Low-key gaming night last night, sadly The One Ring will be on hold a couple weeks, but I got to play Codenames finally!
I didn’t know my bestie Vlaada Chvátil designed it when I first saw it! It’s a really neat little party game, but it’s about being smart with word connections rather than mandatory silliness, embarrassing yourself or your party guests, or being gross.
It’s pretty easy: there are two teams, and each team has at a minimum a spy and a spymaster. The spymaster can say a single word and a number; the spy then tries to pick out which of 25 words the spymaster is trying to aim them at. So the spymaster might say “skull: 2” hoping his spy susses out CROWN and HEAD. If you hit a bystander or an opponent’s word (careful not to inadvertently point your spy at words that aren’t yours!), the turn is over. If you hit the assassin, you’re dead (super-duper avoid that one).
There are a lot of neat emergent strategies you discover in the course of play, too, which is pretty rewarding. Anyway, party game for smart people. Very worthy and affordable.
10 thoughts on “Low-key gaming night last night, sadly The One Ring will be on hold a couple weeks, but I got to play Codenames…”
How much of the game requires knowledge of pop culture, history, or anything aside from word association? In regards to the words on the cards, that is, not someone playing making those references.
Yeah, great game, and it works nicely in large or small groups, which I dig.
Adam Day the card words are 100% mainstream, mundane words. You can play this with anyone fluent in English.
From what I can tell, the only main use of pop culture et al is to act as a “shortcut” for clue-giving.
Such a fun game!
hmm. Might work as an ice breaker at work Mandatory Fun Day.
Have you seen people doing Codenames with different objects? I’ve seen Dixit cards and even entire other games in a 5×5 grid.
Keith Stetson ha, no. But possibly relevant: we followed up with Mysterium, which is kind of a visual Codenames.
I’ve found it super-newbie friendly as well
In our recent outing, (3 newbies and me) one of them pulled the game back and won quickly with the clue “Area-4”.
It also ends being wonderfully funny, when it’s clear that how you and your team mate(s) think about words is different. Our favourite of that was “why did you choose TAP? What’s TAP got to do with WATER?”
Obviously, you tap water to get blue mana.