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Codenames Board Game


Codenames, a social word game with a simple premise and challenging game play, is the hottest game of the year. Play as two rival spymasters trying to secretly reveal the secret identities of 25 agents to their teammates using only their codenames.
In Codenames, 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 table. Their teammates try to guess words of their color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. Everyone must beware the assassin as well!

The game works very well with 4 players if you prefer to guess without help. Or you can add more players if you prefer lively discussion. There is also a cooperative variant where a single team tries to achieve the highest score they can by playing against the game itself.

Codenames Board Game is suggested for 2 or more players, ages 14 and up.

(60 customer reviews)

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Codenames Board Game $24.99
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GTIN: 8594156310318 SKU: 44938 Categories: , ,

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15-18, 18-up, 8-15


60 reviews for Codenames Board Game

  1. Anthony Chin

    Codenames: The Maker and Destroyer of Friendships

    This board game was one of the few I was introduce to when I first started getting in the “Board Games” hobby. Granted, I’m no expert myself, but I’ve played a fair share to say that this one of the best party games ever.TL;DR – This game can either strengthen or weaken friendships because of how the game works: word association.And the best part? It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve played because that isn’t what increases your chance of winning. What does is how well you and your fellow teammates can communicate and if you have a synchronized way of thinking.I’ve seen straight newbies out of the box destroy those who have played this game for weeks. It’s about knowing your teammates and how they interpret one word over another.On another note: Unlike most board games, this is one of the few that actually allows anyone to join or leave at any time during the session. People don’t need to “wait around until the game is over”. Literally just throw them in, explain to them as you play and they can pick it up and still be just as helpful!

    2 people found this helpful

  2. J. Fuchs

    Replayable fun for four or more word lovers. Great game!

    This game merits all the great reviews.The premise is simple: one person on your team gives one-word clues to try to get their teammates to guess the team’s secret words while helping them avoid the other team’s words — or worse, the “insta-death” word.Think you can get your teammates to guess “Jupiter” and “moon” without guessing “Saturn”? It’s harder than you think because there are almost always multiple sets of words like that. And if you can figure out how to connect hotel, plot and turkey, you might be great at this game.It’s super fun trying to work out what your teammates know and might guess. A truly great party game for word lovers.

  3. Amy C

    Family game night just got better!

    Game pretty simple to set up and understand. Game is fun to play for small (4 people) or large (14) groups. Can probably use for larger group than we had, but I know it worked well for this group. Hilarious – especially when you have multiple generations playing. How we think to link clues can be crazy funny! Highly recommend this game for clean fun.

  4. liz bourgeois

    Fun game

    I bought this for our family because we really like to play games when everyone gets together. At first glance, the rules of engagement seem complicated, but a quick internet search of the “cliff notes” brings it into a concise and easy to follow capsule. We really enjoyed ourselves and I can see this becoming a family favorite!

  5. Froo

    A must-have for any family game night!

    This game is incredible! Great fun for just about any group, including various ages, gamers and non-gamers alike. People who don’t have the patience to learn a new game will fall in love with Codenames! Super fast to learn, and fun for everyone to join in without individual competitiveness. The one consistent comment that the clue givers invariably utter is “I can’t link these words at all!”. Yet, when they put their mind to it, they ultimately do! Want your team to guess “Penguin”, “Himalayas” and “War”? Give the clue “Cold, 3”! Just be careful – if “Sick” happens to be another card on the board, will they choose that before they think of “War”? That’s the challenge – give a clue that leads your team to YOUR words, and only your words!

    One person found this helpful

  6. JAMick34

    New favorite game!!!

    Our friends brought this to one of our Game Nights, and I have to admit that I was a little skeptical based on corny “spy” theme and the overall look of the packaging. Boy oh boy, was a I pleasantly surprised!! In a nutshell, I loved this game for its simplicity in pieces (no crazy board or obnoxious amount of accessories) and its requirement to creatively think.The Rules:1. Prepare the board. To do this, you simply lay out 25 white cards in a 5 by 5 grid.2. Divide into two teams: red and blue. We had a group of 4, so we did 2 teams of 2. On each team, nominate one person to be the clue-giver. All remaining players are the guessers.3. Let the clue-givers (one for each team) pick the one code-breaker card. This will essentially map the grid of white cards by assigning which cards belong to which team. For example, this means that the clue-giver on the red team is going to have to get the red team guesser(s) to guess the cards that are tagged as red. In addition to noting which of the 25 white cards are red and which are blue, the code-breaker card also selects one that is black (the assassin). If any guesser names the black card, the game is over. Untagged cards remain white. They are neutral, meaning that nothing happens if they are guessed.4. Let the first team start. The clue-guesser must look at all of the cards that have been tagged to their team, and with one word, try to have the guesser(s) on their team say as many of the cards. The guessers look to all 25 cards, and not knowing which belong to their team, which belong to the other team, and which is the black assassin, try to name only cards that belong to their team.Example: The cards lips, lemon, mango, and ear are 4 cards on the 25 card grid. You are giving the clues and lips and lemon are tagged to your team. Mango and ear are tagged to the other team. This means you want to try to get your teammate(s) to say lemon and/or lips and NOT mango nor ear. If you say “flavor” it is not enough to distinguish between lemon and mango. If say “body part” it is not enough to distinguish between ear and lips. But maybe the clue “pucker” could be enough?!5. Continue in this manner, going back and forth, until one team identifies all of their cards. That team is the winner!One thing I will note is that this game can move along rather slowly, because of its requirement to think. This means there can be a lot of downtime while you are waiting for the clue giver to come up with their clue. We were OK with this, but you might want to have some music or TV on in the background.

    4 people found this helpful

  7. R. Earle

    Easy to learn, great for learning about your friends/family

    This is a great game to play with people you think have a similar thought process to yours. It can also be fun to see if you can get inside your team mates’ heads if you don’t know them that well. My best friend that I’ve known for ten years now used “aircraft” as a clue. Three cards. “Jet”, obviously, “Zeppelin”, of course, and then one more. It was “Duck”. He knew, I knew, We knew. We won that game.It was easy enough to learn that even my Alzheimer’s-ridden grandmother managed to pick it up in a matter of minutes. It was harder for her to remember what we had played on previous turns, but no one ever said neurological diseases don’t have their downsides. Thanks for throwing the game, Nana!

    One person found this helpful

  8. Rognvaldr

    Fantastic game! Takes a few minutes to read through …

    Fantastic game! Takes a few minutes to read through the instructions, but once you realize how simple it is you’ll start flying through rounds and rounds of this game!The basic premise is that you want your teammates to guess specific “Codename” cards in a 5×5 grid that align to a color coded “key” layout that only one member from each team gets to view at the start of every game. The member that views the key will say one word “Codename” hints (within certain guidelines laid out in the rules as well as making your own house rules) and if his teammates get it right, they cover that “Codename” card with one of their spies and move on. There is also the possibility to “miss” if the team guesses incorrectly and “hits” an “innocent bystander” or one of the opposing teams “Codenames”; either of these will end the current team’s turn. There is also one “Codename” card that will be designated as a “Double Agent” which if guessed will automatically end that game and the other team wins.You’ll find yourself wanting to play until you get tired of playing, or until life slaps you in the face with pesky nuisances such as “the need to eat or sleep” or “work”. Whichever comes first, you’ll be wanting to play more as soon as you quit!

    One person found this helpful

  9. Teresa

    Party game: 3 Make a Guess, Spy!

    Not a hard game and was great for my game party with kids ages about 11-16 years old! (also is playable well as a family game)! A bit hard to explain (but then again I’m just bad at explaining games) but EASY to understand and play once everyone got the general grasp of the game (which didn’t take that long, especially since it’s somewhat relaxed in rules). Good party game- we also played Telestrations and Reverse Charades and those two were also amazing and hits for our game thing, so I would recommend those in addition to this if you’re having a party or hang-out with medium group of kids and teens.-daughter age 15

  10. Jessi D.

    Something different for us!

    Really enjoying this game. We were looking for something new to play with friends, to get away from the typical “judge picks favorite card” type games – of which we have a multitude of. This is a mind game for sure, it is challenging, but is quite fun and can really start some conversations afterward when the Spymaster gets to explain their clues! We played this with 6 people, 2 teams of 3… and that seemed to be the perfect number. This might not be our “go-to” but it is a refreshing change from most of the games we play at game nights. We also have the duet version, and my partner and I love playing that one when we’re just hanging at our house – I think I prefer Duet to the original actually!

  11. Edward J. Vasicek

    Fun Game for a Group

    We have a small youth group, and so we can divide it into two teams and play this. Would be great for a family or even a few friends. They have a video you can watch online that is ihelpful if you need help with the rules, but it really is not very hard to learn. It is a lot of fun. Essentially, one member from each team sees a map with the layout of the cards. He is trying to give a one word clue during his team’s turn that can hopefully lead them to one (ideally more than one) of the proper cards so his team can uncover all of his agents before the enemy (other team) does. A lot of fun. Clean, wholesome, etc. Great for older children all the way up to senior citizens.

  12. bigfooted

    Fun game that is easy to learn

    This is a fun game for four people. Two teams compete. One member of each team gives clues to their partner who tries to guess the words on the board that most match the clues. Each round is fast, making it a good game even if time is limited. It requires creativity from the clue giver and the receiver as they try to think alike.

  13. Booklover

    Great game for 4+ people

    I love this game and I’ve given it as a gift to several people, including families with kids as young as 8. I’ve actually never met anyone who doesn’t like it — and most of us love it. The grid of 5×5 words constantly changes, giving you new words to try to connect. It works for parties of more than 4 because you just divide into 2 relatively equal teams. The words the designers chose to include are perfect because most have more than one meaning, giving you lots of options. It’s a great gift, a fun time and I just don’t know how it couldn’t be a hit. Totally buy it.*don’t be discouraged if it takes a few times to get the hang of it. It’s worth it.

  14. Emily

    Best party game out there

    So I help run a board game club, and IMO is easily the best party game out there. What’s great about Codenames is that it’ can be quite difficult and requires creative thinking (contrast to common “party games” like Cards Against Humanity).The rules are extremely simple, and an extra person can jump in practically whenever. A spymaster gives a word and the number of words connected to it, i.e. “Tudor, 2” and their team must pick the correct words that appear in a 5×5 grid (in this example, the answers were “rose” and “war”). If you guess one of the opposing team’s words, the opposing team gets a point. At worst, you may land an assassin (this is an automatic loss, so be careful with cluing and guessing). Despite the simple rules, gameplay can be quite tricky.Overall, great game, really good for large groups (I’ve played with only 4 people people before, but I’d recommend 6 minimum so that teams can have 2 guessers each). The larger the group the better.

    One person found this helpful

  15. FlipFlopsForever

    Great word guessing game!

    So far I’ve only been able to play the two player game – but hopefully soon we can get more over to try the full version. I would compare this to Password (old time game) or other word guessing games. After the cards are spread out, one player must get his team to guess their words by giving one word clues. One team must guess all their words before the other team does, or before the assassin is chosen. The hardest part was not making eye contact or saying anything that gives it away when you are giving or guessing clues. I just want to talk too much I guess! Great game for two and I think a great game for small parties!!

    5 people found this helpful

  16. Jennie & Eric

    Great for 4-6 people. Wouldn’t recommend for any less than 3

    Great game and fun for 4-6 people! If you’ve never heard of this game before, before buying I would not play with less than 4 people.So the object of the game is to guess all of the words your teammate is hinting you (there are premade cards that determine which squares you need your teammate to guess). Cards are laid out in a 5×5 area. Each hinter can only say 1 word per turn and you must try and figure out related words shown using the hinters word they give you. If you get them all before the opposing team, you win! However, there is an assassin card, to where both teams want to completely avoid giving hints to that word. Whichever team guesses that word, that team automatically loses.Very fun game. I had a blast!

  17. P. Ericksen

    They love playing it and said that it’s a fast game …

    I bought this for my sister’s family and unfortunately found out they already had not only 1 but 2 copies of it! They love playing it and said that it’s a fast game that you can play many times in a row and a great way to get to know people better.Update: We played the game (along with many others) for New Years Eve and it’s a fun game. It definitely goes quick. We played it without using the timer but I can see why they have that as part of the game as some turns could just last forever when there’s no time-crunch. They have an age limit of 10 years old minimum and I can understand why. It requires some very creative thinking for how to connect multiple words both to come up with them as well as try to guess what your partner meant. You may be able to change the rules for under 10 and only try to get your opponent to guess one agent at a time

    6 people found this helpful

  18. iluvthisgame

    This game is addictive!

    My sister and her husband bought this game and brought it to my house for a family get-together. I couldn’t get enough of it, so after they left I bought my own. This is my new favorite game. It’s very simple to learn and play, plus the possibilities are endless with the cards. You play with two teams. You can play with an odd number of people. Each team has a color and gets a set of colored cards…one set is red and one is blue. You lay out 25 word cards, each with a word on it. You take a graph card from the pile of graph cards and only one player from each team can see it; these two people are the clue-givers for their teams. The graph card has 25 squares; some are blue, some red, some beige and one is the assassin. The first clue-giver gives a clue that should help his/her team say as many words that (according to the graph) are their color as possible. For instance, if you see the words “frog”, “bunny” and “sock” you might give the clue “hop” and say the number three so your team knows there are three words you associated with the word hop. Your team then points to the cards, one by one, they think you are describing. If the card they point to is your color, you cover it up with your color card. If it is the other team’s color card, they get to put their color card on it and your turn passes to them. If one is a neutral, your turn passes to the other team. If one is the assassin, the game is over and the other team is declared the winner. The first person to place all their color cards on the board wins. It’s fun to see how others think and the associations they come up with!

  19. Tyler F

    My friends’ favorite game, bar none

    My friends do game nights pretty regularly. We’re in our 20s, but we’ve played with our parents and our younger siblings just the same. Everyone loves this game. It’s perfect for when you have more than 6 people but you still want to play a game everyone can be a part of. There are no eliminations, so everyone is an active player til the end. At the same time, the game is relatively passive, and when it’s the other team’s turn you don’t have to pay all that much attention if you don’t want to, and can go ahead chatting or eating or doing whatever else you were doing. It also does a great job of accommodating everyone, no matter how into (or experienced with) the game they are; loosely interested parties can participate just as well as extremely competitive ones. It’s always a lot of laughter and it never gets old, with literally infinite board/card combinations.Highly recommend you get this game. You can all learn how to play in like, 5 minutes. My only note is that you should NOT try to play with fewer than 6 people, as it is actually somewhat un-fun if you don’t have at least 3 (and preferably 4-6) people on each team.

  20. Amazon Customer

    One of my favorite party games

    This is an excellent game. As someone who’s pretty bored with the Cards Against Humanity style party games, this is usually the game I’ll reach for when there are 6-10 people around who want to play. I wouldn’t recommend it for fewer people than 6, but other reviewers may have more insight on that.The rules are simple and straightforward, so it’s easy to learn for the first time, or easy to introduce new friends who have never played before without those friends feeling too intimidated. It’s a thinking game, but it isn’t super strategy-heavy, so people can still play well enough even when they’re a few drinks into the evening. The rounds are relatively fast-paced and it’s VERY re-playable, so starting this game isn’t a significant time commitment in the way games like Catan or Betrayal or Clue can be. Plus, because you can take turns being the team leaders, you can play several rounds of this game in a row with every player having a different experience each round.

  21. Lady ‘I’

    I think we’re addicted!!!

    Our family LOVES this game!! Easy to learn, it doesn’t drag on for hours; challenging but it doesn’t take a ‘rocket scientist’ to play it. My son-in-law IS a rocket scientist (Haha, for real) but the rest of us…truckers, retired store manager, server, etc. won as often as he did! Loads of laughter, and a great time, was had by all!! Try it!! You’ll LOVE it!!

    2 people found this helpful

  22. Tony

    Great word association game!

    This game gets you thinking about how you can link words together and do it faster than the other team. With only one-word clues, it helps you become more thoughtful with your words. There are almost endless combinations too so you’ll never play the same game twice. For those of you who hate games that are left to chance, this is a good game for you because it relies on brainpower. The only downside is you need at least four people to play, so it’s great for groups but not for two people.

    One person found this helpful

  23. Jonathan Burrup

    A lighthearted, but simultaneously thinky party game

    Simply put, Codenames is fun. It’s a party game more than anything, but so much more enjoyable than guesstures, charades, or Head’s up type of games that are ever so popular in this genre of games. Codenames combines a quick and easy set up and teaching of the rules along with a puzzling or “thinky” gameplay. There have been a few rare occasions when players get analysis paralysis, but those are rare, as generally the game moves quickly and team members are trying to get into each other’s heads in order to get ahead of the other team. This is a game that you almost never only play one round, as everyone always wants “just one more” (and before you know it…you stayed up until 1:00 am on a weeknight).

  24. ChocoCharlie

    Fun game with a good challenge

    I was a little worried about buying this because I saw a few reviews mentioning that the board game looked used and/or there was broken pieces in the packaging. But mine came in perfection condition!I got this as a gift and the recipient was very happy with it. It’s a fun game which makes you think deductively. I enjoy this part especially because it’s a little bit of a brain workout when you play compared to some games that are mostly luck. You will learn to associate the most unrelated words as well. If you are looking for a little bit of a challenge in a game and you enjoy word play then this is really a good price.

  25. shopinful


    My son and daughter-in-law brought this game on a long weekend trip together and I loved it. It is a game that makes you think but you have fun at the same time. It helps to know your partner well but if you can give great one word clues then no problem. It is fast paced and not one of those games where anyone feels left out or stupid. Pay attention and listen to the clues is my advice!! I bought one game and then decided I needed another for our beach place so we can play no matter where we are located. It is small and light so easy to add to your luggage.

    One person found this helpful

  26. Cn Lee

    Total hit!

    Such a fun game! HUGE hit up at the cabin — we had at least 10 other board/card games but we kept coming back to this one.This game features two competing spy agencies, red and blue. There are 25 cards laid out in 5 rows of 5. Each team (agency) has a spymaster with a map of the playing field. It is their job to get their team mate(s) to pick the correct cards by using codenames as hints – BUT they can only use ONE word! For example: If the red spymaster wants his team to pick the card “fly” he might say “Bug, 1” (Bug= codeword and 1=the number of cards that associate with the codeword.) But be careful! If the board also says “swat” or “cricket” your team might pick the wrong card! If that happens you might give a point to the other team or you could uncover the assassin, if the assassin is found the game is over and the team who found him loses.We had a large group of 10 playing and it was a blast!Everyone loved it 🙂

    One person found this helpful

  27. Kathleen Hill

    Fun for the whole family!

    I gifted this to my son for his 21st birthday. He’s getting harder to buy for as he is getting older but mentioned he’d like some new games. My family of four (21, 18, 12, and 50+) enjoyed this very much! We love challenging games that require some skill/thought especially now that my youngest is old enough to participate. 25 cards are displayed, face up. Each card has a word on it and the challenge is to come up with a clue that describes more than one of a specific set of cards displayed so that your teammate guesses multiple cards without guessing the opposing teams cards. Such as “Fire, Dog, and Mess” could be guessed with the clue “hot”. The goal is to finish your team cards – 8 or 9, before the other team does. Some cards are neutral and one ends the game (make sure your clue does NOT match that one!)

  28. Amazon Customer

    So Easy, Even Your Dad Can Play

    If we renamed game subtitles to actually reflect what they are like to play, we would probably sub-title Trivial Pursuit as “Learn How Dumb Your Dad Is,” or Monopoly, “The Game That Leads to Divorce” (thanks, Tim Hawkins).If we sub-titled Codenames, we could use: “Codenames: So Easy, Even Your Dad Can Play!”We love this game. We’ve played as a large group and a small group and it is fun no matter what! So versatile, literally thousands of set-ups so the game is never stagnant. HIGHLY recommend this game. Especially if you need a more quiet game every now and again!

  29. Cristine L.

    Love this game

    Love this game! Fellow teacher bought it for her classroom and we had so much fun with the students playing it that I got my own! I have played it with classes from 5th grade-12th grade. My 9 year old son loves it and my 18 year old daughter took it to a teen game night because she likes the game so much. Several of the students have even asked their parents to get it for their own homes! The concept of the game seems simple and whoever goes first should win-if only! How players relate to each other, how old they are, and what they are interested in plays a big part in how clues need to be given for correct guesses. Strategy is a huge part and you have to think of how your partner would connect things when giving clues. We have played with as few as 3 players and as many as 10 (5 on each team) in one hand although I think with a little adjustment you could set up several tables and have several groups going at once there are so many cards that you can use-only hold back would be the little holder for the map card-although we find that clue givers like to hold it sometimes to make it easier to figure their cards out and pass it back and forth. If you have only 3-it is very challenging for the clue giver to keep the cards straight as they have to connect for one player “red” cards and the other “blue” cards-which keeps them switching thought processes. A normal game only takes 5-10 minutes. There are 25 cards laid out in the grid and after a game is over, the kids like to look at the cards to see relationships and ways that they could give clues that would include the most cards with leaving out the cards that they don’t want picked. This is a great game for seeing relationships between different words and figuring out ways to make them connect! Can’t wait for adult game night to see how a table of adults will do with it! There are 1000’s of combinations so there is never 2 games twice!!

    4 people found this helpful

  30. John Vault

    Team game play with a lot of laughs…

    This is a great party game. The concept is you form teams, and the team leader gives out one word clues to help their team guess which words belong to the team. Guessing wrong could give points to the other team, could be benign and simply end the turn, or could be disastrous and end the game. Discussions about which words to choose can be side-splittingly funny, so it’s hard to keep a poker face as a team lead.The number of clue and word cards are generous so you can play this over and over. In addtion, Clue cards can be used 4 different ways and word cards are double sided. Game play is fast paced, you can easily get through a round in 15 minutes if you used the enclosed timer to keep guesses moving. This game was an instant hit for our family.

    9 people found this helpful

  31. Lyndsey

    Very fun. Even the little ones can play and I …

    My family wasn’t too sure about this game when I showed it to them but they quickly changed their mind. Soon they were recruiting players in from other rooms! The last thing said at Thanksgiving is that everyone is playing on Christmas! Very fun. Even the little ones can play and I believe they would learn some good thinking skills while they do. And with all the options, I can’t imagine you’d ever play the same game twice.

    82 people found this helpful

  32. BoomerP

    One of our greatest game purchases

    First of all, each games only takes maybe 15-minutes, but its also fun to binge if you have people that want to play for an extended time. The concept is simple – its easy to learn – the setup is quick. Its not just a word game but also a decent degree of strategy to it as well. This become one of the “go-tos” in my family’s collection of board games. Only criticisms are:1) Doesn’t give you THAT many words. We often find ourselves seeing the same words over and over. Based on how the game is played its not really THAT big of a deal, but a little annoying nonetheless.2) The way that the wording is printed is strange. Each word is printed twice so that you can read it from both sides of the table – but one side is more visible & easier to read than the other. Not a big deal at all other than when siblings fight over being on the “good” side.

  33. KauF

    Fun game for teens and adults

    Codenames is a very entertaining game for four or more people (there may be a way to play with fewer, but my friends and I only play with four or more). We play often and with different groups of people and everyone learns the rules quickly and has a fun time. The game facilitates connection as you have to give a clue to your partner that will support them in finding the correct cards on the board. If you want an understanding of how the game is played prior to purchasing there are YouTube videos that show you how to play, but you can also just purchase it and quickly read through the directions once you get the game and you’ll be having fun in no time.

  34. M. Paskett

    A new family favorite!

    Game play is easy to learn. With 2 teams instead of individuals, it can be played with larger numbers; you really need a minimum of 4, though 6 feels even more fun so that you have 1 giving the hint and 2 guessing (on each team). I see there is a “Duet” version out now that I think makes 2-person play possible; would love to try that one sometime. The game difficulty changes a lot depending on who is playing, sophistication of your vocabulary, and how much your thinking aligns–we’ve seen some “get” seemingly illogical hints that were completely lost on the rest of us! We need to use the timer to keep the game moving sometimes, but that’s because it can involve a lot of thought trying to figure out the connections. Box says 10+; that seems reasonable with the level of word understanding and nuance needed; nothing inappropriate, so no worries there. Very fun–we highly recommend!

  35. Springer Dinger

    A really good game

    This is probably one of the better games I’ve played in awhile. You will never repeat the exact game because its dependent not just on the cards you lay down, but the combination card you pick, the code master’s clues which they have to develop themselves and finally how the teams interpret those clues.It requires critical thinking and deduction which I really enjoy compared to other more chance based card games. This is one of those games that you could possibly play for a more extended period of time if you liked because of the variation, but also each round can be relatively quick…so it doesn’t require a long commitment.There’s also an adult version which I personally enjoy for times when I’m not playing with my parents or grandmother. Overall great game and totally worth your time.

  36. annlovesdogs

    Best Party/Group Game

    I love this game because you work together as a team against the other team to solve the clues of who your “spies” are and trying not to guess the other teams spies, innocent bystanders or the assassin. Good for laughs and collaboration. Note- my friends are on the smarter side. I played one time with people who were younger and less educated and it didn’t go as well…

    3 people found this helpful

  37. JesseW

    Great game, multiple ways to play!

    Played this game at PAX East, ended up buying it.Initially, we played our own, unique way because we had an odd number of people and since playing the real way, I actually prefer how we did it initially.We had ONE designated ‘guesser’ (I’m not sure what the official name for that position is) who alternated guessing for each team. I really like this way because, in my opinion, it makes the game more symmetrical. Even though the guesser has no ‘incentive’ to win, it’s still a LOT of fun doing the guessing and every game we played, everyone wanted to be ‘the guesser’.Example: If 5 people are playing, 2 people are on team a, 2 people on team b, and the last person is the ‘all-time guesser’. Team A (both members) come up with the code word/ number. When they’ve agreed, they give the clue to the guesser. Afterwards, Team B does the same.

    One person found this helpful

  38. Frequent Amazon Customer

    This game was a HUGE Hit with out family!

    This game brought us hours of fun and entertainment. It is easy to learn and great for all ages. We played in huge teams around the holidays. It was so much fun that several of my family members ordered the game to bring back to their homes to play with their families and friends.

  39. kccayson

    It’s a fantastic party game because it can be taught in under …

    Codenames really is genius in it’s simplicity. It’s a fantastic party game because it can be taught in under 5 minutes and provides a ton of fun. It has definitely been a hit in my gaming group and with my family over the holidays.Two players are chose as the ones giving the rest of their team clues while the rest desperately try to make sense of what they are talking about. A 5×5 grid of word cards is laid out and then using a key card that shows what words are for each team and which ones are bystanders or an assassin, the clue givers take turns saying a clue word and a number which indicates how many of their team words are related to the clue. The team guesses and the clue giver places a token on their guesses corresponding to the red team, blue team, bystander, or assassin. The first team to cover all their words wins, though guessing the assassin automatically makes you lose.The game is surprising simple, but provides hours of entertainment, especially as everyone laughs over the connections that everyone makes.I cannot recommend it enough!

    104 people found this helpful

  40. Jade

    A Blast

    I brought codenames with me when I came home for the holidays, after trying to find a copy for months. It was a huge hit with my family, and I’ve had a lot of fun playing it with friends back home :)What’s great about the game:- There’s a lot of hidden depth to the game – adding new players can change things because you’re suddenly thinking “how would this person think?” when guessing clues.- You can add new players in the middle of the game, and play with fairly large groups. It makes for a great party game.- It takes 5 minutes to explain, so it’s easy to get new people playing.- Games are fast, so you have fun even when you lose, and it’s easy to just play one more game.What’s not always great:- Having 4 players isn’t as fun as having 6+; a lot of the fun and comedic moments come from the banter between groups.- Some games are frustrating as the codemaster when absolutely none of your words have any relationship. It’s not really that bad, as you can get around it with clever clues, and can lead to some pretty hilarious moments when you desperately try to associate two words together.

  41. Lexi

    Easy, Fun Game that Everyone Can Play

    This has quickly become one of my favorite games. It is HIGHLY re-playable, and I don’t think I’ve played with a single person that didn’t like it. Games are hard to do with some of the people I know, but all of these people enjoyed it: the family members that only begrudgingly play games with us, the friends with short attention spans that can’t play games like Catan, and the family members that couldn’t figure out or enjoy a game like Concept (a real shame, that game is great). Even my MIL, who NEVER plays games with us and is difficult to teach, seemed to enjoy this game. Almost everyone we’ve played this game with has gone out and bought it themselves. Buy it! 🙂

    One person found this helpful

  42. Desiree Dee

    Perfect Team game for Game Night.

    A friend brought this game over for our weekly game night.After playing one round, we jumped on the website to order it.Each team is split into two parts.One person on each team has access to the knowledge telling you what “Secret Agents” are placed where on the board.The board is set up with a bunch of cards that have random words on them.The person with access to the spies has to think of a single word that can clue the rest of the team in to finding out where their agents are.You have to be careful how you phrase the word, it could lead to discovery for the other team.The game is over when one team finds all of their spies, or if a player finds the assassin.This game is fun for groups with all sorts of sensibilities, but requires a minimum of 4 people to play, unless you are using house rules.

    2 people found this helpful

  43. FlowersInSpring

    One of my favorite games! Want an expansion

    Pros:- Extremely easy to learn- Usable for a diverse group, all ages (though a kid might have some trouble but they could participate on one of the teams)- Good clean fun: safe for work cards, could be played at family gatherings/company parties- Overall just fantastic game- Everyone I have played with has seemed to love it- Uses your brain, extremely interesting concept- Transportable, it can pack up into a small bag or something for when you want to bring it on the goCons:- I really want an expansion for Codenames. We have the afterdark version and the picture version, but we like the original best and it’s the best for family gatherings. However after playing for several years now, we have seen a lot of the cards many times and we would love a several hundred card expansion for this game. I know technically I could make that myself with notecards, but if I could just buy the expansion and keep the cards consistent in size and quality that would be great :P. After dozens of games, the replay-ability does go down a little, and it can get repetitive. If there was another card pack, that would immediately fix the issue.- Sometimes the code master is slow between rounds when deciding a clue, and they get salty when you pull out the timer. It can be hard to think of pairing words sometimes. Occasionally the match ups will be unfair, with someone getting 5 easily connectable words in one go, and another person with completely unrelated words that seem near impossible to connect in any way. Not really a big deal though, that’s how games go sometimes.5/5 stars. No shipping issues or damage to the box.

    One person found this helpful

  44. Master of the House

    Surprisingly Good

    Very quick game, about 15 minutes or so. The directions were a little unclear in that there is a blue/red double agent card that one of the teams gets each game. Finally figured out that the team that is going first takes the double agent as a “penalty” because going first gives you an edge in the game. The first game we played I was worried I had wasted my money because it seemed very simplistic and I worried it would be boring. I was very wrong. This game shines once you have played a few rounds. The fun hinges on trying to read the mind of your “Agent Handler” and then arguing your viewpoint with your team mates. It can be so frustrating (in a good way) when you are convinced you know exactly what the handler is thinking and it turns out you were totally wrong. Lots of laughing, blaming, and humorous snide comments ensue. The better you know the people you play with the more fun you have as you realize what seems so simple to them never even occurs to you and vice versa. It is really a benefit that the games are so short. You can play a quick couple of games and move on, or go for a marathon. I recommend this game. The more players the merrier.

    One person found this helpful

  45. Dadimus Max

    Very engaging, fun, and challenging

    Wow, wasn’t sure what to expect when got this game. I was looking for some games to play with the family when they call came in for the holiday break. This one had good ratings and reviews, so figured would give it a try.We were all really surprised at how fun and yet really challenging this game is. We were playing with 2 teams of 3, and found that it was a little challenging for the 10 year old; but she did surprisingly well. Be aware, the better you are at vocabulary, and your use of the English language, the better you will be at this game. It also helps if you are playing with people you know, since it’s all about making word association/connections. We found out that the sisters were really good at it (they knew what each other was thinking), and the guys were good teams, because we all knew generally what the other was thinking.It takes a couple minutes to get the playing area set up, and a game takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on how quickly each team takes to make their guesses.Overall; we really enjoyed, we played it several times over several days throughout the 2 week holiday break. And will probably play again the next time we get everyone together.

    3 people found this helpful

  46. Cire


    This game is an amazing game to play with friends! I’m in college and I had just got this game in the mail and suggested we try it out for “at least one round you guys!” One round turned into 8 and we were up til 2 am playing this game! It is especially funny playing with people who you know really well or when people on both teams are all talking at once because it can let you come up with some really random codenames! One of my favorite parts about the physical game is that it came with little bags for all the cards. It seemed like there were a million of them between the agent, civilian, assassin, and word cards, and I was worried we were going to have to make a late night run to the store or (even worse!) be forced to leave them scattered about, but there were bags included in the game box (we used two for the word cards, and then one for agent cards and another for civilian/assassin cards together and still had 2 extra bags for if/when they break).TL/DR: Best game ever, fun to play with friends!

    3 people found this helpful

  47. Teresa

    Game itself is great, but timer was busted in both boxes

    I bought this game and the time was broke. The sand leaked out all over the game pieces, the table, floor, etc. when we opened it. It took forever to get it cleaned up. I returned it and got another one. The same thing. You can tell before you even open the package because the box feels ‘grainy’ under the plastic wrapping. So beware before you open it. This appears to be a production flaw.

  48. MyItchyChin

    Bastards… they’re all bastards…

    I’ve been wanting to play this game for a while and so I bought it for myself when it went on sale. It sat on the kitchen counter for weeks because no one wanted to play, I like playing games a lot more than the rest of my family apparently. Well I had to run out and do some errands for a couple hours one night. Upon my return home I walked in on the family packing this game back up. They played it while I was gone and said it was a lot of fun. FML…

    6 people found this helpful

  49. Helifano

    The ultimate version of an amazing game

    This game is great, especially with groups of close friends. The hardest part of the game is not accidentally giving the answer away. Something as subtle as a smirk can easily be mistaken for cheating. Though, if you aren’t playing this game hyper-competitively, you can probably laugh these mistakes out.Regarding the size (XXL), I first bought the original version at a retail store without knowing this version existed and we loved it so much that I bought the XXL version after just a handful of games (since our only complaint was fitting 8 people around so many tiny cards). The organizer tray in the XXL version is very nice, while the original doesn’t have one at all, and the cards are a perfect size! My wife and I (mid-20s) played with my grandmother and several of her friends (various post-retirement ages) and it was an absolute blast.

    3 people found this helpful

  50. Kindle Customer

    Team game play with alot of laughs

    This is a great party game. The concept is you form teams, and the team leader gives out one word clues to help their team guess which words belong to the team. Guessing wrong could give points to the other team, could be benign and simply end the turn, or could be disastrous and end the game. Discussions about which words to choose can be side-splittingly funny, so it’s hard to keep a poker face as a team lead.The number of clue and word cards are generous so you can play this over and over. In addtion, Clue cards can be used 4 different ways and word cards are double sided. Game play is fast paced, you can easily get through a round in 15 minutes if you used the enclosed timer to keep guesses moving. This game was an instant hit for our family.

    3 people found this helpful

  51. Michael S

    Fun party game

    Fun party style game. Have played with 4 and 6 players. Game is good with 4 players, but prefer the higher play counts (probably up to 8 players would be good). Game plays fast 15-20 minutes (depending how long the code master takes to come up with clues and how long team takes to make a decision). If there are players that take too long there is a timer to speed things up, but we have never used it. This game is light, but it is more of a party game so that is to be expected. Games very easy to learn and everyone picked it up within minutes. Fun game and the price is good. The replayability is great since there are 200 double sided cards. Glad we purchased this game.

  52. Em. K

    The hit of Christmas!

    Gifted this for Christmas and it was the first game we played after opening several others. We really like it! It’s a great game that can be played with a large variety of people which we like for our family of 9 that ranges in age from 8 to 60. It’s nice because the kids can play (on the guessing side) too. We like it because it goes fast (15 minutes or less) and has just the right amount of strategy without being overly complicated. I recommend just YouTubing the instructional video and then playing your first round, it’s quick to learn. One thing I noticed is it’s very easy to “table talk” in this game so we did have to institute a silent rule hah! But maybe that’s just us. But if you’re wanted an animated party word game, this isn’t the one. Another thing I really like is that even after you go through all the words, it will never get old because they’ll be paired with different words every time. Looking forward to playing this again and maybe even buying my own copy.

    30 people found this helpful

  53. G. Cope

    As weird as it sounds this game is so much fun

    I was pretty on the fence when my family first ordered this game. It seemed pretty simple and like something we’d get easily board of ( even though we adore family game night).But it turns out this game is packed full of laughs, inside jokes and challenges. Perfect to play with anyone ages 9 + and definitely a lot of fun for adults and families.While the game is the most fun with piers I did play the game with two adults and two 9 year old girls. The two girls enjoyed it greatly and had a blast coming up with their spy names and imagining what their secret mission was.Ended up making way for a great geography lesson and discussion about how some words have different meanings in different places.Would highly recommend

    5 people found this helpful

  54. Sneekypete

    A lot of fun

    Our son and daughter in law had purchased this game and so had we, but neither of us knew about the other. They played with another couple and we hadn’t played yet. They wanted to introduce us to a new game they said, and we told them we wanted to do the same. Same game! Alot of fun as you begin to learn how the mind of the card master opposite you thinks. Would like to play with more than just four people to see what fun it could be. Not always easy either. Makes you really think!

  55. Jediah BiddingerJediah Biddinger

    Great game, good version for groups

    Codenames is an excellent board game to start with.I bought this version to be able to play with a bigger group, and it’s perfect for it.I saw that others have complained about the cards being too big (or the text size on them too small), but it worked great for us. The cards are bigger than the normal version, making it easy to spread them out on the floor to play sitting in a circle. The font size is bigger than with normal Codenames cards, but I guess it could’ve been even bigger to cut down on wasted space? (In any case, it didn’t bother me.)

    One person found this helpful

  56. Shepherd’s Girl

    Loved this game!

    One of the things I loved about this game is that there is really no “down time.” Oft times with games where teams take turns, it can get boring waiting for the other team to make their move. Not so in this game. When you listen to the other team talk and reason together, you are given ideas that may help your team on their next turn. Many of the words used have double meanings – so watch out!

  57. sean

    Family Fav!

    It should be noted that you’ll need at least 4 people to play (2 teams, each with 2 or more members). 6+ is ideal.We last played with a group of seven (including two friends who don’t have English as a native language). Everybody loved this game!It’s a bit tricky to kick off the first time if no one knows how to play. I recommend having one person learn all the rules in advance, so they can quickly bring everyone up-to-speed when the group assembles.Once you’ve got it, this game is genius in it’s simplicity, lively, and intellectually challenging. Be sure to throw the other team off with false flags.

  58. Nancy SW


    This game is SUPER FUN! The instructions seem complex, but once you slog through them (as a group, don’t just let one person figure it out), then it’s really easy to play. Basically it’s like the old game Password, except the person giving the clue has to make sure they don’t steer their team in the direction of opponent’s words or the dreaded Assassin card (at which point the game is over). The twist is that from a one word clue PLUS A NUMBER, you can guess more than one word. (You ‘guess’ by pointing to cards on the table.). So, if I said chocolate 2, you would point to the cards that said candy and cake. But, the hilarity is hearing the team rationalize how different cards could ‘fit’ that clue. They might say, well, it COULD also be Switzerland because it’s known for chocolate or bunny, etc… so, giving the clues is a dangerous mission! If you give clues that help the other team, they will go out first. I HIGHLY recommended this game! We’ve played with odd numbers of players, which is fine – one team has an extra person. Have not played with only two people which the directions say is possible.

    One person found this helpful

  59. ultraconsumer

    A deceptively awesome game for four or six players

    I admit I wasn’t particularly excited when I saw the initial reviews and playthroughs of this game. The name/theme make it sound like a hidden role type of game a la The Resistance, but that’s really not what it is. The theme is spy-based, sure, but only to make this more interesting than a generic word game. Nothing about it besides the artwork makes you feel like you’re playing as or against a spy.What this game IS, however, is a very solid word game with a little bit of deduction, press your luck, and “party” thrown in.In short, the game plays like this: two teams, each with a clue-giver (spymaster) and one or more guessers. On the table are 25 random words. Each spymaster is trying to give their team one-word clues that help them relate one or more of the words on the table together (without saying the actual words, of course) so that the guessers can figure out which of the random words are affiliated with their team (only the spymasters know this information). The spymaster hopes their team will pick the words that they intended based on their clue without picking cards affiliated with the enemy team, neutral words, or the “spy” word, which immediately ends the game. Whichever team can identify all their words first wins.As an example, a clue of “animal” might be great if you’re trying to get your team to guess “cat” and “dog”, but horrible if the opposing team also controls the “lion” card. On the other hand, maybe the word “pet” gives just enough information about a cat and a dog without also implicating lion. Should you risk it?A little tricky to explain in one paragraph, maybe, but takes about 2 minutes to teach to a group in person.Personally, I think this game works best with 4 or 6 players, where each team has a spymaster and 1-2 guessers. We tried playing it with 8 and in my opinion having that many guessers on each team does nothing to enhance the experience of the game. Instead, it felt to me like a lot of people sat and waited around while each of the spymasters tried to come up with good clues, then argued more than was necessary about which cards to guess.Despite the fact that this game appears “meh” based on the concept, it’s a lot of fun to play. Spymasters will agonize over what clue can safely implicate their own cards on the table without overlapping (and therefore helping) those of the opposing team. Teams will struggle to come up with the logic that the spymaster *must* have used, some wrong guesses will be made, hilarity (and frustration) will likely ensue.There is some downtime when the spymasters take a while to come up with their clues, so be prepared for that. Otherwise this game is a blast and easily one of the best in my collection under the $20 price point. I have no doubt I’ll be able to pull this out with any type of group (gaming, friends, family, work, etc.) and have a great time. It is a must buy at retail price ($20) or less.(***Note: This review is for the original Codenames, and NOT Codenames: Pictures. Amazon combined the listings after I wrote this review***)

    1,158 people found this helpful

  60. M. Johnson

    Tough game but loads of fun and replayability

    Codenames plays as a team based spy themed game where you have to think of a single word clue that can distinguish as many of your teams cards as possible. Unlike fast paced games like Taboo, this allows you to think and plan out what word or association will drive your team in the right direction while avoiding the other team’s cards and making sure they never guess the one assassin card (instant lose card).Although the theme is spies, the game play is all about word associations and knowing your team. The code master is allowed 1 word followed by a number. Example turn would be code master says “Tree:3” for Apple, Leaf, Paper. Multiple worded clues are allowed if it is a proper noun (New York).The game is a blast. You use 25 (5×5) cards each time, each card is double sided. The good thing is even if you reuse words in future games, a quick shuffle/flip sides makes the card association unique each play through giving this game huge replay-ability. Although this game can be tough and some code masters may have a hard time getting 3 or even 2 associations, I highly recommend this game.

    34 people found this helpful

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