Codenames board game
Codenames board game


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Overall Rank: #10 | Trending Rank: #266
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 color 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.

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User Ratings & Reviews

  • So much fun with 6 or more players. I tried it with 4 once and it wasn't nearly as much fun because half the fun of the game is trying to keep a straight face as teammates debate which cards to pick. With 4 players you lose out on not having teammates thinking out loud and arguing over how they interpreted their clue.
  • Easy to teach and fun little party game. You only really need the word cards as i use the phone app for everything else.
  • Nice game, but too slow and quiet to be a real party game.
  • It's nothing special, but still very fun when you're with people you like
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Kinda roundabout for me--through RPG's (D&D), which I started as much for my son (9 yrs old then, just turned 10) as for myself, to try to entice him with an alternative to his immersion in video games.  Then came across #Call to Adventure and #Tapestry as a way of trying to bring my wife into gaming with us as well.  She enjoys the story-building/telling in Call to Adventure but never took an interest in Tapestry.  My son, however, fell into Tapestry with me (his strategic mind blows me away, and he beats me as often as I do him), and from there I tried #Cyclades with him, since he became obsessed with Greek Mythology through the Percy Jackson books.

I began also to discover the whole ecosystem of board gaming content on YouTube and have been particularly influenced by channels such as Rahdo and Shut Up and Sit Down, and also couples such as Ant Lab Games and Before You Play who have given me an appreciation for thinkier Euros.  I am discovering that beyond the gameplay itself, theme and artwork are quite important to me in my enjoyment of and immersion in the games I play, and the whole #Mysthea / #Icaion thing definitely pushes those buttons for me.  I acquired #Anachrony not too long ago and am still waiting to give it a go. I've loved #Trickerion--still just a bit daunted by the complexity of Anachrony but really want to get to it sooner rather than later...! 

These days, of course, much of my gaming is solo.  I never really found a gaming group outside my family before COVID hit.   My wife doesn't have much interest in longer games, so it's mostly #Codenames, #The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine, or (most recently) #Coup that hits the table for my family--and I do very much enjoy those games with them as well.  I am holding out hopes of drawing my wife into a game of #Wingspan some time.  It's hit or miss pulling my son away from his Minecraft or Roblox online.  We did make it through a full campaign of #Arcadia Quest over the past 2 months, where he trounced me soundly.  I've got #Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion waiting in the wings... ;-) 

Thanks again for taking the interest to ask!--longer answer, probably, than you were looking for, but it was nice for me to reflect on my path down the rabbit hole...

Starting the hobby with $200 (minus shipping) -- trying for a range of levels and types of games within my interests, and with some broad enough accessibility to bring friends and family to the table:

#Codenames $14 - Good accessible party game my whole family loves

#Santorini $17 - Quick fun puzzly game with great table presence and variability with god powers

#The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine $11 - Great way to pull in traditional card players who love trick taking games

#Wingspan $50 - Great popular gateway game that can bring in lots of friends deeper into the hobby; good solo mode too

#Trickerion - $60 - My current favorite mid/heavy Euro - so glad to see a new printing coming, as it is otherwise hard to find

#Whistle Mountain - $48 - One of my most anticipated upcoming releases--sold on it after watching Rahdo run through

I will second #Codenames for sure. Also a big fan of #Pandemic and #King of Tokyo for this purpose. 

I didn't see these mentioned but for non-gamers we also like #Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game and #Dixit.  We describe Once Upon a Time as cooperative competitive story telling.  Basically everyone has a hand of cards with story elements on them (castle, princess, potion, etc.) and the group has to tell a story together and play the cards as part of their story.  There are "interrupt" cards where another player seizes control of the story line and then segues it to something where they can use their own cards.  It can get pretty hilarious. 

I know I have a bunch of others since I actually make a point of owning a bunch of games for this purpose but I guess I haven't played them in so long they are eluding me. 

Let's see... with the family:

#Merchants of Amsterdam, featuring the best tagline ever: "Dutch auctions are the way to riches and power" :) Then a bit of an election kick, with #Campaign Manager 2008 and #Mr. President. And the always-enjoyable #Slapshot - scored a Tiny Tim goal!

With my (currently-online) game group:

#For Sale
3x #Codenames

#The Voyages of Marco Polo

And then in person on Sunday, 3x #Pax Pamir (Second Edition). 2 last place finishes, but one Turn 3 win! :D We're planning an all-Pax day soon!

I played #Codenames.  That's it. A dry week for me.  Hoping for more games this week, including #King of Tokyo which I received last week for my birthday.  Been waiting for the boys to not have a night full of homework.

I forgot about #Codenames I got it for Christmas last year. That will be a good one.