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An amazing party game. One that I will almost always consider bringing or pulling out if I'm with a group of people who seem like they might even be slightly interested in playing a boardgame. It just does everything right: * It can be taught in less than 5 minutes. * You instantly start feeling the tension of the game. * It satisfies the cravings for people who love over-thinking things. * It creates memorable moments in every game. * And it has the boardgame-y rules that clearly define the bounds of the game (a problem with a lot of party games: "do whatever you want!"). A classic party game from the start. And it's easily expand-able, so it will have a lot of staying power. The only reason I have a couple of points knocked off it's rating (8/10) is because there's ultimately not much here. It's an amazing concept, but in terms of awe-inspiring game mechanism, there's not much beyond just the concept. But it's still great, and exactly what it needs to be IMO. Definitely recommended for anyone who might ever be in a group of people who would be interested in playing a light party game.
12/22/16: ~Hype Detensifies~ 9 to 8. I find myself knowing this game works so well with groups, especially non-gamer ones, but feel that fact jives so well with everyone that we never play anything else. Codenames is like the "Top 40" of contemporary boardgames... 7/24/16: 10 to 9. Lately this game has devolved into a slower experience. Where players sit and wait for far too long for the codemasters to come up with a clue. Setting timers makes a "fun casual" game feel too strict, plus leads to uninspired clues. Still a super accessible game though. 12/20/15:Makes people who typically turn their nose to games become obsessed for hours on end. Enough deduction for veterans to be satisfied, simple enough concept and rules for even the greenest of noobs. Game can be taught in literally seconds, especially if most already know how to play. Nearly infinite replayability. Virtually everyone realizes how big of a hit this game is after only a single game.
Fun, light party game. Works great with all levels of player. I don't particularly enjoy being spymaster. Difficulty seems about right because you can give multi-card clues.
Makes you learn quite a bit about the people you're playing with. Always a great party game for most groups too but it can get slow or a little boring when you play round after round with people who are playing it way too safely
I feel like I'm the only person around not rating Codenames a 10. It's good, but I suppose I get stressed out trying to give 3+ word clues. It's also really frustrating when you can't think of any clue and everyone is sitting around waiting for you, then you just give up and give a terrible 1-word clue.
Played twice so far (4 player and 2 player). Enjoying it a lot, want to play more. Slightly more meaty party game that plays with large groups. So far 4 player was better than 2 player.
It's a little slow paced with 2-4 people. If a little waiting doesn't bother you, it's not a problem. Playing this with 6+, when the teams are forced to discuss their answer, transforms it into a pretty fun party game.
Good game. I created a house rule which says that if someone gives a 1 numbered clue, the people still had to choose two cards unless it was their last spy. This forced people to work a little harder to make associations.
Simple game, easy to get other involved and can be played with a wide number of players. The game is as good as the people you play with. For the most part, a very fun and engaging game but sometime you get the person who gives the worst clues and you make sure you to never pull this out when they are around.
Its a bit of a shame, IMHO, that this is what finally won Vlaada an SdJ. Don't get me wrong, I like this game, its fun and light, and easy to rope people into playing, but its no Galaxy Trucker. I would almost always prefer Mysterium to Codenames, as I find the experiences rather similar, except Mysterium is more immersive and social. But Codenames plays like lightning in comparison, so its good when you're low on time.
(+) Very popular (especially with non-gamers), easy to teach, tying words together with clues is really enjoyable, splitting into teams is fun, plays quick, lots of variability added with the cards and key, great price (-) Meat of the game is only enjoyed by the clue givers, can be lots of downtime when waiting on clues (no one likes using the timer)
Theme/Art: The spy theme works pretty well, the art looks fine, but it's both not that important as Codenames is a party game and the words on the cards are the most important part of it. Production quality: It's all small cards and light cardboard, which are fine. However, the hourglass isn't the best I've seen in a game. It's completely optional though. Replayability: There are a LOT of different word cards, which have a different word on each side, and each spymaster-card can be used at all four angles, so the combinations are endless. Depth/Difficulty: The game is explained in about 5 minutes, but coming up with good hints can be really hard. Strategy: You have to think of hints that lead your team to as many spys as possible, but keep them away from the assassin and members of the other team. The two player variant recquires a bit more strategy, because each round the spymaster has to choose an enemy spy to uncover. Luck: The cards and the spymaster card are random, but you can come up with good hints for pretty much everything if you are creative enough. Codenames takes abou 15-30 minutes to play, depending on how long the spymasters need to think of their hints. It is a phenomenal party game (although not for big parties, more than 8 players could get a bit much), the only downside I can think of are the downtimes when a spymaster takes a long time to think. You can use the hourglass in this case though.
1. Box and Insert: 6 2. Components: 6 3. Art: 6 4. Theme: 7 5. Implementation of Theme: 3 6. Mechanics: 9 7. Player Interaction: 10 8. Length: 8 9. Down Time: 7 10. Replayability: 7 11. Luck: 8 12. Fun: 9
This is a party game I greatly enjoy. You need a large group for it to shine though, anything less than 6 and it isn't worth pulling out as it just becomes a very quiet and unexciting game. Being the clue giver can be so stressful but it's so rewarding when your team picks the right words and no that pesky assassin.
The game is great with the intended 4-8 player count but what was surprising is that it's pretty great with just 2 and 3 players too! It's a fun quick alternative coop game that I can pull out instead of something heavier like Pandemic to play with my wife!