Codenames Pictures Review – Top Secret!

Codenames Pictures – Top Secret!

Following on from the popular came Codenames the same company, Czech Games Edition or CGE, has produced Codenames Pictures. I confess I haven’t played the original Codenames game, but from a quick google it seems a very popular game. I will certainly be looking out for it to add to our games collection. Codenames Pictures is a game that could be suitable for all ages, but it is mainly aimed at the family.

What’s included in the box?

  • 14 Agent Cards in two colours
  • 1 Double Agent card
  • 4 Innocent Bystander cards
  • 1 Assassin card
  • 60 key cards
  • 1 rulebook
  • 1 card stand
  • 140 cards with 280 pictures

How Do You Play Codenames Pictures?

Set out the picture cards in a 5 x 4 grid.

Codenames Pictures Game Review Family Clan

Firstly you arrange the players in to two teams with one team member selected to be the Code Master. More than two players in a team I think is a good idea as you can sound out idea’s with each other.

Codenames Pictures Game Review Family Clan

One of the Code Masters selects a Key Card at random and selects the orientation of the Key Card. This card is stood in the stand so only the Code Masters can see it. On this card there is coloured “lights” on the side, these denote which team plays first. The team playing first also has an extra agent card, as they have more picture cards to guess.

Codenames Pictures Game Review Family Clan

The Code Masters then thinks of one word that connects to one or more of the picture cards. This can be something straight forward or maybe more cryptic. But you need to remember that the other member of your team have to guess which cards you are thinking of.

Codenames Pictures Game Review Family Clan

If the team works out the clue and guesses correctly then you cover the picture card with one of your agent cards. If the team guesses incorrectly then they lose their turn. But be careful,  if they guess one of the opposing teams picture cards then their agent card is placed over the picture card, giving them an advantage. It could also be an innocent bystander or even worse “The Assassin”. If the Assassin is chosen the game is immediately over and the team loses.

Codenames Pictures Game Review Family Clan

Bonus Round – If the team get all their guesses correct they can have another guess if they feel they know another answer from a previous round they didn’t claim. But use it wisely and you could win the game on a bonus round.

Games on average last around 15 minutes, but can be over in seconds if the scenario above is played out and the Assassin is chosen. So choose your words carefully.

Our Thoughts

We have had so much fun playing this game. Things can get very competitive on a games evening in Family Clan households. It’s a fun game and can be played from an young age. I think Jake would enjoy this game though we haven’t played it with him….yet! You have, of course, to change the level of the clue giving to fit the players.

I think the addition of a timer in the game would be adventitious, as this would limit the time for teams to ponder the answers and bring about an urgency when the timer is ending.

Codenames Pictures by games inventor Vlaada Chvátil can be purchased from Amazon and all good games stores

Nanna Jane

Make sure you check out our giveaway page.


2 Thoughts to “Codenames Pictures Review – Top Secret!”

  1. Margaret Gallagher

    Love any game that gets the family thinking – the BOYS would love it – a timer would be a great addition

  2. Jeanette Leighton

    Looks like a great family game my favourites are cludeo and monopoly

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