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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||THE CLOTHING AUTHORITY LLC||Amazon.com||Mike's Deal Shop||TONY A/C, INC.||Amazon.com|
|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||6.3 x 2.8 x 9 in||6.88 x 1.5 x 5.25 in||8.6 x 12 x 1.7 in||9.5 x 11.62 x 3 in||7.5 x 2.62 x 10.75 in||1.75 x 8 x 6 in|
|Item Weight||1.25 lbs||7.62 ounces||2.3 lbs||2 lbs||1.54 lbs||0.16 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.
Easy to set up and play
Rules for 2 players, 3 players, or as many players you want (the more the better)
Can play multiple variations of the game
Can even make up your own rules of play as long as everyone agrees to the changes (we had a few discussions, but it all worked out for great fun)
Great for all ages that can read and understand words
We had fun changing out Spymasters (This came about after one team fired their spymaster)
Lots of clean fun for everyone (kind of a nice change after play Crimes Against Humanity. Another fun game, but not for everyone)
Watch the video to get a idea of how to play
CONS: None we had an absolute blast!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We played 7 or 8 rounds and everyone liked taking a turn being a spy master (one word clue givers).