so I’ll definitely be getting hold of a copy for those social gaming moments.  There are a couple of variant starter sets available, so I am planning to buy a different version to the one our friends own.

The verdict from Miss B (aged 6): “I think it’s 10 out of 10. It was quite hard because the first time I did it I chose my own one because I didn’t understand properly. I liked the rabbits racing. I wonder what we’re going to get.”

The game: Dixit (Asmodee), 3 to 6 players aged 8+.