What is the objective of the game Codenames: Pictures XXL?

Codenames: Pictures XXL is an engaging and visually striking board game that serves as a sequel to the immensely popular party game Codenames. Released in 2017 by Vlaada Chvátil, and published by Czech Games Edition, Codenames: Pictures XXL retains the core mechanics of its predecessor but introduces a new twist by replacing word cards with abstract pictures. The game is designed for 2 to 8 players or more, and the objective is to lead one's team of spies to locate their secret agents while avoiding the assassin.

The game components consist of oversized picture cards and large, sturdy agent cards with grids, as well as a double-sided key card and double-sided map cards. The pictures on the cards are abstract and filled with various symbols and elements, allowing for creative and open-ended interpretations.

The objective of Codenames: Pictures XXL is for each team, the "red" team and the "blue" team, to correctly identify and make contact with all of their secret agents hidden among the pictures on the board. One player from each team takes on the role of the spymaster, and they are the only ones who know the true identities and locations of their agents.

To start the game, players are divided into two teams, and each team selects their spymaster. The spymasters sit together and receive a key card, which remains hidden from the other players. The key card provides a grid that corresponds to the layout of the picture cards on the board. The grid shows which pictures represent each team's agents, which ones represent innocent bystanders, and the one picture that represents the assassin.

The spymasters' task is to give one-word clues followed by a number, indicating the number of picture cards on the board related to the clue. The team members then try to guess the pictures corresponding to the given clue, hoping they identify their agents correctly. The challenge lies in the spymasters' ability to come up with clever and concise clues that lead their team to the right pictures while avoiding those of the opposing team and, most importantly, the assassin.

Teams take turns, and the game proceeds with a mixture of deduction, logic, and intuition. Players must be cautious, as a wrong guess could lead them to reveal innocent bystanders or, worse, encounter the assassin, resulting in an immediate loss for the guessing team. The first team to successfully identify all of their agents or force the opposing team to encounter the assassin wins the game.

Codenames: Pictures XXL is a highly interactive game that fosters communication and teamwork within each group. It encourages players to think creatively and analyze the abstract images in different ways to interpret the spymaster's clues accurately. Moreover, the large-sized cards make it easier for players to view and discuss the pictures, making it suitable for larger gatherings and parties.

The game's abstract nature adds an extra layer of challenge and amusement, as players often come up with imaginative interpretations, leading to laughter and memorable moments throughout the gameplay. The visual aspect of the game also makes it language-independent, enabling players from different linguistic backgrounds to enjoy it together without any language barriers.

In summary, Codenames: Pictures XXL is a thrilling and visually stimulating party game where players must use their deductive skills, logic, and intuition to locate their secret agents among a set of abstract picture cards. The game's objective is to correctly identify all the agents while avoiding the assassin, all based on the clues given by the spymasters. The game's interactive nature and creative interpretations make it a delightful addition to any game night or social gathering.