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Drew Hicks
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The first bit of this is only an impression of the CONTENT of the cards included in this set. When I wrote it, I hadn't played Codenames with this set of cards. After playing a couple rounds, I added a follow-up to the bottom of the post.

The idea of "Codenames against Humanity" was one I thought had some potential, because unlike other "adult" party games, Codenames builds on player creativity and could benefit from smart, funny clues given by creative players with similar senses of humor. So I picked up a copy, and... well, it's looking kinda meh.

So let's talk about the cards, because that really is what's new here. The game doesn't include a timer, though it does inexplicably give criminal/sexual/douchebag backgrounds to the "characters" on the innocent bystander tiles. Looking over the cards in this set there are a few big problems that make me worry about it both from a gameplay standpoint and a, um, actually being funny standpoint.

First off, the cards fall into a few (relatively narrow) topic areas, and there are a LOT of synonyms.
-Swears
-Poop/Pee/other gross body functions
-Drugs/Alcohol
-Boobs/Butts/Bits
-General sex-related terms

There are about 14 cards for some kind of poop. There are a similar number for varieties of breasts. Regardless of whether or not you think those cards are funny, "poop" "crap" and "turd" for example really don't have much to differentiate them? "Breasts", "Boobs", "Tits" whatever, the same way. Having so many total synonyms would seem to do some real strange stuff to the types of clues that it's possible to give? And having so many ill-defined euphemisms for things destroys the ability to give creative or funny clues for those things.

Next, there are... kind of a startling number of straight-up negative cards? Like, things some hateful asshole would shout out of a truck. Bitch, Fatty, Slut, Skank, Queer, etc. Also a couple creepy and criminal/abuse-related cards? "Stalker" and a few other similar ones. So, that was a major turnoff for me, I don't typically dig on outright negativity in party games, especially sex-negativity/misogyny/etc in the "sexy, adult" party game. I'm not sure how often this will get played, but if/when it does, those won't be included.

On the plus-side? The game includes a lot of different sexual terms (gay and straight, vanilla and not) and there's not a lot of homophobia or transphobia or what have you in the game... there are cards for different orientations (including straight) and as many vanilla sex terms as kinky ones. Were it not for those earlier negative cards, I'd feel that everything here was presented pretty "neutrally" (i.e. not treated as weirder than anything else in the set) so it seems that, at least in THOSE areas, the writers/designers were trying to be more open-minded (which is pretty much required for a game like this to work) despite the previous awful cards.

Here's the deal though...

Dirty Codenames isn't a bad idea. It'd work best if the cards were kind of subtle and the clues were where the dirty humor came from. About half of the cards in the game work this way, either implying something by their presence in the "naughty" set (Cucumber, Leather, Chubby, Caboose, Furry) or ARE obviously referencing something taboo but are complex enough concepts to let players come up with both FUNNY and GOOD clues for them (Missionary, Fetish, Tequila, Bondage, Daddy). If the game was made up of cards like this, it could be a lot of fun.

Unfortunately the other half of the cards are just "bad words" that might make a 12 year old laugh once. (poop fart dick crap tit boob etc) And they're two-sided, so unlike with other similar games it's impossible to take out all the dreadfully boring ones without taking out GOOD ones.

Anyway, that's my general feeling about it, just going over the cards. Obviously with the right crowd ANYTHING works and can be funny, but there's a lot of boring filler cards here (which would seem to hurt gameplay as well as humor) and more than a little bit of negative, hurtful "humor" so I'm not as enthusiastic about this idea as I was when it was announced.

Follow-up:
Having played a couple rounds with almost the full set (I did still remove the really negative cards) it's not QUITE as grim as I'd thought. The game was still fun, but surprisingly more difficult and occasionally I felt like I was forced into a really boring clue. For many of the synonyms it does seem like there are ways to differentiate, though it often results in giving a 1 or 2 word clue. Those cards still don't lend themselves to fun game-play, so I'd suggest paring out the cards that are too on-the-nose and don't have at least one alternate meaning to play off of, just to keep the game fun. Words like "Melons" and "Sausage" are better cards to use than "Breast" and "Penis." (I rewrote that sentence four times to avoid misinterpretation.) All in all, I'd say I dropped a quarter to a third of the cards for that reason, but what's left still makes for a fun game.

So basically, if you've got the crowd for it, and just trying to give lewd hints in regular Codenames isn't deviant enough for you? Go ahead and go for it, but be prepared to chop out a few cards that are just plain boring.
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Chris Smith
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That's a shame, I was really hoping they'd have kept focus on suggestive rather than juvenile/shock jokes - I found the same issue with Telestrations: After Dark.

Even more disappointing to realise the double-sided thing. Wish they would have taken some care to keep flipsides as similar style to make it seperatable.

Oh well, maybe I'll make some custom ones up at some point ^^.
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brian
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I'd say play the game. Our group was initially disappointed just looking at the cards and cane away with the feeling a bunch of junior high schoolers came up with the words. But playing it in my opinion was better than assuming what it would play like. With even the bad clues having double meanings it leaves room for creativity and felt like a decent version.
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Frank Branham
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That said, the greatest adult game ever for witty banter is Risque by Monarch Publishing (Avalon Hill)
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ian o
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ugh....
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ian o
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fbranham wrote:
That said, the greatest adult game ever for witty banter is Risque by Monarch Publishing (Avalon Hill)


Hmm, interesting.
 
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Susan
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Keep in mind Target is behind this game not CGE and they probably sell a ton of CAH, which is the target audience this game is obv going for. Codenames Deep Undercover is downright tame compared to the homophobia, offensive, racist comments etc, that comes in CAH.

I do agree with the OP's assessment. I thought it was a much harder game than vanilla codenames as both teams words overlapped so much as to be indistinguishable. So what happened was more 1 or 2 word clues rather than 3 or 4.

I think I'll just take some of the lessor offensive ones and co-mingle them with our regular codenames to give it a little spice but won't have the problem of every 3rd word literally meaning essentially the same thing.

On the other hand, I got to try out Codenames pictures the other night and was very pleased with how the games went. It was great. They did a much better job with the pictures than I had anticipated and we had some great laughs.

I think I even prefer it to vanilla condenames as there is just a lot going on with each picture.

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Brett Leeson
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I think it is also worth noting that the components are a noticeable step down in quality from the original game. Everything is a little thinner, a little flimsier, and there's no sand timer of shame, despite the games costing, I believe, the same amount.
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Lenz Poh
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Imagine being down to your last clue of "tit" and the assassin is "boob" while your opponent's clue is breast.
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Drew Hicks
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that literally happened to me

assassin was "butt"

i had... two other butt words, and spank

I was angry
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Drew Hicks
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Oh, and re: components, I did notice the lack of the sand timer? but I honestly didn't feel too bad about the component quality... it's not like the cards in either edition are in my hands for any length of time so I'm not terribly bummed about it.
 
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Robert Finamore
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weijie_88 wrote:
Imagine being down to your last clue of "tit" and the assassin is "boob" while your opponent's clue is breast.


Tat:1 or Mouse:1

As opponent, Chicken:1 or Plate:1

If Boob was my card, Imbecile:1

These are the situations where you need to think creatively.


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Drew Hicks
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zarathud wrote:
weijie_88 wrote:
Imagine being down to your last clue of "tit" and the assassin is "boob" while your opponent's clue is breast.


Tat:1 or Mouse:1

As opponent, Chicken:1 or Plate:1

If Boob was my card, Imbecile:1

These are the situations where you need to think creatively.


But you're giving a one-word clue. So how clever are you being, really? Most of the synonyms have ways to differentiate them from their counterparts but usually the result is giving a one-word clue, which is depressing and unfun IMO.
 
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Robert Finamore
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AnEvenWeirderMove wrote:
zarathud wrote:
weijie_88 wrote:
Imagine being down to your last clue of "tit" and the assassin is "boob" while your opponent's clue is breast.


Tat:1 or Mouse:1

As opponent, Chicken:1 or Plate:1

If Boob was my card, Imbecile:1

These are the situations where you need to think creatively.


But you're giving a one-word clue. So how clever are you being, really? Most of the synonyms have ways to differentiate them from their counterparts but usually the result is giving a one-word clue, which is depressing and unfun IMO.


The hypothetical situation posed by weijie was for a final word with synonyms on the board. That is what I was responding to. It's the differentiators that you need to focus on when coming up with clues for typically synonymous words.
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Jeff Dunford
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Is there any feature on the word cards that makes then distinguishable from those in regular Code Names? If so, I imagine these would be best if shuffled in (and thus diluted) with regular Code Names. If not, though, it would be difficult to separate then out when you don't want them in your game (e.g. playing with your more sensitive family members).
 
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Susan
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iNano78 wrote:
Is there any feature on the word cards that makes then distinguishable from those in regular Code Names? If so, I imagine these would be best if shuffled in (and thus diluted) with regular Code Names. If not, though, it would be difficult to separate then out when you don't want them in your game (e.g. playing with your more sensitive family members).


No the cards have no distinguishable mark that I can see.
I really like some of the words in Codenames Afterdark but Scrotum? Sorry, no need to play with that word on the table ever.

Sometimes I disliked one of the words on the card, but not both, so I put it into the mix and figure we can easily flip it or take it out if we are playing with folks who I don't want to even go there with.

I haven't tried it on for size yet, as I'm a little worried Target who made this version didn't vet the words as well as CGE did, so not sure if they will play well with the regular Codenames words. Hope to try them out this weekend.

 
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Jonathan Wells
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isellsunshine wrote:

I really like some of the words in Codenames Afterdark but Scrotum? Sorry, no need to play with that word on the table ever.


I agree it is a little unhygienic and probably frowned upon in polite circles but i guess some people enjoy it
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