Friday, 12 May 2017

Spy Game - Codenames Review and Giveaway


Initially I thought Codenames, an award winning card game looked a bit complicated, and wasn't sure if the kids will like it, but as soon as we had a go, we couldn't stop, and we almost over-ruled Clay who was planning to go out as we just wanted to keep playing to game!

Codenames is basically a word guessing game, where 2 teams of players have to work together to find out where all their cards are before the other team, avoiding instant death as they go. It's one of those games where you learn as you go, and you'll pick it up straight after the first round.

Read on to find out more.


spy card game, Codenames, word card game

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

Codenames (RRP £15.99, suitable for 10 years + and requires 2 to 8+ players) comes with:

8 Blue Agent Cards (double sided)
8 Red Agent Cards (double sided)
1 Double Agent Card (double sided)
7 Innocent Bystander Cards
1 Assassin Card
40 Key Cards
1 Card Stand
1 Rulebook
1 Timer
200 Codename Cards (double sided, ie 400 codenames)

The box also came with a few plastic resealable bags, which I assume are for you to store your cards.


spy card game, Codenames, word card game

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

Apart from the Key cards, the rest are all double sided. The agent and innocent bystander cards has a male on one side and female on the other. The quality of the cards are great too (click images to enlarge for a closer look).


spy card game, Codenames, word card game

To play the game (competitive mode), players are split into 2 teams, with 1 person in each team being the Spymaster and the rest Field Agents. The above picture shows the initial set up, with the edge of the Key card:

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

indicating which team starts the game first (this Key card wasn't the one used in the above set up. The edge would have been red instead).

To play the game, Spymasters take turn to look at the Key card to see where their Agents are. They will also see where the Assassin is (the Black square) and the Innocent Bystanders are (the beige squares).

Spymasters will then look at the Codenames on the table, and try to find a "Word" that will describe the Codename on the table, that is correspondent to their Agent.

For example, a Blue Agent (on the Key card) has a Codename Jet (on the table), so the Blue Spymaster have to say a word, for example "Plane" to his/ her Field Agents. The Spymaster will also tell them a number, indicating how many Codenames on the table that "Word" is related to. And then it's down to the Field Agents to guess the Codename, without helping the other team by choosing their Agent's Codename, or by choosing the Assassin to get an instant death.

You can play it with a time limit, but with younger children it's more fun without the extra tension.

This is how one of our game looked like:

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

That was a very intense game! After guessing the correct Codename, Field Agents had a chance to make another guess without any clues, which was quite okay to do at the beginning. But when there were less Codenames left on the table and we got closer to the Assassin, we all stopped doing our second guesses.

At the end someone picked the Assassin which ended the game (we were so close to winning!).

It was hilarious watching hubby the Red Spymaster telling Abby the Blue Spymaster off for giving a dangerous clue, leading to the possibility for me the Blue Field Agent a step closer to the Assassin, because none of us wanted to end the game sooner than needed!

So when I did a second guess on our first round in another game:

spy card game, Codenames, word card game

and got an instant death, I was told off by everyone hahaha!

You can also play a non-competitive mode where you work together as 1 team, and the Spymaster will reveal the opponent team's card every turn.


It might sound complicated at first because it's quite hard to describe each step, but as soon as you tried it, it's actually very easy to play, and very addictive too. With 400 Codenames and 40 Key cards that you can rotate, you can have plenty of fun without it getting repetitive.

For those who have younger children, Codenames also have a picture version - Codenames: Pictures. Do note that the age suitability have been revised (Codenames used to be suitable for 14 years+, but it's now 10+ on the new packaging, or at least the UK packaging. The new age suitability definitely makes more sense), and I'm sure Codenames: Pictures will be suitable for children younger than 10 (old packaging recommended it for 10+).


If you think this is you and your family's kind of game, here is a chance to win one! Simply follow the Rafflecopter's easy instructions and good luck! x


Prize: Codenames Game x 1

Giveaway ends: Sunday 28th May 2017 Midnight (where 00:01am is Monday)

Terms & Conditions:
  • The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • The prize cannot be exchanged and no cash alternative will be offered.
  • To leave a comment, simply do so by either leaving it in this post's comment section (Disqus) or on Facebook under the giveaway's post. For Disqus, please make sure that you are not leaving comment as Anonymous, as I will not be able to check whether you've left one. If you have to comment as Anonymous, or if your Disqus ID is different from your Rafflecopter entry name, please add a means of ID on your comment that I can use to link it to your Rafflecopter entry. Unfortunately if I can't, your entry won't be counted.
  • Please make sure that your email account used to enter the Rafflecopter is active, and you do check the spam folder in case the email I sent you ended up there
  • All entries will be checked.
  • Winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly
  • Winner will be announced by Wednesday 31st May 2017 on here, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Winner will have to respond to my email by Tuesday 6th June 2017 noon. A new winner will be chosen after the deadline.
  • The prize will be posted by the PR. I cannot be held responsible for missing parcels, but if you have any enquiry do let me know and I'll try my best to help
  • You can visit Di Coke's Rafflecopter Guide for Rafflecopter instructions
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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