Codenames is a word-based espionage board game, with an emphasis on teamwork. In the tradition of guess the movie, Codenames requires the players to guess the code names in the set that match the hint word given by the other player. Designed by Vlaada Chvàtil, the game has been voted the top party game in existence at Board Games Geek.
Easy to play and simple to understand, Codenames is an interesting word game. Though the theme of the game is rather non-existent, it still offers a good gameplay. The set contains 16 agent cards, 1 double agent card, 7 innocent bystander cards, 1 assassin card, 40 key cards, 200 cards with 400 codenames, as well as a timer and a card-stand.
There are two teams, with each team having its own spymaster. There are three stacks of cards, of which the ones containing the code names are laid out in a grid. These cards each represent the agents of the two teams, as well as innocent bystanders. But there is also an assassin amongst them as well. Only the spymaster knows which are which but the players don’t.
In each round, the spymaster of each team tries to give a hint, which the players then have to correctly guess. This hint word can be any word but cannot be the same as the code words. They also give a number to inform the players how many codes are related to the hint word. The goal of the game is for each team to identify its own spy agents from the grid. The way to lose spectacularly in Codenames is by identifying the assassin.
An excellent and unique word game by any standards, Codenames provides for a lot of simple fun. It has become extremely popular and has been published in twenty two languages, attesting to its worldwide popularity. With potential for great hilarity, this simple but fun card game is suitable for almost every occasion.