OBJECTIVE OF CODENAMES: The objective of Codenames is to have your team choose more correct cards than the other team. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 4 or More Players 

MATERIALS: Internet and Video Platform 

TYPE OF GAME: Virtual Card Game 

AUDIENCE: Ages 18 and Up 


The Spymasters know the names of 25 secret agents. The players on their team only know them by their codenames. The Spymasters will communicate with their teammates through one-worded clues. Operatives will attempt to guess the meaning of these clues. The players with the best communication win the game!  


To set up the game, create a room online. The host should set up the game as they see fit, with the correct game settings. The players will all log in to an online video platform, such as Zoom or Skype. The host will share the game with the other players, inviting them to play, by sharing a URL. The players will then enter the game. 

The players will be broken up into two teams, each being close to the same size. Each team will choose a Spymaster to communicate clues to them throughout the course of the game. The game is then ready to begin. 


The Spymasters know all the cards found on their team’s side. The first spymaster will give a one-word hint to their team of operatives. Each team will attempt to guess all of the squares that are of their matching color. Spy Masters are not permitted to give hints that contain any of the words found on the table.  

The team must then try to guess the codename of their teammate. The team gets a number of guesses equal to the number of codenames that are related to the clue. They guess by touching the code name. if the players guess correctly, the team’s agent card is placed over the space. Once a team uses all of its guesses, the other team will begin its turn. 


The game comes to an end when there are no cards remaining to be chosen. The players will tally how many cards they have chosen. The team with the most cards, or the most correct guesses, wins the game!  

Ellie Phillips
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