★★★★★ CodeNames; “is there a better connection between nautical and board, or nautical and draft?”

Check out this game if: you’re looking for a creative word game -and a rowdy fun time with a large group.

This game stands out because the simple rules leave plenty of room to be creative. This  game is also great because it’s so easy to feel involved and participate.

I believe this game is better than other similar games (like password) because you can give a clue that connects many words -giving the clue giver the chance to be really creative. 

1. Everyone I have shown this game to has loved it immediately.
2. Handles large groups (played with 10 and works well).
3. No player elimination.
4. Quick games.
5. Very interactive -everyone has a chance to give their opinion.
6. Coming up with clues feels creative and thoughtful.
7. Getting the correct answer feels rewarding, but losing doesn’t feel humiliating.
8. Different cards give this game great replayability.

1. Some people will have a knack for this kind of game and have a clear advantage.
2. Rarely a disagreement can occur -but games are so quick it passes.

Brief Overview:
A grid of cards with words on them are laid out. Using a secret map of the grid, two team leaders are trying to get their teammates to guess their words/cards. They get their teammates to guess the words by giving one word clues and the number of corresponding cards it could match. The first team to choose all their cards wins.

Additionally there is one word you are trying to avoid (one word/card will cause a team to lose immediately) which stops a team from just making blind guesses.

Number of Players 2-8
Age 10+
Time 15 mins
Friendly ★★★★☆
Teachable ★★★★☆
Replayability ★★★★☆
Creative Freedom ★★★★★
Inclusive (no elimination) ★★★★★
Interaction ★★★★★

There is only one version of this game. There are many similar games but this is the best I’ve played.

Teaching Advice:
Lay the grid of cards out and show everyone the map -explaining how the map indicates which cards are assigned to which team on the grid. Then give a simple example of a one word clue that could be a hint for a couple words on the board. Details like the number of guesses and legal clues will follow easily once everyone understands the concept.

I doubt this game will ever get stale, but if you want to liven things up a bit, try playing this game with the picture cards from Dixit (instead of the word cards provided). It’s a blast.

Link to Video Tutorial.

Link to Codenames on Amazon.

2 thoughts on “★★★★★ CodeNames; “is there a better connection between nautical and board, or nautical and draft?”

  1. Codenames is hands down my new favorite party game at the moment. The clues you choose as a Spymaster and the words you guess as a Spy depend entirely on the group you are playing with. As such, it’s equally fun to play with a group of other couples who hardly touch board games as it is my old super geeky D&D buddies I’ve been gaming with for 15 years.

    Liked by 1 person

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