Sunday, January 8, 2017

CodeNames Review

*Ages 10+
*2-8 Players
*About 15 Minutes
*Party Game
*Vlaada Chvatil
*Codenames Gadget App (key generator and timer)

Codenames is a party game where you place tiles in a grid (in the original version with words in a 5x5 grid or in a 5x4 grid in the picture version), then there is one clue giver and at least one other teammate that is guessing the clues being given. The clue giver has a key card that tells them what cards are what (blue/red/bystander/assassin). The clue is one word along with a number of how many words/pictures the clue applies to. The guesser then guesses one word/picture at a time. If they get it correct they can guess again. If they guess the other team's or a bystander, your team's turn ends and it is the next team's turn. There is also an assassin, and if you guess it, the entire game is over and your team loses.

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 2-4, but I have not played with more than 4 yet.

Favorite Character And Why: I like being both the guesser and clue giver depending on who is playing. The clue giver is definitely the harder role to play when trying to use 1 word to convey more than one card.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike:
-I like as clue giver the challenge of trying convey in a 1 word clue more than 1 word/picture. As guesser I like the competition of trying to get my team's words/pictures covered first, but that it is still cooperative.
-I dislike that if you are in a crunch to beat the other team you can just get lucky with your last guess and win. Shannon and I have won this way 2 times and our husbands complain about this problem.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: 

I love the GIRAFFE picture, because giraffe's are my favorite animal. I think the computer sign crumbling is cool because you don't see those types of error messages any more. The telephone picture is interesting because it combines an old style rotatory phone with what looks like an iPhone. I like the zebra because it reminds me of my step-daughter and her favorite animal is a zebra. I think the skunk showering is funny, since skunks smell and normally you shower to get clean/smell better. I like the domino version of Stonehenge, I dream of getting to see Stonehenge one day and the concept that it is dominoes is a nice take on it.

Strategies: Try and get as many cards with one word! As clue giver don't over think the one word clues, I like to think if you don't over think it, then they won't either! 

Final Thoughts: : I like the replay value. With the number of pictures and being able to mix in the regular word cards and the different "key" cards the game will be able to be replayed 100+ times. I also like the mental challenge of how to get more than more card together.

8 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: Currently, I have only played this game as a 4 player game. It's okay this way, but I can see the advantages of having a teammate or two to discuss clues with.

Favorite Character And Why: I enjoy guessing the clues better than giving them, it's less stressful.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Being the clue giver. When I play this game I always seem to struggle finding clues to link more than one or two words together.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: The ability to guess one more word than the number you are given, while helpful in guessing older clues, it also gives the ability to just guess randomly. Amber and I have both won this way before by noticing patterns and just guessing at our last word.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I don't really have any for this game.

Strategies: Try to remember who you are giving clues to so you can play to their way of thinking. I tend to make connections to words that other people would never guess, and it can cause confusion if you're not careful.

Final Thoughts: This is one of those party games that I'm just not that big a fan of. I'm not a big fan of the pressure that I feel trying to come up with and guess clues. That said, I do enjoy playing it a little. This game is a take it or leave it game with me, I could play it again, or never and be just fine.

5 out of 10 Stars 

(This review covers Codenames and Codename: Pictures.) 

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