Codenames and Splendor – Review for Bloggers Board Game

Codenames Pictures is based from the award-winning original game of the same name and one we enjoyed reviewing and playing earlier in the year. Distributed by Asmodee and suitable for 2-8 players aged 10+ RRP £16.99.

Codenames is a quick game to set up simply choose your team if playing with four or more players. Decide who will be the spymaster for each team. Then the other players become agents for their chosen colour. A key card is chosen at random and the picture cards are shuffled and laid out in a grid format.

The gameplay starts with the team colour indicated on the chosen key card and the spymaster for the team has to give clues that will lead to his teammates to guessing the correct picture card. If they can give clues that lead to more than one card being covered with their correct agent card then it is time to party!

Gameplay continues between the teams with each correct guess, and ends with incorrect guesses, or uncovering a bystander. When the assassin is uncovered that team loose. Spymasters need to be cleaver to lead the team to success by completing all their coloured agents cards and not uncovering the assassin.

There are alternative play games for 2 or 3 players and we have enjoyed the 3 player variation of Codenames. We discovered that the Picture version is a little easier in some ways than the word version. But don’t be fooled as it still takes some thought and quite a bit of discussion! Perfect entertainment for a family get-together.

Splendor is an Asmodee classic game based on trading precious stones to create jewellery that will impress to win. For 2-4 players aged 10+ RRP £25.99.

Splendor game set-up is easy, simply lay out one row of each of the three level development cards. Sort the required number of tokens for the number of players and lay out in a grid. The Nobel cards are added to the top of the rows and play can start.

There are four different moves each player can choose to make. They can take 3 different coloured jem tokens. They can take two of the same colour (provided there are 4 or more left on the pile) You can choose a development card to keep in your hand. Or finally you can choose to purchase a development card.

The aim of Splendor is to add up points from purchasing development cards and maybe even earn a visit from one of the nobles. Each development card has a different value and the harder cards from the grid earn more points. These are the basic rules, and we found them easy to pick up. The winner is the first player to have development cards totalling 15.

Once we started to play we soon discovered that you need to have a plan. The boy and I also worked out that we were trying to gain a visit from the same noble. Splendor is a nice easy fun game that requires some strategy and thought. A cross between a card game and a matching game, it turns out the boy is pretty good at it!

We enjoyed Splendor and as it doesn’t take long to play one game it is great as a quick after school game. I love the quality of the counters and cards they feel like they will last for a long time and many Splendorous years to come.

Disclaimer we were sent these games as part of the Bloggers Board Game club and have not been paid for this post. The opinions remain our own.

Splendor and Codename pictures are available to buy from your favourite high street shops, online or via my affiliate links below.

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