Author Topic: Word association game (Codenames)  (Read 238 times)

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Offline rkyle

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Word association game (Codenames)
« on: March 11, 2020, 12:11:07 AM »
 As mentioned in the title, this is going to be about a board game called Codenames.
So, what is Codenames? For those that aren't interested in reading the rules, here's a three minute video that goes over them. For those who don't want to (or can't) watch the video, here goes:
1. Divide into two teams (1 person on each team will be the person giving clues, the others will be the guessers)
2. Lay out cards on a 5x5 grid, each card will have a single word printed on it
3. The captains will pull a single key card (between the two of them) that will tell them which cards are theirs, which cards are the opponent's, and which is a sudden death card
4. On their turn, a captain will give a single word, and a number indicating how many of the cards on the table relate to it
5. Guessers can guess up to that many cards plus one, but as soon as they're wrong their turn is automatically over (the danger here is that randomly guessing could lead to an auto-loss, or giving the opponent a free point)
6. Play continues like this until either team guesses all of their cards correctly (or one of them lands on the auto lose card)

I can never tell how well I actually explain game rules, but this one is actually straight forward once you start playing. Another benefit is that games typically are pretty short, lasting only 10-15 minutes. I haven't had a chance to play with too many non-native speakers, but generally the game has been well received (and obviously I'm a fan). To give you an example of how the game would play out, here's a picture of an example board/card that I've laid out. So if I were the blue team captain, and I were being nice, I might start out by saying cities, 2. Then (without looking at the card that tells you which cards are what color) you'd make your guesses. But I (personally) like to come out of the gates with something wild, so I would probably say drummer, 5. Spoiler for words I was aiming for: stick, cover, beat, New York, pupil (the last two I don't think people would actually get, but I like to give the opportunity). If I were the red team's captain I might say legendary, 5. Spoiler: dragon, undertaker, Loch Ness, Bermuda, and Egypt. And so on, and so on.

Now, this game would probably be best aimed at more advanced students, as it may be unrealistic to expect beginner/intermediate students to have a sufficiently deep word bank to pull from. That being said, the game is relatively simple to replicate. If a teacher were so inclined, they could make their own version of cards with index cards (i.e. they could attempt to make it words that students would have an easier time working with). One could also try shrinking the number of cards on the board/that have to be guessed, so that students have less to worry about connecting. In the end I think this game could be really fun for students, both for the challenge that it presents in terms of thinking, as well as the challenge of getting into fellow classmate's heads, and seeing the wacky connections that they pull out. Amazon link for anybody who wants to read the reviews. Also, for people that are worried about replayability, the game comes with 200 double sided cards (400 words total), and 40 keys (the cards that indicate which cards are yours) so probably that shouldn't be a problem.