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Tag Archives: Code Names

We bought this game for Signing Monkey for her birthday, and it’s a pretty fun game that really makes you think.

Let’s say you have 4 players. You split into two teams: red and blue. The Spymasters from each team sit on one side of the table while the Field Operatives sit on the other side. You lay out a 5×5 grid of codename cards, and the Spymasters randomly choose a Key Card. The Key Card tells the Spymasters which codenames they need to get their Field Operatives to guess and the ones they need to avoid (everyone needs to avoid the assassin!).

This games really shows how differently we all think and view things.  If I’m a Spymaster and I see that “microscope,” “lab,” and “teacher” are the codenames I need my Field Operative to guess, I might give them the clue “science 3.” My Field Operative guesses “microscope” and “lab” correctly, but instead of “teacher” they guess “doctor” which scores for the opposing team. When I was looking at the cards, I didn’t even think about “doctor” being a possibility. This happens all the time throughout the game which often leads Spymasters to give clues for single cards instead of groups of cards (for example “magnify 1”  for “microscope”). It really forces you to think very carefully about the clues you give and the possible interpretations.

The team that identifies all its codenames first wins.

Things can get interesting when you have an odd number of players. When we played with 5 people, I decided to be a double agent. This meant I guessed for both sides and gave hints to the Field Operatives when they were guessing. My goal was for both sides to succeed.

We enjoyed this game so much, we bought our own copy.