Clues and Challenges – an Offbeat Gaming Event

Barbara —  April 29, 2013 — Leave a comment
Now there's a challenge!

Now there’s a challenge!

You remember the days when you used to play ‘make-believe’? Ok, some of us don’t actually stop doing that, but I’m talking about a time when you could be immersed in a game and it became almost real for you. I remember playing in the woods and in my mind the place was inhabited with all sorts of mythical creatures and beasts that became a part of my story. It was magical. You could go for ages getting wrapped up in your own wonderful world. In theatre I try to recreate some of the potential in that sort of creativity with theatre games. I started, some years ago, running longer games and improvisation sessions with my youth group. We could run a game for hours and not get bored or run out of ideas. It’s brilliant to see people constantly creating a new world, spontaneously responding to situations and relationships with others without breaking character. I have a few ‘event’ type games that I’ll post up over the next few weeks, but this one is played in a similar way and is very engaging to take part in and to watch!

Clues and Challenges
This game gives your group the opportunity to enter a world of challenges for a long as you want it to last. I used to run it for a 2 hour session. It’s great to use as an end of term special or a session after a big show. It’s fun and structured tightly so the group have to work together to get through it in the time allowed.

Well, for a start the group has to work together WITHOUT you (or any other leader) taking charge. In fact I recommend stepping right out of the space (if you can) and keeping an eye on things from a remote place (or as far away as you can get without losing eye contact with the proceedings!)
This is great for team work & gives them a valuable insight into the dynamics of the group (you too as you watch the natural leaders take control)
Each clue has to be solved – brain power!
Then comes the mad dash to the location and the challenge is revealed.
The challenges speak for themselves but I try and make sure that everyone is involved.

In various locations around the space / building / area you are working in you hide a series of written CHALLENGES that the group have to complete.
To find these challenges you provide CLUES.
These can be delivered one at a time or randomly as you wish. Once I composed a limerick for each member of the group & they picked them in turn. The limerick contained a clue to the location, but you could write riddles or anything really depending on the average age of your group. I just like limericks – this one related to the mouse on the theatre computer.

A clever young fairy named Emma
Was placed in an awful dilemma
When asked to address
The whole world (more or less)
With a rodent, she started to tremor

After solving the limerick the group rush to the computer & sure enough, under the mouse there is the next challenge.

The challenges should vary a lot – specify how many of the group must take part (the whole group as often as you can) in each challenge & how long it should take them to complete


  • Re-enact a famous battle of your choice (I like the scope this one affords)
  • Group dance or walk across stage – nicely synchronised (takes a surprisingly long time to get this right!)
  • A song of your choice – everyone to join in (encourage harmonies)
  • An improvised scene from a made-up soap
  • Improvise a scene using only one word. And the word is ……. (your choice!)
  • One person to narrate ‘The Terrible Tale of Sidney Snail and Sandra Slug’ (or whatever you choose)- Others to act out as required
  • The perfect curtain call (another one that calls for a lot of co-ordination)
  • Act out a scene where you can only laugh (or something else) to communicate

IN FACT – you can use any game you like – just bear in mind that they need to organise themselves – try not to step in and do it for them!

Have fun! Look out for some more ‘events’ over the next few weeks..

Email this to someone
Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
Pin on Pinterest

Thanks for sharing - we appreciate it!


Posts Twitter Facebook Google+

Writer of Offbeat plays for adults, youth theatres, schools and anyone else! Loves to write, design and direct own shows (is that greedy?)

No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>