|A Codename board|
|A Codename board|
Codenames arrived in 2015 and has quickly taken its place in the pantheon of great social games. I usually don’t get excited about new games until I get to play them, but Codenames was an exception. I’ve been looking for a good word game for a while and Codenames had gotten rave reviews from the start. Vlaada Chvatel has made some of my favorite games though none was anything like Codenames or any of his others for that matter. When I spotted the game brought to a party*, I was desperate to play. I quickly explained the game rules, which really confused people shortly thereafter when I told them I hadn’t played before.
*Yes, this is the kind of parties I go to.
Good for People who Grew up Playing
Password or other word games
Ease of Learning:
Very simple to understand what you are trying to do. There may be some questions on gameflow or the legality of plays, but they can be answered as you go along. Worst case scenario a round gets screwed up and you just begin again.
Player Count and Length:
2-8+ There is a co-op version to play with 2 or 3 which works okay if you aren’t too concerned about scoring. With at least 4 players you can divide into teams with at least one spymaster and one guesser per side. After that just keep adding to teams. You can play with any number, but after you hit 8-10, teams will start getting unwieldy. A round takes about 15 minutes, so length is a question of how many rounds you wish to play.
None yet, though Codename: Pictures is coming.
No official ones out yet, though Codenames with Dixit cards works surprisingly well. You feel just as helpless.
Introducing the Game to New Gamers:
Do a couple of practice words. Make sure they play a couple rounds before they become a spymaster. Encourage clues that go for multiple words.