Is Code Names the Pliny the Elder of Games?

Code Names, so hot right now. #1 Party Game on BoardGameGeek. Does it deserve the hype?  Answer: YES.  Update: I originally wrote this article earlier in the year, but now I have to update it since Code Names just won the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year Award) in July.  Therefore, objectively it lives up to the hype and nothing I say below matters.  But if you have time to kill....


In Code Names, teams break into two groups and choose a Spymaster from each group to be a clue giver.  Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team, and everyone wants to avoid the Assassin (since if they accidentally guess that card, they lose!).  This is definitely one of the best party games ever. It can accommodate a large group of players, everyone gets to participate, it requires strategic thinking, and it's a relatively short game so you can play it multiple times without being exhausted.

On the night we played this 2016 Game of the Year, there is only one beer worthy enough to pair with it, and that is the most hyped up IPA in the world...Pliny the Elder.  Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian.  History aside, Pliny the Elder is an Imperial IPA from Russian River Brewing Company (Santa Rosa, CA) that has a perfect 100/100 score on RateBeer and Beer Advocate and is believed by many to be the best double IPA in the world.  It is brewed with 40% more malt and over twice the hops as their already hoppy standard IPA. It's delicious, but it's also hard to find, which ads to the hype. Well, I found a bottle of this bad boy and busted it out for Code Names.  Let's just say, it was a night to remember...




Code Names:
  • For 2-8+ Players 
  • 15 minute playing time 
  • Less than $20 on Amazon
Pliny The Elder:
  • For 1-3 Players 
  • 15 minutes if you sip it 
  • Less than $10 at the brewery
-TableHop Wizard-

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