Codenames is such a simple concept but it really is a fun game. Each team is composed of spies and a spymaster. The spymaster simply has to get the spies to identify all of their agents by giving cryptic single word clues, followed by a number. The spies can then guess answers up to the number given plus 1. If they guess right you put out a spy of your colour, if they guess wrong and get an opposing spy or bystander their turn is over. If however they find the dastardly assassin they automatically lose.
For example, I wanted my spies to guess the following three words, Shakespeare, Tokyo and Dinosaur. I gave the clue King 3. Here’s my thinking, Dinosaur, T-Rex, Rex means king, Shakespeare wrote King Lear and King of Tokyo is a board game. True, it’s not the most straightforward clue but that’s the trick of Codenames, you need to give clues with loose connections to maximise your team's chances of winning.
Codenames works well with many different groups although groups that know each other well will find different ways of giving clues based on shared knowledge, whereas strangers might have to be more literal. For a different challenge you could also try Codenames Pictures, it’s the same game with erm… pictures. Finally, if you’re feeling a bit more immature and you want to be able to give the clue Knob 3 then perhaps take a look at Codenames Deep Cover.
For more info on these here’s my good friend Paul talking to us at the UK Games Expo…