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.