Codenames Pictures: The Best Spy Game

The Game Plot

Each picture is the secret code for a location where spies will meet secret agents to exchange top secret information.

As a spy master your job is to deliver coded messages giving clues to your field operatives of where to go for the next meeting. However if the agents decodes the wrong location they could end up in encountering an enemy agent, a dead end or worse go to a location where they discovered by the assassin.

As a field operative your job is to decipher the coded Messages given to you by your spine master.

If you succeed and find all of your agents without getting killed by the assassin your team has completed their mission successfully. Make sure not to miss a step and go to the wrong location

Put on your detective hat and spectacles and begin!

Choose a team

First choose a side red team or blue team.

The starting team gets an advantage which is the double agent since they have to guess an extra word, for that round the double agent will be on their side.


  • There are 4 Innocent Bystanders that you may run into if you go to the wrong location.
  • The Double Agent:  The Double Agent chooses  is placed one side each round
  • The Assassin: If you guess the location where the Assassin is = Game Over!


The Key

The Key tells the spymasters which picture codes are their agents. The lights on the side of the Key indicate which team goes first. It also will be the team that has the Double Agent on their side for that round.

Codenames Pictures
Codenames Pictures: The Key


The Setup

Setup the 20 Picture Clue Cards in rows of 4 x 5.

Codenames Pictures
Codenames Pictures -The Setup

Giving Clues

Spymasters take turns giving one clue to connect as many cards as possible by saying one word and one number. For Example. In the first set of pictures a Spymaster may say “Holiday Decorations for 3” or in the second set of cards they may connect the three cards by saying “Fairytales for 3”.




Once they have the clue the rest of the teammates guess one card at a time by touching the card they choose, if they guess right they continuing guessing until they decide they have guessed as many cards as they think they know for sure. They can guess 3 if the spymaster said 3, but may stop at 2 if they are not sure of the third. They can also guess one more than 3 if they choose to take a guess maybe from a previous clue from a previous round.

Once the card has been touched, the spymaster covers that card with the correct card.

If the Red team is guessing and they:

  • Guessed correct: Cover with the Red card and continue play
  • Guessed wrong, the turn ends after one of the following:
    • Innocent Bystander: Cover Innocent Bystander Card
    • Blue Team Card:  The Blue Team covers their card
    • The Assassin Card: The Assassin card is placed above the card and the GAME ENDS!



One team has covered all of their pictures successfully, that team WINS!

The Game Ends if:

  • The opposite team member guesses your last picture
  • A team touches the card of the Assassin.


What is your Favorite Spy Game?



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