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Czech Games Edition Codenames Card Game
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- The 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
- Two to eight plus players
- Ages 10+
- 15 minute playing time
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|Age Range Description||14 years +||—||9 years +||7 years +||—||10 years to 18 years|
|EU Toys Safety Directive Age Warning||Not suitable for children under 36 months||Not suitable for children under 36 months||Not suitable for children under 36 months||Not suitable for children under 3 years. For use under adult supervision||Not suitable for children under 36 months||Not suitable for children under 36 months|
|Number of Players||2 to 8||—||6 Players||5||3 to 8||3 to 6|
This product is subject to specific safety warnings
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 colour while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin. The game works very well with four players if you prefer to guess without help. Or you can add more players if you prefer lively discussion. There is also a co-operative variant where a single team tries to achieve the highest score they can by playing against the game itself.
Not suitable for children under 36 monthsSee all Product description
From the manufacturer
by Vlaada Chvátil
The 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 board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right colour while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.
Codenames: win or lose, it’s fun to figure out the clues.
Standard Set Up
Awards & Honours
- 2016 UK Games Expo Best Party Game Winner
- 2016 SXSW Tabletop Game
- 2016 Spiel des Jahres Winner
- 2016 Spiel des Jahres Nominee
- 2016 International Gamers Award - General Strategy: Multi-player Nominee
- 2016 Gouden Ludo Best Family Game Nominee
- 2016 Årets Spel Best Adult Game Nominee
- 2015 Meeples' Choice Winner
- 2015 Meeples' Choice Winner
- 2015 Jocul Anului în România Beginners Finalist
- 2015 Golden Geek Board Game of the Year Nominee
- 2015 Golden Geek Best Party Board Game Winner
- 2015 Golden Geek Best Party Board Game Nominee
- 2015 Golden Geek Best Innovative Board Game Nominee
- 2015 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Winner
- 2015 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee
How it's played
Players split up into two teams of similar size and skill. You need at least four players (two teams of two) for a standard game, although there are 2 and 3 player variants.
Each team chooses one player to be their spymaster. Both spymasters sit on the same side of the table. The other players sit across from their spymasters.They are field operatives.
25 codenames are chosen and placed on the table in a 5-by-5 grid
Each game has one key that reveals the secret identities of the cards on the table. The spymasters choose a key card randomly and don't let the field operatives see it.
Spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents.Their teammates know the agents only by their codenames.
Spymasters take turns giving one-word clues. A clue may relate to multiple words on the table. The field operatives try to guess which words their spymaster meant. When a field operative touches a word, the spymaster reveals its secret identity. If the field operatives guess correctly, they may continue guessing, until they run out of ideas for the given clue or until they hit a wrong person. Then it is the other team's turn to give a clue and guess. The first team to contact all their agents wins the game.
- "Codenames is a deep game with simple rules, it’s tense and silly at the same time, and it’s fun when you’re winning and even better when you’re losing." - Shut Up & Sit Down
- "Codenames is a fascinating game." - Opinionated Gamers
Codenames Wins the 2016 Spiel des Jahres
Codenames from designer Vlaada Chvátil and publisher Czech Games Edition has won the 2016 Spiel des Jahres, Germany's game of the year award, which is intended to highlight an outstanding design that would be ideal for German families — and if you happen to belong to a family of some other nationality, there's a good chance that you'll enjoy the game as well.
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Concept: A word game in which there are 2 teams and 25 words on a board. 8/9 of them belong to each team (9 for the team that go first). Each team has one 'spymaster' who knows the identity of the all the words and using 1 word clues has to get his team to guess which words belong to that team.
Players: 4+, but works well with bigger groups - I played with 8.
Learning curve: Very fast - I would say that for anyone over the age of 11 they should be able to fully understand the game within the first play.
Game time: Each game lasts about 15 minutes, maybe less when you get better, but you find that you will play back to back games changing who is the spymaster
Excitement - The game is pretty exciting and given the short gametime teams who are losing at the start are rarely in a position in which they have 0% chance of winning (unlike games like monopoly where the winner is determined long before the end of the game)
Overall would recommend this game and if I lost this game I would buy it again.
In basic terms the game is made up of a grid of 25 words and two teams (red and blue). Each team nominates a spymaster who has to try and get their team to guess their words first. A grid card is taken at random by a spymaster and will show the spymasters which words their team needs to guess. This card also shows which team goes first. The team going first has 9 words, the team going second has 8 words to help make the game fair. Then teams take turns with the spymaster giving a one word clue trying to link as many of their words as possible. The clue is followed by the number of words the spymaster is linking it to. For example the grid might have the words England and France, if your team has these words and no other countries are on the board the clue could simply be "countries, 2". It gets more tricky when there are other similar words on the board e.g. if America is on the board but that is incorrect for your team. Play goes on until a team find all their words.
Each game starts out quite relaxed but the tension builds every game when it nears its end. It really is funny to see how involved everyone gets. The beauty lies in the simplicity of the rules as even newcomers can understand the game within one round. Each round only takes 10-15 minutes and it's up to you how many rounds you play so it's really flexible in terms of time. Every time I have played, games have gone on for 2-3 hours of laughing and joking!
If you need a simple party game then definitely look at codenamed. Honestly, I've never bought a game that has been enjoyed by so many people!
Yes: because it still has the same style of game play and really makes you think. The game is very clever and engaging in both its words and pictures variants.
No: because the pictures are (deliberately) ambiguous. So rather than a picture of, say, a piggy bank, you get a flying piggy bank. This makes the pictures both more versatile but also more frustrating!
However it's still a great game for those who like to think a bit and not relay on just chance for their game play.
I have Codenames Pictures as well, but don't find that as enjoyable - I think there is a lot more scope for creativity in connecting words rather than pictures.
Duet in particular is very well designed. Each player has some information about the board - a number of agents, a number of bystanders, and assassins. There is some overlap - some of the agents are known to both players, but you don't know which ones these are. You take it in turns to give clues - there is also an optional houserule that you don't have to strictly take turns, e.g. if the first player has two clues ready in a row and the second doesn't, they can do that.
Aside from this, it's also nice that you get a whole new set of words that you can use with this game or with the original Codenames.