The word association, deduction focused game Codenames was designed by Vlaada Chvátil and published by Czech Games in 2015. The “spies, agents, revealing secret identities” themed game is targets players aged 14 and over.
Beginning this game, myself and three other classmates split into two teams and allocated the role of the spymaster to one person per team. The spymasters then sat on one side of the table while the guessers sat across from them. For the first round my teammate was the spymaster and I was the guesser. To begin the game, we laid out the tiles of 25 agent’s codenames. The spymasters knew the codenames for each of their agents from looking off the key card. With this, the spymasters battled to make contact with all of their agents first. This was achieved by providing one word clues, in addition to the number of codenames that could be contacted with this clue. Initially I found this quite easy as we were just trying to guess names, however over time, the intensity of the game grew. This was due to the realisation of myself and the guesser on the opposing team (both of which had never played the game before) that we could guess the opposing teams codename and increase their chance of contacting all their agents first; or even worse, the possibility of guessing the assassin (this being the codename that immediately results in the team’s loss). I began to have a greater understanding of the game with each round we played; this being because I initially thought we were just guessing words which I later understood the story / setting of the game. I believe that it was that setting / story that intensified the gameplay as once you understood the mechanics of the game, you begun to get into the character of an agent. This was overall a fun and occasionally challenging game with a simple yet engaging concept.
The social deduction game, The Resistance, published in 2009 and designed by Don Eskridge is “inspired by Mafia/Werewolf, yet it is unique in its core mechanics, which increase the resources for informed decisions, intensify player interaction, and eliminate player elimination.”
As much as I would like to say I enjoyed this game, myself and the 6 other classmates who played this really struggled to understand and enjoy the mechanics of this game. Basically, each player was assigned a spy or resistance card. If you were a part of the resistance, you had to support each mission with the aim of succeeding in a minimum of three missions, however, if you were a spy, you could either choose to support or sabotage the mission. Once we all begun to understand the mechanics of the game a little better, we decided to introduce the plot cards; these adding an extra element to the mechanics of the game. This overall did make the game a little more interesting, however each classmate agreed that there were too many physical components to a game with such a simple concept.