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 the 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 copy 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.