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    You'll Want To Play This Incredible $13 Game For Hours — And It Only Takes 5 Minutes To Learn

    Oh, and it's great for a party (up to eight people) *or* just two players.

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    Got the summer boredom blues already? Tired of sitting on the sofa next to your partner, siblings, or family while you all mindlessly scroll through the internet and fail to interact? Just looking for a new fun excuse to get your friends together?


    Then I have a newsflash for you!! You've gotta try Codenames, a game that turns everyone into super spies and that you can learn in five minutes then play for hours without a single dull moment. Even if you only have one other person to play with!

    It's truly incredibly simple to learn to play. First, you divide into two teams, and designate one person on each team to be the ~spymaster~. The spymasters sit on one side of the table, and everyone else (the ~field operatives~ for each team) sits on the other side.

    Then you lay out the cards. First comes a grid of sixteen code names — if you can't read them in the picture, they're just random nouns like "smuggler", "star", "heart", and "France". Then the spymasters get a "key card" that tells both of them which of those code names are the blue team field operatives, which are the red team operatives, which are innocent bystanders, and which one is the ASSASSIN, dun dun duuunnnnn. (They keep that key card info secret from the field operatives, but it's slowly revealed as you play the game.)

    Gameplay's a little different if you're playing with just two people, but the gist is the same!

    Once setup's done, the rival spymasters take turns giving their respective teams clues to help them figure out which of the codenames on the board are that team's agents, based on the info on that key card. The catch? That clue can only be a single word and a number.

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    The word should relate to a few of the codenames that belong to your team, and the number is how many of the codenames on the table that hint word could apply to. So if two of your codenames were "star" and "heart", the spymaster might say "shapes, two."

    After getting the clue, the team members work together to decide which card they want to guess is one of their team's cards. If they get it right, that team's spymaster claims it with an agent card in their color.

    And then that team can go again. If they get it wrong and choose an innocent bystander, the spymaster covers it with a bystander card and the team's turn is over. If they choose an agent for the other team, it gets covered with the other team's color and their turn is over. And if they choose the ASSASSIN, that team immediately loses!

    How do you win? By contacting (aka correctly guessing) all of your team's agents, of course!

    Or because the other team guesses the assassin, naturally.

    And y'all? People LOVE IT. It has over TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED positive reviews on Amazon. Partly because it's *remarkably* replay-able, and partly because it's blast no matter how well you know your fellow players!

    Promising review: "This might be the best game I have played since Cards Against Humanity. This is a great game for people that know each other, or a great icebreaker for those who don't. You can be as literal or as creative as you'd like with your descriptions and unlike other games with cards, the possibilities of card layouts are nearly infinite so you don't have to toss it just because you play it often. At least three other people have bought this game after playing it with us. If you enjoy thinking outside the box this is definitely a game for you." —Kristine R.

    Naturally families both big and small swear by it (technically it's ages 10+), and so do college students looking to spend an evening doing something fun and occasionally hilarious.

    Promising reviews: "My family wasn't too sure about this game when I showed it to them but they quickly changed their mind. Soon they were recruiting players in from other rooms! The last thing said at Thanksgiving is that everyone is playing on Christmas! Very fun. Even the little ones can play and I believe they would learn some good thinking skills while they do. And with all the options, I can't imagine you'd ever play the same game twice." —Lyndsey

    "BUY THIS GAME RIGHT NOW AND OPEN ASAP! I’m in college suggested we try it out for at least one round. One round turned into eight and we were up til 2 a.m. playing! It is especially funny playing with people who you know really well or when people on both teams are all talking at once because it can let you come up with some really random codenames!" —Cire

    Oh and YES, it's still great with only two players going head to head (and there are rules to make it work in the original) — although if you'd rather play a two-person cooperative version ($19.95), they make that, too.

    Promising reviews: "Great game for two and for small parties!! I would compare this to Password or other word guessing games. The hardest part was not making eye contact or saying anything that gives it away when you are giving or guessing clues." —FlipFlopsForever

    "This game is fantastic — a great party game or two player game. Reasons why this game is brilliant: A. you have so many words that have double meanings. B. all cards are double sided so you have tons of games. C. you will never memorize the modular board, because it all depends on the words and the way you turn the board. D. you can time, or chose to ignore the time aspect. Sometimes it can be difficult to think of clues! My brother introduced this game to me, and now every member of my family owns it. It is challenging and enjoyable, and a great game for word smiths!"" —JSweg

    "Once you start playing POOF it is easy and fast to learn. Played it with my family this last weekend and we ended up playing for HOURS because everyone was having so much fun trying to be all sneaky and smart. Also you should buy the cooperative version also. Worth the extra money. That way you and your loved one can have some extra co-op practice and WIN when groups come over." —adaley4

    Ready to rock your next get-together, or even lazy Friday night in with your roommates or partner — and turn everyone into a spy? Get Codenames from Amazon for $13.

    You, turning everyone you know into world-class spies, one epic game night at a time:

    Dimension Films

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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