Codenames: Pictures is Czech Games Edition’s follow-up to the 2016 Spiel des Jahres winner; Codenames. Codenames: Pictures is an award winning game in its own right, picking up the prestigious Golden Geek award for Best Family Game and Best Party Game in 2016.
Gameplay-wise, Codenames: Pictures works in exactly the same way as its predecessor, with the big difference being that instead of the Spymasters giving clues relating to a 5x5 grid of words, they are now giving clues relating to a 5x4 grid of pictures!
The pictures are a joy to behold, ranging from an igloo with a deckchair next to it, to a hand grenade pineapple hybrid, to a parrot with a microphone, to a mummy wrapped in toilet roll… You get the picture!
The Spymaster will have to think of clues relating to the pictures on their locations but be mindful of the innocent bystander locations and their opposing team’s locations. Oh and, of course, avoiding the Assassin at all costs. The pictures can bring some surprisingly weird and wonderful clues as there is a lot to interpret in the pictures. This makes game suitable for younger children as there are no words to read and the youngsters will no doubt find the pictures intriguing.
Codenames: Pictures even suggests some alternative ways to play, such as combining words and pictures into the same game (if you have a copies of both games) and gives rules for an “Assassin Ending” variant where you must guess the Assassin once you have found all of your agents.
Codenames: Pictures is a fantastic addition to Vlaada Chvátil’s growing Codenames franchise and offers something totally different while remaining faithful to the winning formula.
Player Count: 2-8
Time: 15+ Minutes
Welcome to another edition of our Board Game Spotlight series - your chance to find out just that little bit more about your favourite board games. Today we take a look at Codenames: Pictures - the new updated version of Codenames by Czech Games Edition.
Here's all you need to know about this game:
As you may have already guessed, Codenames: Pictures is basically the same game as the original Codenames - apart from the fact that you now use pictures instead of words to help guide your team to victory.
The pictures themselves are something to behold. These are not your everyday images and will really stretch your imagination to its maximum. Examples of images in the game include a coat hanger with wings, a Bhudda with a laptop and a man surfing on an ironing board.
A game of Codenames: Pictures begins with the cards being laid out on the table in a grid. A member of each team is selected as the 'Spymaster' and they are given a shared map card - which allows them to see where their agents are on the grid. Teams are split into a red team and a blue team.
The aim of the game is to locate all of your agents before the other team and you do this by giving clues. You are only able to say one or two words along with a number which represents the number of cards linked to this clue.
This game really shows which friends and family members you really understand - depending on how well they use your clues. Choose a rival's card as your own and you lose a place on the grid. Choose the assassin card and the game ends immedietly - with the other team taking all of the glory!
If you survive the assassin then the winning team is the first to locate all of their agents on the grid.
Czech Games Edition was created in 2006 by a group of gamers who had previously worked on the first edition of Through The ages. The first two games lublished by the company were Galaxy Trucker and League of Six.
Since then they have produced and published more than 20 games and expansions, including top titles such as Tash-Kaler and Alchemists. The company are very loyal to their area and focus on working with Czech and Slovak game authors.
All of their games are also developed, play-tested and manufactured over in the Czech Republic.
Codenames: Pictures was designed by Czech board game and video game designer Vlaada Chvátil. Chvátil has worked with the team at Czech Games Edition on a number of their board games, including all of the games in the Galaxy Trucker collection.
Chvátil also designed Through the Ages and has been praised multiple times for his innovative and diverse range of designs over the years. 2016 saw Chvátil design Star Trek: Frontiers - which uses the same system as Mage Knight.
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