Codenames is a game where 2 two teams are trying to identify their secret agents. The only problem is they can only be described as a single word. If the right word is given, then this could identify more than a single agent. However, get the word wrong, and it could uncover the oppositions agent, an innocent bystander, or worse - an assassin.
This is the pictures version of the Codenames game. It plays identical to the word version with the exception of pictures being used for the grid.
A grid of 20 picture cards are placed in a 5x4 grid. There is a large number of these cards, and they are printed on both sides. A grid card is then revealed to the master spy's - those that will be giving out the clues. This grid shows a number of red and blue squares, which are the locations of the agents for the team. It also shows the innocent bystanders as well as the assassin, which is in black. If either side picks the assassin, then game is over and the opposition will win.
The images are a combination of 2, sometimes, very different images. Once could be a toothpaste tube, releasing flower petals. Another is a bi-plane, with a sea anchor under it.
The basic premise of the game is for the master agent to provide a keyword to link a number of their agents, and the number they think it will match. For example, Plant 3, is stating that there are 3 agents out their where the term Plant will help identify them. This could be obvious, such as a plant being shown (Cactus, flower etc). It could be more cryptic - such as a factory, which could indicate a power plant.
The winner is the team that identifies all their agents first. The team that goes first needs to find an extra agent as they would have the advantage otherwise. If there is an incorrect guess, the turn ends and the other side then has a go. If your guess is for the opposition, their card is placed over the image and you have helped them out - not a good idea. If an innocent bystander is revealed, a card is placed over it and your turn ends. Reveal the assassin, and that is game over.
This is a great family game. It is extremely quick to set up and pack away, but the play area still feels big. Games could have the possibility to gone on for too long, so there is an optional egg timer, which is put into play if decisions are not being made. We can normally get 3 games in during an hour at most.
The quality of the components are very high. We have played this a number of times, and they still look like they were new.
As this has a low barrier to get into, i would seriously consider this game for people who are not too involved with board games. At the heart, it is a word association game, which lots of people can part take in, including children.