The two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their codenames
Codenames is the popular spy word party game that has taken the world by storm. There are two teams with each team choosing a spymaster. The teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right colour while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin. Codenames is a game of guessing which code names (words) in a set are related to a hint-word given by another player with an espionage setting.
Players split into two teams, red and blue. One player of each team is selected as the team’s spymaster; the others are field operatives. The teams take turns. On each turn, the appropriate spymaster gives a hint about their agents’ identities by giving verbal hints about the words on the respective cards. Each hint may only consist of one single word and a number. The spymaster should give a hint that is related to as many of the words on his/her own agents’ cards as possible, but not to any others in case they accidentally lead their team to choose a card representing an innocent bystander, an opposing agent, or the assassin. After a spymaster gives the hint with its word and number, their field operatives make guesses about which code name cards bear words related to the hint and point them out, one at a time.
The game ends when all of one team’s agents are identified (winning the game for that team), or when one team has identified the assassin (losing the game). There is no “final turn to catch up”; the team which plays first already has to identify one more agent than the other team. Codenames: win or lose, it’s fun to figure out the clues.
Codenames can be played with 2-8+ players aged 14 years or older with an estimated playing time of 15 minutes. Available here.
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