Stella: Dixit Universe (2021) is a brain game where you make secret associations between words and pictures. You are presented with a series of detailed Cartoon Story cards and choose the ones that match a shared keyword, aiming to make the same associations as others. It is a game where you are forced to make creative leaps of association but must make these in the same direction as everyone else.
You play by making associations between images and a word, in an effort to match the choices of your opponents. To start you create a 5-by-3 grid of the Cartoon Story cards. Then you turn over a Word card and everyone secretly records which cards they think are connected to the word. You get points for making connections that other people also make. But make too many and you risk choosing a card that nobody else has chosen which loses you points.
As you play, the Story and Word cards change, but the rest of the game remains the same. What develops is your understanding of how opponents are playing - how their minds work and how they make associations. After four rounds, the player who correctly makes the most associations that match other players win the game.
What starts as a gently creative challenge, becomes a game of character judgement. You need to make your own links, but more importantly, you have to judge the links that you think others will make. Add to this the way that the game punishes you for overconfidence and what you have is a simple-to-play, but deeply nuanced guessing game.
Our examiner, Rob Prior
, first checked Stella: Dixit Universe 17 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 9 months ago.