Codenames - Dastardly Review #084
Updated: Jul 2, 2018
Codenames was created by Vlaada Chvatil and published by Czech Games Edition in 2015.
Codenames quickly became one of the top party games. In fact, Codenames received a lit bit of recognition:
2016 International Gamers Award - General Strategy: Multi-player Nominee
Well...maybe more than a little bit!
Like most terrific party games Codenames is simple, quick to play and fun. It also generates a lot of laughs as people make bad guesses or give quirky clues.
Codenames is played by two teams (red and blue). A grid of 25 cards are placed in a 5x5 grid. Each card contains a word.
Each team picks a Spymaster who gives clues. The rest of the team tries to identify which cards the Spymaster’s clues reference. The Spymaster also has the ability to try to reference more than one card by stating how many cards the clue references. His team must make that number of guesses.
The 25 cards fall into 4 categories. Red cards, Blue Cards, Neutral and one Assassin. Each card’s category is indicated by a card map which shows a 5x5 grid of Red, Blue, Cream (Neutral) and Black (Assassin).
Tokens of Blue, Red and Cream are placed on each card as the word is guessed (even if it is guessed incorrectly). It is critical for the Spymaster to not give clues that will lead his team to guess words that do not belong to their team. If the Assassin card is guessed that team automatically loses.
The first team to have all of their cards guessed (correctly or incorrectly) wins!
The Good: The awards got it right this time!
The Bad: Nothing worth mentioning...
The Dastardly: The Spymaster needs to be aggressive and try to do a couple multiple word clues or the other team will...but not too aggressive! A fun push your luck element keeps the game competitive.