- Warning: Not suitable for children under 36 months
Codenames Card Game
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- 2-8 Player
- Manufacturer Czech Game Edition
- playing time: 15min
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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.
not appropriate for children under the age of 3 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See 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.com
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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Top Customer Reviews
I actually own a similar independently created card game called "Trix" which has a similar concept of linking words.
The basic idea is that 25 cards are laid out (out of quite a large selection of double sided cards) each with a noun on it. A team consists of one person who is trying to convey a message/hint to their team members. They can provide a one word clue and indicate how many of the 25 cards they feel relate to that one word. Only 6 or 7 of the words actually are wanted by each team, the rest are either the opposing teams' cards or are innocent bystander cards. One word card is an assassin and loses the game instantly for any team that picks it.
I won't give you the entire rules now, they are available online anyway if you want them. This game is clever in the way it takes a simple game that takes minutes to learn and is basically a form of charades with more intelligence and direction, and themes it nicely into a spy game.
When I first got it, I couldn't wait to give it a go, so I immediately tried a 2 player game (not recommended particularly) and this was just OK and I could see why although it's just about playable, it's not a good idea.Read more ›
This is the sequel / spin off from the original Codenames game by CGE.
The first game is simply fantastic - this changes things up and replaces single word tiles for abstract drawings.
I think this improves things for bigger groups as far easier to see across the table - it also allows for an easier variety of words to be chosen and interpretation of each picture.
Definitely worth buying, even if you own the original already!
However, It relies heavily on trust and honest game-playing. Essentially one person on a team sets a puzzle and then watches the rest of their team heinously misinterpret their puzzle and get everything wrong. Naturally the puzzle-setter finds it very, very difficult to watch this happening without screaming in frustration, let alone some crafty eyebrow-wiggles or shakes of the head. If your players might be tempted to do this (or to throw a tantrum if they see the opposition team doing this) then try some variation on asking the puzzle-setters to leave the room during negotiations. Our favoured tactic (because a lot of the fun comes from the setter of puzzles watching the puzzled get mangled) is to make the person wear big sunglasses and cover their face like a shady spy.
The concept it quite simple, but the playing hard in the best possible way. However, the instructions are not very clear, best to search for a better explanation. Especially on the double agent card (basically whichever team goes first has an extra word to get and this card is used for it)
Word association with a spy theme.
each game unique. suitable even numbered teams from 4-8.
Mental note - if playing with couples - ensure each side has the same number of couples or split the couples up - as they have massive advantages over non couple teams.
The fun part is just trying to understand what the spy master is thinking and i've pulled off a lot of amazing combos of 3-4 words and it just feels amazing.
It's also brilliant when you have no idea what the other person is trying to say, a lot of laughs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Like many great games, the idea is simple, but leads to a multitude of tactics, strategies and fun. One of those few games that can genuinely be enjoyed by a large range of ages. Read morePublished 9 hours ago by poldebruin
Anyone could play this game with 10 seconds of explanation, which makes it perfect for a party or casual situation. Read morePublished 2 days ago by L P Cave
Lots of fun to play with the family, would definitely recommend!Published 3 days ago by Nancy Gengler- Saint
Such a good game. We've played this with lots of different members of the family, old and young. People who love games and people who don't. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Beth Bryant
Some of the other reviews on here on this product are from the 'rent a comment' school.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
One of the best board games I have discovered and I play a lot.
Any friend who plays this with us instantly loves it and is easy to understand after a couple of rounds. Read more
One of the best games I have played for years, I love word games.It really makes you think hard. Everyone in the family enjoyed it so we got one for each of our houses .. Read morePublished 12 days ago by MCC