Codenames is a party social deduction card game for 2-8 players in the world of espionage.

Codenames: win or lose, it’s fun to figure out the clues.

The two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their 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 board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.

DesignerVlaada Chvátil
Publisher:  Czech Games Edition (CGE)
Player numbers:  2-8
Recommended Age:  14+
Game Time:  15 mins

Board Game Geek Listing

Product Contents:

16 agent cards in two colors
1 double agent card
7 innocent bystander cards
1 assassin card
40 key cards
1 rulebook
1 card stand
1 timer
200 cards with 400 codenames

3 reviews for Codenames

  1. DJ (verified owner)

    Don’t be fooled by the uninspiring name and box; this is a brilliant game. Codenames seems simple, but can get very deep while also being very funny (and funny to watch). Setting up takes about a minute, play-time about 15 minutes, and after-play discussion varies depending on the number of times you’ve needed to look at your partner with stumped wonder during the game: “But it was SO OBVIOUS!”, “Not it wasn’t!”. Codenames also has a lot of replayability and challenge. On a weekend away and a wide selection of games to choose from, my coworkers loved it so much we never played anything but Codenames. Did I mention this game was simple to explain and simple to ‘get’ to boot? Although it is possible to play with 2 or 3 players, the competition and fun factor is best with four players. Being simple, yet deep, funny, and one of those “just one more game” but not really ‘one more game’ games, I totally rate this game as a goodie.

  2. Kyle

    I must admit to being sceptical of all the hype going into this game but I have to say, for such a simple idea the Codenames delivers.

    25 words in a grid, give one-word clues to your team to guess your teams words and not those of the opposition. One of the 25 words instantly causes either team to fail the game. That’s about as complex as the game is. The real game is finding the right clues and how creative/abstract/tenuous you can be to make them to check off as many words as possible.

    A caveat must be made, that this game is ultimately made exponentially better depending on the people you play it with; with the wrong people Codenames would have the potential to be very dry, but that is the way with most party games.

  3. Dougal

    Fantastic game, easy to learn and if you and your friends are creative, can lead to a lot of fun. I recommend playing with at least 4 players, and 6 or more for an optimal game.

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