The Codenames Board Game master page. A complete guide. Review, how to play, editorial, useful links, similar games, FAQ, interesting facts and so much more. Codenames is the incredibly popular party game that has you giving one word clues to your team to try to pick certain items from a grid before your opponents do.



PLAYERS:2 – 8 Players
DURATION: 15 Minutes
GENRE:Communication Limits
DESIGNER: Vlaada Chvátil
ARTIST:Stéphane Gantiez, Tomáš Kučerovský, Filip Murmak
PUBLISHER:Czech Games Edition
Go to Top | Submit Adjustment

Go to Top


The two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their CODENAMES.

The teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.

Codenames: win or lose, it’s fun to figure out the clues.

Go to Top | Submit Adjustment



We have not reviewed this one yet but we can tell you that it might be the best party game out there. Everyone who tries this game, gamer or not, loves it. This communication limits game is basically a game within a game. You are trying to convey information to your teammates but you also also holding back from revealing too much information to the other team. Omne spymaster from each team knows where their spies are hidden on a grid and they need to give one word clues to their team to try to guess their location. It may seem easy but it is very tricky and a very layered experience.

Read Our Codenames Review (Coming Soon)

Go to Top


You are spies and you need to get your fellow operatives out of the field before your opponent does the same. This is represented by a grid of many words that secretly each have a blue operative, red operative, bystander or evil assassin under them. Each round, one member from each team gets to look at a decoder card showing all the locations and they need to communicate this to their team by giving 1-word answers. The key is that you need to give clues that apply to multiple spots to win.

How to Play Codenames Step-By-Step

Go to Top


We thought about everything from gameplay to theme, intensity level to overall motivations, the quality and more to determine what are the five most similar board games to Codenames. The quick recap of the list is below with the link to the descriptions and full article below it.

  1. Mysterium
  2. Hanabi
  3. Decrypto
  4. Witness
  5. All Other Versions

Full Games Like Codenames Article

Go to Top | Submit Argument


**Send in your interesting facts

Go to Top | Submit Fact

If it is a topic that has not yet been covered, you can most likely find more information here on your topic of choice. From official Codenames useful links to very unofficial ones.

Go to Top | Submit Link


Who goes first in Codenames?

The decoder card will have red or blue lights on either side, that will determine who goes first. Whoever it is gets the double agent (an extra spy you need to find).

Can I use hyphenated words as a clue in Codenames?

No. There is no circumstance where that is ok.

In Codenames, If someone didn’t get all the clues in one round, in later rounds can I tell them if they got it or not?

No. You cannot say or do anything except simply give one word and one number clue. Anything else, words you use and body language, is giving unfair clues.

**Send in your questions for the FAQ

Go to Top | Ask Question


10 Best Word Games

10 Best Industry Milestone Board Games

20 Best Board Games of 2015

Best Board Games Of The Decade | 2010 – 2020

5 Games Like Taboo

5 Games Like Decrypto

5 Games Like Risky Chicken

Go to Top


How To Play Codenames By Watch It Played [TRT 10:33]

Codenames Review By Dice Tower [TRT 07:25]

Go to Top


Go to Top


Go to Top