It’s worth getting simply to expand the Codenames game you already love, but it’s also a worthy twist on the formula that works excellently for two players and well enough to see play in multiplayer groups. Sure, you need to plan ahead for space and attention concerns. 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 Duet can also be more interactive. It also keeps players more engaged in the game. Again, this is fine, as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into. When I reviewed Codenames after its initial release in 2015, I wrote. There are only a certain number of rounds available (the basic game is nine), so single-correspondence clues won’t cut it. I’ve mentioned before that my family would be content if I had introduced them only to Bohnanza and Codenames. Yes, it can be an obnoxious table hog if you need to put anything else on the table with it. 4.1 out of 5 stars 23. 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. The other players on the team attempt to guess their team's words while avoiding the words of the other team. Codenames Duet | Board Games | Party & Family | Zatu Games UK OEJ ~ Codenames Duet XXL ~ Top Secret Co-Op Word Game. The differences between Codenames and Codenames: Pictures. But in cooperative Duet, all players on one side of the table can share this duty. If you’re okay being the one to cart this to and fro, for the sake of the group, then this is worth getting. People who would regularly roll their eyes at Catch Phrase, Taboo, or Password will sit down with Codenames and request to keep playing. The job of the spy is difficult enough with rival spy organizations working around you. Accessible to a wide range of ages and experience levels. $8.49 + $6.06 shipping . "The XXL treatment for Codenames appeals both to function and form: it is easier to play in its giant configuration. All told, Duet is a wonderful addition to the Codenames family. She wanted to play but had trouble reading the twenty-five words from across the table. The trick is, you don’t know which is which, but as the round progresses, you can begin to make more intelligent guesses. First the key cards are double-sided and they have three assassins. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The players win if they make contact with all fifteen of their agents before they run out of timer tokens or make contact with an assassin. And with multiple assassins waiting around every corner. But Duet also makes Codenames not just a team game but a cooperative game, and that’s a great way to play it too. But the usability gains and fun table presence make this one worth keeping on hand, especially for larger groups. Obviously, only you can answer that question. Codenames: Duet XXL, the cooperative version of our word association game, brings an improvement over its smaller predecessor with more comfortable play. The other side gives the next clue. That being said, man, I love the XXL format for Codenames. But is bigger better? And diminishing eyesight is only going to be more of a concern in my family. If the card is the assassin, all players lose immediately. If you and someone else love Codenames, Duet is a no-brainer. Codenames XXL has arrived not a moment too soon. Great review! Spymasters will have to do more word association to have a shot at winning. I don’t call any of these negatives, per se: I’d still gladly play Duet with a group of players. Only one of the assassins lines up on both sides of the card. My wife, who hates the responsibility of being spymaster, can sit it out, or help someone else on her side craft a good clue. But it is more readable, and the gameplay is good enough that it justifies this lavish treatment. (Since the game is the exact same, if you’re interested in gameplay details or opinions, I’ll point you to my earlier review and say Codenames has only gotten better with age.). (And I’ll come back to this.) Ages: 8 years and up. So I really like Codenames XXL. And that’s okay in my book. and 4) will it annoy you to store the larger version in your collection? I think most of us who have played Codenames at all know the dread of seeing the over-analyzer taking several minutes before settling on a clue (and usually, it’s still a clue connecting just one or two words). While it loosens the rules in that players can now guess as many words as they want to when it’s their turn to guess (until they hit a bystander or an assassin), players also are encouraged to take more risks. It captures all the fun of the original design, but converts it into a game where the players win or lose together. I'll try anything once, but my favorite games are generally middleweight Euros. I think cooperative multiplayer Codenames is great in Duet, but there are some things to be aware of. Codenames: Duet is best suited to older children and adults. Board Games Czech Games Edition Codenames: Duet XXL. It’s a big table. Looking at Codenames XXL while it’s still in the box or set up on a test table is a very different experience from playing with it. Codenames is excellent; Codenames XXL is excellent and big. So the only difference between passing and guessing wrong is that you don't run the risk of hitting a black word by passing. The photos of Codenames XXL in this review were taken on my folding table that we set up for board game overflow if lots of people come to game night or if we’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner. iSlaytheDragon would like to thank Czech Games Edition for providing us with a copy of Codenames Duet XXL for review. They place a clue card on its stand and set it between the players. I also appreciate that each of the bystanders in Duet is individually illustrated. In Codenames, 1 guess clues are given once a team gets a comfortable lead. What could go wrong? Learn how your comment data is processed. It has a beautiful presence on the table, but for everyday use, at least right now, I’ll stick to the basic Codenames. Codenames remains one of the very best party games, and Duet is another proof of the versatility of the system. $5.46 + $3.28 shipping . Teams may privately discuss their clues to come up with the perfect one! Codenames: Disney Family Edition Board Game (0 Reviews) $30.08. (More tokens can be used for an easier game.) Vlaada Chvátil and Scot Eaton really knocked this one out of … But Duet can also be more interactive. Skill – Complexity. Jeu de 54 cartes à jouer géantes XXL "Les cartes des garçons !" But even beyond this, I would say Codenames XXL is for the super fan who also is likely to host board game events. Codenames Duet keeps the basic elements of Codenames — give one-word clues to try to get someone to identify your agents among those on the table — but now you're working together as a team to find all of your agents. But the inevitable question is, Do you need it? Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. If it is an agent, the card is covered completely and may no longer be guessed for the remainder of the game (even if it is an agent for the other side). The biggest difference between Codenames and Codenames Duet is that in Duet there is only one team. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! I have to say it, from time to time I enjoy playing these much larger versions of games. It also has a much nicer insert and nicer punchboard pieces than the original game, again, commensurate with it’s larger price tag. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The XXL treatment for Codenames appeals both to function and form: it is both easier and more satisfying to play in its giant configuration. To begin, players sit on opposite sides of the table and lay out a 5×5 grid of word cards. Functionally, there is no difference between Codenames and Codenames XXL. This clue corresponds to the agents that they see on their side of the card. Maybe I am missing something, I haven't played using your booklets yet. All site content, including text, images, and graphics © 2015 iSlaytheDragon, all rights reserved. Because of the large cards (and the tendency people have to hover around games of Codenames anyway), it’s a set piece as well as a game. My preference though is Codenames: Pictures, ... Obviously you don't need both the first time you play, but know that the biggest difference between the two besides words v. pics is actually the size of the "board". And I won’t mind if it is. Before I answer that question, let’s return to my family. I had forgotten just how much leaning there usually is in Codenames, especially with larger groups. You'll need to be quick-witted, because these challenges will put your deductive skills to the test! It as released for the first time in 2015 by Czech Games Edition. If your answers are yes, yes, no, and no, then Codenames XXL is absolutely right for you. The players collectively win only if all the agents have been guessed. 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. And really, Codenames is best when played on this razor’s edge. Messing up is part of the fun.” “Okay, I’m just going to go for it. It’s so big! Yes, the XXL box is bigger. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Codenames is the party game that just keeps giving. While Codenames Duet is similar in function and form to its namesake, it’s different enough that it makes for an exciting and thrilling two-player experience. I’m typically a Euro gamer, and I place a strong emphasis on function over form. Indeed, I have introduced a lot of games to my family over the years, and they’ve enthusiastically tried most of them, but I think they’d be content if all they had was Bohnanza and Codenames. Go Undercover! Codenames XXL isn’t for everyone, and I wouldn’t have thought it’s for me, but after playing it, I guess it is. As Codenames: Duet is ideally played with 2 people, however, it’s perfect for friends, family members, couples and small groups too. Codenames: Duet is a top secret cooperative game for 2 or more players. One side goes first. Codenames isn’t the best game of the year–it may not even be the best game of Gen Con–but it is probably the most versatile. Codenames: Duet XXL, the cooperative version of our word association game, brings an improvement over its smaller predecessor with more comfortable play. “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. Works well with groups too Great adaptation of the game for two players The giant version is that desperate-for-attention friend who demands to be the center of all conversation and activity. Duet is more open to this sort of thing than the team-based Codenames, which has a clearer delineation of duties. The only differences are related to size. The only differences are related to size. They may stop at any time, in which case they take a timer token. 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. My opinion of Codenames XXL can be summed up in a conversation I had with a fellow player after one of our games of XXL. There are some changes in this version though. Two teams compete by each having a "spymaster" give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. 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. Codenames: Duet is a cooperative game in which players work together, rather than against one another, in order to win. XXL treatment is wonderful, Your family might not want to play anything else. Jouet Abacusspiel XXL jeu de Carte en famille amis 2 à 6 joueurs Langue FR/DE/EN. Sure, it’s cumbersome. 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! Duet is the best of the series, in my opinion. And the XXL version makes it that much more the centerpiece of your game night. This works great at the board game meetup, but it’s a little less practical for home use, especially if you’re playing the two-player game or even a game between couples. I love the large-format cards, the thick punchboard tiles, and the big clue cards. 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. Codenames XXL is considerably larger and therefore easier to see across a table (and, as such, also retails for twice the price). I don’t like being told what to do, but I also don’t want to be the bossy one who is directing everyone else’s moves. The pure genius of this game is delivered from the card placement graph. But now that I’ve played with XXL…well, I’ve kind of changed my mind on that front. So, is Codenames XXL right for you? But after I praised Just One for its cooperative play, I thought it worth giving cooperative Codenames a shot. Players will split up into two teams and play the game as normal, any member of a team able to give the clue. 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.