How to Play Codenames Online
EDIT: Czech Games Edition, the company behind Codenames, sent me a nice note requesting me to take down the game and the Github code repository. I did. Maybe I’ll repurpose the core game engine with some small tweaks to the mechanics for a different game. In the meantime, you can check out the list of alternatives below.
My wife and I love Codenames, and we love playing with friends. It’s typically played as a board game, but let’s talk about how to play Codenames online.
Or you can just go straight there and play:
How Codenames Online Got Started
When my wife and I first moved to Houston five years ago we were far away from family and friends. One of our favorite activities was to play Codenames. Unfortunately, you need 4+ people to play. So, instead of doing the logical thing and making friends in our new locale, I set out to find out how to play codenames online.
I couldn’t find anything, unfortunately. There was a link to a “coming soon” official mobile app that has never actually materialized.
So I set out to build one. After some time tinkering around with it, I had a fully functional but extremely ugly version of Codenames. My family and I played it a couple times and then it gradually faded from memory and was inadvertently relegated to the virtual shelf.
Enter 2020. With the coronavirus going around and everyone working from home, I decided to dust it off, pretty it up, and release it. So I’m pleased to announce you can play for free! Try it!
Here are some screenshots:
I’ve decided to open source my implementation here on Github. It would be great to have some people collaborate on improving it.
Specifically, I would love to have some help with the roadmap items, among which are desired visual improvements to make the design stunning.
When I started making Codenames way back when (2015ish) I Googled around for a bit trying to find a good online version, but couldn’t find any - that’s why I started making one at all! Since then, lots of implementations have sprung up, some better than others (and there are some that are quite pretty). I’ve compiled a list:
- EDIT - NEW As of May 5, 2020, it looks like there is an official “beta” version that has been released at https://codenames.game
- https://www.horsepaste.com/ (https://github.com/jbowens/codenames)
- https://en.codenames.me - seems broken
- https://codenames.dport.me/ - Codenames pictures
Try out my version, and tell me what you think. Share with your friends.