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- For 2-8+ Players
- 15 minute playing time
- Ages 14 and up
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Codenames is a social word game with a simple premise and challenging game play. Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their codenames. The teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the table. Their teammates try to guess words of their color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin. The game works very well with 4 players if you prefer to guess without help. Or you can add more players if you prefer lively discussion. There is also a cooperative variant where a single team tries to achieve the highest score they can by playing against the game itself.
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Mike's Deal Shop||Trade Secret||Centex Sales||Amazon.com||Home Hardware Stores|
|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||6.3 x 2.8 x 9 in||8.6 x 12 x 1.7 in||11.75 x 11.75 x 3 in||6.3 x 1.97 x 9.06 in||1.75 x 8 x 6 in||6.88 x 1.5 x 5.25 in|
|Item Weight||1.25 lbs||2.3 lbs||2.8 lbs||1.08 lbs||0.16 ounces||7.62 ounces|
Top Customer Reviews
What this game IS, however, is a very solid word game with a little bit of deduction, press your luck, and "party" thrown in.
In short, the game plays like this: two teams, each with a clue-giver (spymaster) and one or more guessers. On the table are 25 random words. Each spymaster is trying to give their team one-word clues that help them relate one or more of the words on the table together (without saying the actual words, of course) so that the guessers can figure out which of the random words are affiliated with their team (only the spymasters know this information). The spymaster hopes their team will pick the words that they intended based on their clue without picking cards affiliated with the enemy team, neutral words, or the "spy" word, which immediately ends the game. Whichever team can identify all their words first wins.
As an example, a clue of "animal" might be great if you're trying to get your team to guess "cat" and "dog", but horrible if the opposing team also controls the "lion" card. On the other hand, maybe the word "pet" gives just enough information about a cat and a dog without also implicating lion. Should you risk it?
A little tricky to explain in one paragraph, maybe, but takes about 2 minutes to teach to a group in person.
Personally, I think this game works best with 4 or 6 players, where each team has a spymaster and 1-2 guessers. We tried playing it with 8 and in my opinion having that many guessers on each team does nothing to enhance the experience of the game. Instead, it felt to me like a lot of people sat and waited around while each of the spymasters tried to come up with good clues, then argued more than was necessary about which cards to guess.
Despite the fact that this game appears "meh" based on the concept, it's a lot of fun to play. Spymasters will agonize over what clue can safely implicate their own cards on the table without overlapping (and therefore helping) those of the opposing team. Teams will struggle to come up with the logic that the spymaster *must* have used, some wrong guesses will be made, hilarity (and frustration) will likely ensue.
There is some downtime when the spymasters take a while to come up with their clues, so be prepared for that. Otherwise this game is a blast and easily one of the best in my collection under the $20 price point. I have no doubt I'll be able to pull this out with any type of group (gaming, friends, family, work, etc.) and have a great time. It is a must buy at retail price ($20) or less.
Basic idea: you have a bunch of cards with random photos on it. The best way to describe the cards is as if you had a random word generator, generated two words, and made it a THING. For example, ice and horse. You get an ice horse, or a horse slipping on ice in a photo. Then you lay out a random set of picture cards in a 5 x 4 arrangement on a table. A codemaster card is drawn which has red, blue, neutral, and one black tile labeled that coordinates to the 5 x 4 arrangements, which is randomized on each card so there are tons of options (think of this like a "key" to the map where the map is the board). 2 people get to be "codemasters" who will each pick out a team and delegate out one clue to by taking turns. The clue is typically one word and a number (indicating how many photo tiles are related to their word clue). The team that is able to guess all of their team's pictures (red or blue team) first wins. It gets fun and ballsy to see risky plays where someone tries general clues and says there are 4-6 tiles related to it. Promise its fun for groups of all sizes. Kids can play too. We play at home with friends and with friends at work during lunch all the time, and the Codenames series has been the favorite for both people who do and do not normally play board games. It is so easy to pickup and introduce new players and to make new friends within a group.
Additionally, this game has so much replay value, between the different tile card photos, different players, different people as Codemasters, and different options for code tiles. I honestly even think you could mix and match with regular Codenames and Undercover Codenames to expand it all into one big deck. It is a little harder to work on large teams with a big group of people unless you all sit really close. Since there are no words, you have to point at the picture of the card and not touch it to generate discussion with friends and this is a little harder than saying a word (as it was in the original game). Not that this is a bad thing, but it is better with groups of people who are smaller than 8 I would say and who are sitting relatively close together. I think it is the most fun with 6-8 people. 4 can be too small since it feels very 2 vs. 2, with no one to discuss with. I recommend to get both this game and the original Codenames, both are fun in their own ways and bring fun to the table.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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