Zed has hand-picked an exciting and varied selection of games in his subscription box. Expect to receive some of the best games as well as a few surprises!

    Subscribe Now »

    Looking for the latest new releases? Then this is the subscription for you, each month you’ll receive an amazing box full of just the newest & biggest games!

    Subscribe Now »

    Our two new Mystery Box offerings will help you pick up some of the latest top of the range games and exclusive goodies, but at a much lower price!

    Order Now »

    Menu

    Buy 3, get 3% off - use code BOARD3 · Buy 5, get 5% off - use code BOARD5

    Buy The Game

    Awards

    Rating

    • Artwork
    • Complexity
    • Replayability
    • Player Interaction
    • Component Quality

    You Might Like

    • Brilliant artwork and component quality
    • Theme worked well into classic Codenames

    Might Not Like

    • More difficult to come up with clues than base codenames
    • Requires a decent knowledge of Marvel comics or movies

    Have you tried?

    Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

    Marvel Codenames Review

    Marvel champions feature image

    Codenames is one of the best party games available and so it is no surprise that in the five years since its release it has spawned numerous variants. Initially, we saw variants such as Codenames: Pictures which replaced words with pictures and Codenames: Deep Undercover, designed for a mature audience. Now we are starting to see versions of the game with different popular franchises as the theme, such as Codenames: Disney Family Edition, Codenames: Harry Potter and the subject of today’s review, Codenames Marvel. While the basic Codenames remains my favourite of all the versions, Codenames: Marvel is an excellent variant for any Marvel Comic or MCU fans!

    Codenames Rules

    For those who are unfamiliar with Codenames these are the basic rules. A five by five grid of cards is set out in the middle of the table and each of these cards displays a word (or a picture). One member from each of the two competing teams will be able to see a grid which shows which of the cards on the table are blue, which are red, and which are neutral. This person is trying to help their teammates determine which cards in the grid are their colour.

    They do this by giving a one-word clue related to one or more of the cards and then the number of cards that the clue relates to. The teammates will then select cards which they believe are in their colour and it will be revealed whether they are correct. They must be careful though, as one card is the assassin, and if picked will immediately make them lose the game. The teams will take it in turns to receive a clue and then guess until one team has successfully guessed all their cards.

    So how is Codenames: Marvel different?

    The main difference between the base game and this variant is that all of the cards are Marvel themed, whereas in the base game they are random words. Like the base game Codenames: Marvel comes with 200 double-sided cards, although unlike the base game only one side of these cards display a word while the other displays a picture. This is a nice merging of basic Codenames and Codenames: Pictures, giving you the option to play with either words or images. This works particularly well in this variant as players who may be unfamiliar with some of the Marvel characters on the word side of the cards may find it easier to give clues based on the pictures.

    The teams are no longer just red and blue, but S.H.I.E.L.D and Hydra. The Innocent Bystanders from the base game have been replaced by the infinity stones and the Assassin by Thanos. Thematically this game is brilliant with interesting Marvel equivalents to the original components. I particularly like having S.H.I.E.L.D and Hydra as the teams since both opposing organisations are heavily involved in espionage and so fit perfectly with the classic Codenames theme.

    Components

    The Components are brilliant quality and just as good as the original game. The games comes with 200 durable Asset Cards, ensuring the same cards don’t keep coming up in multiple games. The words are depicted very clearly and the artwork is brilliant, all of which is taken from the Comics. The 40 key cards are enough to make sure that the cards are not in the same configuration in multiple games. The Cover Cards look great, depicting either the S.H.E.I.L.D or Hydra logo, an infinity stone, or an ominous-looking Thanos. This game looks fantastic! The only thing included in the base game, but not in this version is the timer, but honestly, I think most players will be glad to see that go!

    What’s on the Cards?

    As I said before, the real difference between the base game and Codenames: Marvel is the Marvel-themed cards. The base game had random words like Scientist and New York. Every card in this version has a Marvel theme. Every character you can think of is included, from Black Panther to Ghost Rider. It is worth noting that the cards are not purely references to the MCU, but also the comics and so players may not be quite as familiar with characters such as Carnage and Taskmaster unless they are big Marvel fans. Playing with the pictures makes the game somewhat more accessible as even if players are unfamiliar with the characters they can still give clues based on what they can see, such as colours.

    As well as characters, the asset cards also include different weapons and items used by Marvel characters, such as Green Goblin’s Goblin Glider; Captain America’s Shield, and Thor’s Axe, Stormbreaker. Additionally, there are a few Marvel teams, such as the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Sinister Six.

    Finally, we come to some of the words and pictures which are perhaps a little less thematic. There's a range of verbs which vaguely fit the Marvel theme, such as Fight, Swim and Crush. Admittedly the pictures, taken from the comics, fit better with the theme. Then there are some objects, such as Newspaper, Statue and Sword, which again you might not immediately associate with Marvel. There are also a range of random words such as Patriot, Justice and Miniature, which again are not very explicitly Marvel-esque. However, the pictures do depict all these things from different parts of the comics and the variety of words ensures there are always links that can be drawn.

    Final Thoughts

    Codenames: Marvel is an excellent variant of Codenames for those who love the original game and Marvel. The game is perhaps a little less accessible than the base version and is very much designed for Marvel fans to play together. If I’m honest, having a theme which all the cards relate to does make it significantly harder to find one-word clues which link a few specific cards, but not also half the cards on the table. However, for big Marvel fans this should not prove too much of a problem!

    Zatu Score

    Rating

    • Artwork
    • Complexity
    • Replayability
    • Player Interaction
    • Component Quality

    You might like

    • Brilliant artwork and component quality
    • Theme worked well into classic Codenames

    Might not like

    • More difficult to come up with clues than base codenames
    • Requires a decent knowledge of Marvel comics or movies

    Zatu Blog

    Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

    Join us today to receive exclusive discounts, get your hands on all the new releases and much more!

    Excellent
    08000075444
    Bowthorpe Main Centre, Unit 15, Norwich NR5 9HA
    Zatu Games is rated 4.86 based on 12823
    Reviews

    Great games, delivered quickly with wonderful customer service

    Great games, delivered quickly with wonderful customer service

    I'm in Ireland and ordered on a Friday and received on a Monday. Umbelievable, thanks so much. Very nice to deal with too!

    I'm in Ireland and ordered on a Friday and received on a Monday. Umbelievable, thanks so much. Very nice to deal with too!

    Both times I've ordered from Zatu, my order arrived promptly, in good condition, and with no real issues.

    Both times I've ordered from Zatu, my order arrived promptly, in good condition, and with no real issues.

    Ever since I found Zatu, it's my favourite place to shop for boardgames! Everything I ordered arrived quickly and in perfect condition. My last purchases were Scythe and Quacks of Quedlinburg - but I have to say, with so much to choose from, it's very hard to make a decision. :) I also love the Youtube channel - very useful unboxing and game review videos.

    Ever since I found Zatu, it's my favourite place to shop for boardgames! Everything I ordered arrived quickly and in perfect condition. My last purchases were Scythe and Quacks of Quedlinburg - but I have to say, with so much to choose from, it's very hard to make a decision. :) I also love the Youtube channel - very useful unboxing and game review videos.

    Always a fantastic service. Bought a few board games from them now which have arrived quickly and safely. Prices have pretty much always been better here than on other sites. Only time I had an issue - an order hadn't processed properly - they sorted it out in minutes on the live chat. They cancelled my order and refunded me and I ordered what I wanted again (which was kind of handy because I'd changed my mind about what I wanted by then ...) Thanks Zatu Games for a brilliant service, and I can't wait to expand my collection!

    Always a fantastic service. Bought a few board games from them now which have arrived quickly and safely. Prices have pretty much always been better here than on other sites. Only time I had an issue - an order hadn't processed properly - they sorted it out in minutes on the live chat. They cancelled my order and refunded me and I ordered what I wanted again (which was kind of handy because I'd changed my mind about what I wanted by then ...) Thanks Zatu Games for a brilliant service, and I can't wait to expand my collection!

    Have used Zatu on 3 occasions and games have always arrived quickly. Prices are comparablewith other sites I have used and often games are on offer, so look out for those.

    Have used Zatu on 3 occasions and games have always arrived quickly. Prices are comparablewith other sites I have used and often games are on offer, so look out for those.

    Live Zatu! Always quick to deliver, best prices on the Internet. Also very quick to rectify any rare mistakes with orders. Cant recommend enough.

    Live Zatu! Always quick to deliver, best prices on the Internet. Also very quick to rectify any rare mistakes with orders. Cant recommend enough.

    I absolutely can't recommend Zatu Games enough! Speedy service, a great selection, and friendly staff. A pleasure to buy from.p

    I absolutely can't recommend Zatu Games enough! Speedy service, a great selection, and friendly staff. A pleasure to buy from.p

    Great item, been after this Armada Star Destroyer for ages, and at a great price too

    Great item, been after this Armada Star Destroyer for ages, and at a great price too

    Games arrived the next day. Great prices and excellent service.

    Games arrived the next day. Great prices and excellent service.

    Read All Reviews