The Empire Game is a fun group game that can be played from ages 8 and up. It can be a group of similarly aged kids or even a group of many ages. It is ideal for a group size of about 10-20 people because the more people you get the more challenging it gets as you have more names or items to remember.
Each player starts out as their own empire and the aim of the game is to get all the other players to become part of your empire or team.
This game can be done in a great for a variety of indoor and outdoor settings such as:
- Get to Know You Activities
- Campfire Games
- Family Gatherings
- Work meetings
- Youth Groups
- And pretty much anywhere you can think of…
Even though this is a game that can often be done just for having some good old fun it also provides benefits such as helping the group get to know each other better and practice communication skills.
The Empire Game Objectives
The object of the game is for your empire to be last the one standing and have all the other players and their empires join your empire.
- Slips of paper or sticky notes
- A container to place all the papers in (This could be anything that can hold the papers such as a bag, hat, cup, or bowl)
Ideal Size: 10-20 people
It can be done with a few less and more if needed.
- Selecting names: 3-5 mins
- Reading names: 2-5 mins
- Playing the game: 10-15 mins
How To Play The Empire Game
- To start all the people playing will sit in a circle together in the same room or area.
- Select a group or category of people (See more Category Ideas). We recently used Disney Characters at my daughter’s birthday with a group of 5-8 year-olds.
- Select a Moderator who will not be playing the game for this example my wife and I took turns acting as moderators for the kids.
- Next, the moderator will give each player a pen and a slip of paper or a sticky note. The paper or sticky notes need to all be exactly the same.
- Each player chooses a Disney character writes the name of that character on the paper and folds it in half. This is where the younger kids needed some help writing their names on the slip of paper. (This is why we recommend ages 8 and up)
- The moderator will go around the room collecting the names all folded in half from each of the players or empires.
- Once every player or empire has put their paper into the bowl or basket the moderator will take one out at a time and read each paper sharing each name with the whole group. This is intended to be anonymous and not give away who wrote each name.
- After remixing the paper slips the moderator repeats this step a second time so that the names are not read in the same order the second time.
- Each empire or player is trying to memorize all the names that were read so they can remember each one and use it in the next stage of the game. Remember there is a good chance that more than one person choose the same name. You might have 3 players that choose Mickey Mouse and that’s okay.
- Now the fun starts choose one person to start (this could be the youngest person or whoever you choose) and then take turns going around the room in a clockwise rotation.
- Each player has one chance on their turn to try to guess one player’s name that they wrote anonymously on the slip of paper. This is done by the player asking another player for example “Are you Mickey Mouse” after which the other player or empire must answer honestly yes or no.
- If they Answer Yes then that player becomes part of the team of the empire who guessed their character correctly. So the player’s name who was just guessed should go sit with their new empire or team.
- The player who guessed correctly is the leader and voice of their team or empire and with each correct guess, they add another player/empire to their team or empire.
- If you guess correctly you get another turn and this continues until you guess incorrectly and someone tells you no.
- When guessed incorrectly and told no, the current player’s turn ends, and then it is the next empire or player’s turn to their left. Always rotating in a clockwise rotation.
- When players join another empire or team they can work together but the leader is the spokesman and the only one that gets a turn. So no matter how many team members you have only the leader gets a turn and when they guess correctly they keep guessing and when they guess incorrectly their turn is over.
- If a player guesses correctly another empire leader’s character name then the whole empire including all the team members goes to the new empire.
- Through this process, each empire continues to grow until eventually there is only one empire left and everyone is part of that empire.
The Empire Game Variations
- Do not select a category but require everyone to select a real person that is well-known.
- The category doesn’t always have to be people it could be something else like an item or place.
The Empire Game Category Ideas
- Football Players
- Basketball Players
- Baseball Players
- Soccer Players
- Famous Musicians
- Famous Scientist
- Star Wars Characters
- Harry Potter Characters
- National Parks
Great Categories for Younger Kids
- Disney Characters
- Fairy Tale Characters
- Letters of the Alphabet
We also have fun, engaging, and easy-to-deliver activities in our own ebook Team Building Activity Book 1.
Let us know how it went and share with us your favorite categories in the comments below.