Friday, 23 September 2016

Codename Pictures from CGE games

Being a spy would be pretty interesting right? im sure you are thinking James Bond and all his gadgets, but i think more of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, with its more "realistic" approach to the world of spycraft.  I cant think of many games about being a spy to be honest, but came across Codenames Pictures......

Its a team based game from 2 players to well.... as many as you want really!

What are these strange symbols on the map? They are code for locations where spies must contact secret agents!
Two rival spymasters know the agent in each location. They deliver coded messages telling their field operatives where to go for clandestine meetings. Operatives must be clever. A decoding mistake could lead to an unpleasant encounter with an enemy agent – or worse, with the assassin! Both teams race to contact all their agents, but only one team can win.

It comes in a nice little box, so its easily portable, and thats good, as this is really going to come into its own as a party game.
You get a litle run down of the contents in the back, and play time, which seems about right.... I think the Age is dead on in this one, as Olivia found linking some of the images a bit tricky.

Whats in this little box then? and how does it play??

A suprising amount of goodies lurk inside actually.... you get a couple of little catalogues about other goodies from CGE in them, worth looking at as i had never heard of them before, and they are fairly prolific.

in solid card you get red agents, blue agents, one double agent, civilians, and an assassin.  You get a load of double sided cards with the code pictures on them, and a deck of cards that show the agent layout.  With that many layouts, and all the double sided cards replayability is high.

To play you break out into two teams, each team has a Spymaster who will provide the clues for the other players on that team to guess.
The spymasters are the only players who get to view the layout here.... which goes in the funky plastic stand.  they need to guide their team to the relevant blue or red spys, avoiding the black assasin and white civilians.  The rest of the team do not know the layout.
You layout your board like this, in rows with these pictures.  Your job then as spymaster is to come up with clues to link your spies together.  You are allowed to say one word and a number.  The word relates to the clue part, and the number relates to how many share that clue... for example looking at above...... Star 2 could relate to the star medal on the bottom row, and the tree with stars hanging from it in the third row, but then its all down to peoples interpretaions of course!  The team of guessing agents can discuss, but as soon as they touch a card, thats it.  If they get it right they can move onto another guess.  If they guess it wrong the turn is over.  If they guess the opposing teams agent they put therir card out to cover it, so you have just helped them get into the lead.  You need to careful with your guesses in this game.
As the Game progresses and more agents are uncovered it becomes harder, but you really want to avoid the Assassin, as if you pick him its an instant loss to your team.  Gameplay continues until one team have uncovered all their agents!  Its simple to teach and play, and really fun in bigger groups, it doesnt work so well with 2 players, though as the variant is more cooperative, and less fun as there is no discussion.  With groups though.. its a cracker, quick to play and get out, so you can even play it in the pub.

The Rulebook is nice and simple to follow, so will have you playing in no time, and helps you with other variants of the game as well if you want try some advanced rules.

All in all, nice presentation, and a really simple fun multiplayer game that's easy to transport and gets everyone talking.  A good icebreaker game as well for those office parties.

Also took it in to work for some lunch time gaming, and it does play fast, and went down very well with the people i "volunteered" into testing it.

You can pick up your own copy for the RRP of £15.99 at your Local Game Storeand join in the fun!