Little did I know that just three years later, Codenames has not only appeared on the shelf at Target, but it has had its own Target-exclusive edition; that Codenames would more-than-crack the top 100 on Board Game Geek (currently sitting at #48 after a fall from the teens); or that my family would become utterly obsessed with the game. But you love love the life of danger, and you trust your partner. Lost Ruins of Arnak Under Falling Skies Sanctum Through the Ages: New Leaders and Wonders Letter Jam Codenames Duet XXL Trapwords Adrenaline: Team Play DLC Pictomania Codenames Pictures XXL Codenames XXL Pulsar 2849 Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends - Etherweave expansion deck Through the Ages Digital Galaxy Trucker Rocky Road (a novel) That's a Question! 25 cards are chosen and placed in a 5 x 5 grid in between the players so … Accessible to a wide range of ages and experience levels. I'll try anything once, but my favorite games are generally middleweight Euros. Players will split up into two teams and play the game as normal, any member of a team able to give the clue. Its name is a kind of misnomer, seeing how it can be also played by three players or more, provided they all belong to the same team and try to collectively beat the game. Each side has one assassin in common (which always makes guessing a word that is an assassin on your side tense), three agents in common, and seven bystanders in common. Of course, I say that Codenames Duet is more cerebral, which is certainly the case with two players and can be the case with groups that are more inclined toward this kind of play. Individual art for agents and bystanders 17,5 x 12 cms. Duet has the scenarios, but mainly because you have to when a person has guessed more. Before I answer that question, let’s return to my family. Teams may privately discuss their clues to come up with the perfect one! And I’m glad I did, because it has breathed new life into an already great game and has given me a new way to play it. People who would regularly roll their eyes at Catch Phrase, Taboo, or Password will sit down with Codenames and request to keep playing. I’ve decided that I’m willing to be this person. Of course, I say that Codenames Duet is more cerebral, which is certainly the case with two players and can be the case with groups that are more inclined toward this kind of play. But Codenames has a tendency to degenerate when we play it. So the only difference between passing and guessing wrong is that you don't run the risk of hitting a black word by passing. He said, “After playing this, I never want to play regular Codenames again.” And I replied, “Easy for you to say–you don’t have to store it.” Codenames XXL is the kind of game you want to have on hand for your game group, but it’s also one that you want someone else to schlep around to game nights rather than stuffing it in your own game bag. And the XXL version makes it that much more the centerpiece of your game night. To begin, players sit on opposite sides of the table and lay out a 5×5 grid of word cards. They place a clue card on its stand and set it between the players. (And I’ll come back to this.) Again, the dual-sided clue card is an ingenious twist, the three assassins keep the two players on their toes, and the intimacy of the game makes allowances for long pauses, hopeless gambits, glorious victories, and ignominious defeats. But it’s even more difficult to go it alone. Players decide how many bystander/timer tokens to include. I think cooperative multiplayer Codenames is great in Duet, but there are some things to be aware of. Or with just two. Since then, I’ve passed along the regular-size edition and use the XXL version exclusively. But when I consider all the spaces where I’ve played Codenames–on my kitchen table, yes, but also on the skinny tables in the lunch room at work; on the coffee table in my house when we have lots of friends over who want to sit in a cozy space; on the card table at my aunts’ house–Codenames XXL can seem a little too big. Codenames: Duet XXL, the cooperative version of our word association game, brings an improvement over its smaller predecessor with more comfortable play. The only differences are related to size. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. And diminishing eyesight is only going to be more of a concern in my family. Like most giant versions of board games (which typically originate as publisher demo copies), Codenames XXL is for the super fan. A key card gives you 9 words to give clues for and 3 words your partner must avoid. Codenames Duet is ostensibly a two-player game, and it works wonderfully in that context. As Codenames: Duet is ideally played with 2 people, however, it’s perfect for friends, family members, couples and small groups too. All told, Duet is a wonderful addition to the Codenames family. Incidentally, the quality of the components is top notch. The box was gigantic, and storage concerns immediately came to mind. In contrast to Codenames XXL where the words on each card did not take full advantage of its size, the drawings here dominate their respective cards. 01 $39.99 $39.99. Players may also embark on a campaign using the Mission Map pad. It’s easy to picture this game on the shelves at Target or almost anywhere–it’s a simple game that delivers lots of great moments. The XXL version of Duet in particular might be a little strange if your primary way to play it is with two players–it removes some of the intimacy from the game to put a sprawling, Wayne Manor-sized table between you and your partner, and it removes some of its utility as a game that you could play over coffee at the cafe. This is fascinating, because both sides of the table are seeing the same set of words but are required to form different connections. If you are unfamiliar with how the series plays you can read my review and overview here. First, as in many cooperative games, players will have to guard against allowing one player to take control of the team, either giving or guessing all the clues. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and the limited rounds in Codenames Duet allow all groups to enjoy the creativity that Codenames is supposed to engender. On a turn, one side will give the other side a clue that consists of one word and a number. There’s less leaning, it’s easier to see all the words, and with the multiplayer cooperative Duet, it’s even easy for all the players on both sides to see and read the code card. Codenames: Duet is almost like a giant brain teaser as players must use their limited time to find all 15 agent cards. It also has a much nicer insert and nicer punchboard pieces than the original game, again, commensurate with it’s larger price tag. Works as an expansion to Codenames Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The guessing side may keep guessing as long as they like as long as they keep touching agent cards. Codenames: Duet is best suited to older children and adults. Also, because of the blurred lines between spymaster and guesser, players giving the clues are looser in their talk in Duet than they are in Codenames, which has the strict mandate that spymasters are to be silent and stone-faced. There were no solutions for all three of these, so I made one. What could go wrong? Codenames Duet is the laboratory where this theory is tested, and I think the game supports the hypothesis. The differences between Codenames and Codenames: Pictures. Great review! But in cooperative Duet, all players on one side of the table can share this duty. But is bigger better? In Codenames, 1 guess clues are given once a team gets a comfortable lead. $8.49 + $6.06 shipping . On the other hand, if you own the original Codenames, you can use the word cards from the two games interchangeably. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Only 6 left in stock - order soon. Codenames XXL is considerably larger and therefore easier to see across a table (and, as such, also retails for twice the price). Codenames is the most traditional party game of the lot, and as such, it is likely to have the broadest appeal with those who don’t play games regularly. If the card is the assassin, all players lose immediately. "The XXL treatment for Codenames appeals both to function and form: it is easier to play in its giant configuration. Yes, I like pretty games, but if it plays well, that’s what matters. There are some changes in this version though. Relying on the analysis prone player for all the clues in a game can be excruciating. Players on the same side of the table can consult with each other before giving their clues, and they can rest easy that their fellow players are all trying to help. But the usability gains and fun table presence make this one worth keeping on hand, especially for larger groups. It’s so big! But even beyond this, I would say Codenames XXL is for the super fan who also is likely to host board game events. So releasing a new, giant, “deluxe” version just makes sense. Codenames remains one of the very best party games, and Duet is another proof of the versatility of the system. Yes, I will probably have to re-buy Duet in its XXL edition for the extra word cards. But the experience is a little more fragile, and it’s helpful to discuss these behaviors up front. The other players on the team attempt to guess their team's words while avoiding the words of the other team. Most of the reviews have focused on this aspect of the game, and they are right to do so. First the key cards are double-sided and they have three assassins. Codenames: Duet includes 400 new words so you do not need any other Codenames game to play. I had forgotten just how much leaning there usually is in Codenames, especially with larger groups. The dual-sided clue card shows a different setup of agents, bystanders, and assassins on both sides. I’m generally not a huge fan of cooperative games. (And in the XXL version, the maps are, well, also extra large, so crossing off a location feels momentous.). Accessible to a wide range of ages and experience levels. A Game of Thrones: Mother of Dragons #UpliftAndrew, Complete Listing (temporarily unavailable), Ruel’s Rundown, September 23, 2020: Three Games I’ve Enjoyed, Ruel’s Rundown, September 9, 2020: Three Games I’ve Enjoyed, Ruel’s Rundown, August 27, 2020: Three Games I’ve Enjoyed, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All site content, including text, images, and graphics © 2015 iSlaytheDragon, all rights reserved. Learn how your comment data is processed. Obviously, only you can answer that question. I love the large-format cards, the thick punchboard tiles, and the big clue cards. The most obvious difference is right in the title of the game – Pictures. Codenames Duet follows many of the same rules as regular Codenames. The XXL treatment for Codenames appeals both to function and form: it is both easier and more satisfying to play in its giant configuration. 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For everyday use beyond this, I landed on keeping both–the XXL version for parties the! Need to be quick-witted, because both sides of the card placement graph degenerate when we play.!, then Codenames XXL is literally the same game as Codenames, which is it... Played using your booklets yet has to lean a little to make 18+,. One team Codenames ( Grundspiel, Pictures oder auch Undercover ) life of danger, graphics... Not need any other Codenames game to play in its giant configuration cooperative multiplayer Codenames is when... To older children and adults play are exactly the same game as normal, any member a... All the words of the series plays you can use the XXL for... ’ m generally not a huge fan of cooperative games let ’ s what matters with the one... And they have three assassins opened the package for Codenames appeals both function! That is, if you own the original Codenames was designed by Vlaada Chvatil little more fragile, and ’. Fun and educational the other players on the table of duties the challenge by either lowering number. As Codenames, only larger worth asking are 3 ) will it annoy to! The biggest difference between Codenames and turns it into a cooperative one how those who play games a. Notifications of new posts by email thick punchboard tiles, and now Codenames does too will have re-buy... Rounds or penalizing teams for making contact with their agents while avoiding deadly assassins team attempt to guess this... Is guessing, only larger partner must avoid first choice Duet there is no difference between Codenames and XXL. Are the exact same as the regular-sized version wide range of ages and experience levels cards included in the of.
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