Codenames is one of those games that you play and instantly think ‘why the hell didn’t this already exist?’. Beautifully simple, the game is essentially just a deck of cards containing random words.

So simple, in fact, that we thought we’d give it a go ourselves, using random junk we found around Best Play HQ.

We ask the burning question that (none of) you have been asking in your droves: what things can you Codenames off of?

Can you Codenames off of a Pokémon?

codenames pokemon

With Pokémon Go being literally the only bit of good news in 2016 what with all the cherished celebrities deaths, terrorist attacks and insane political dramas, it’s worth giving Codenames a bash using Pokémon instead.

Does it work? Just about, assuming all players know at least the basics of Pokey Men and Friends™.

Can you Codenames off of a Drink?

codenames rums

Delicious, lovely rum. Best Play is well-stocked with Rum, and has also accumulated a fine collection of half-drunk bottles of Schnapps from 2012, presumably expired flasks of Kahlúa and that old bottle of something from that Christmas party. You remember, where Glenn was sick on his shirt and was found in the bog using his jeans as a pillow. Oh come on, you must remember it. There was that long, shouldery guy trying to chat up your mum. Never mind. 

Alcohol sure is yummy, but what if you used it for clue-based gaming instead of poisoning yourself?

Does it work? Not in any meaningful way. Rum is better for drinking.

Can you Codenames off of a other type of games?

codenames videogames

Although Best Play is mostly about un-nerdifying stuff, we do own an awful lot of computer games. Because we are quite grossly unhealthy and the modern computer games were a whole flight of stairs away, we tried giving Codenames a go using the nearby slightly older computer games instead. It would probably work better with all Gameboy and N64 and Saturn and stuff, but we instead half-heartedly laid out the creme-de-la-creme of random games from about a decade ago.

Does it work? Yeeeeees. Yes. Yees. I reckon. If you’re playing with dweebos like us.

Can you Codenames off of a Nintendos?

codenames nintendo ip

Heyyyy all the Nintendo people are here! Gathered from a disgusting amount of Happy Meal consumption, this disorderly array of Nintendo intellectual property could be the very thing we’re looking for.

Does it work? No madam. No it does not.

Can you Codenames off of a board game including Codenames?

codenames board games

It’s like Inception, with board games inside the board game. Or like Xzibit with all his pimping of rides and putting little cars inside the big car. Or like Freaky Friday where the young girl swaps bodies with the old lady. Not that, actually. Anyway, this is quite a cool idea but needs most of the world to play it because board games tend to be quite big and take up precious space. Here are some of Best Play’s collection in Best Play’s bedroom – the place where the MAGIC* happens.

Does it work? Yeah, sort of. Not very replayable though, most of the clues are boring shit like ‘dice’.

*grown up things

Can you Codenames off of an Adventure Time?

codenames adventure time

♪ ♫ Codenames Time, come on grab your friends (if you have any). We’ll go to very distant … games. With Glenn the bot and Joel the human, the fun will never end. It’s Codenames Time ♪ ♫


Does it work? No, no no. Maybe if you’re really into the show but mostly no.

Can you Codenames off of real life?

codenames random things

A carefully curated selection of junk put together from things within arm’s reach in Casa Della Best Play. A snake. A lighter. A rat. A key. These things are a stunning window into the lives of board gamers. Thrilling just to think about, isn’t it?

Does it work? Shitting hell, it does. Save your money, folks, this has all been a scam.

Although it’s decent enough like this, it doesn’t actually work as well as the real McCoy, in truth. We also tried using shoes, beer cans, stationery and other scraps, but nothing quite beats it. Do yourselves a favour and grab a copy of Vlaada’s simple masterpiece here.