Games to Play In Real Life

Physical, common-tech games to tickle your fancy.

Table of Contents

Jedi Force Battle

minimum 4 players

This simple game was born of a brief discussion between Bryan Mayer and myself at the First Annual Timberlane Middle School Game Jam. The theme was "May the Fourth Be With You".


  1. Pick a location that has a lot of things around the room.

  2. Divide into two teams, pick a Jedi Master for each team.

  3. Have the two Jedi Masters meet apart from the rest of the team.

    1. Each Master picks a Target for the other to acquire.
    2. A good Target is easy to see and carry, but tricky to acquire. Maybe it's buried in a pile or among many similar items.
    3. Try assigning a task, like "get a cup full of water", "remove all the pillows from the couch", or "eat an unwrapped Twizzler".
  4. You are ready to begin!





Write down a word or phrase.

Vowels are our Heroes and the consonants (including y) are their Enemies.


Some battles to try: Tutorial, tornado, sharknado, aardvark, explosion, defense, weakness, three aardvarks, Constantinople.

Two Player: One controls vowels, one controls consonants.

Asymmetric: At the start of the Enemies' round, the Boss capitalizes one of the Enemies.

Clarifying Examples: in the word "flea", the a and f are safe. In the name "Albert", the A can eliminate the l then the b.


Dice Tilt

in progress

Roll 3-5 dice onto a flat surface and align to 90-degree orientations.

Pick any of the dice and tip it onto any of its four vertical sides.

All the other dice must be tilted in the opposite direction.

Goal: get all the dice to say the same number.


Psychic War

At the start of a regular game of war, each player places a single card on the side, face-down.

After a war is completed, the losing player has a chance to guess the face-down their opponent set aside

Their opponent checks, if they're correct, they win the entire game.



In July 2013, I participated in a Twitter experiment started by Zach Gage: create a game design that fits into 128 characters and post it on Twitter. I kind of got carried away. Here are my entries.

🔗 Record a spoken phrase. Play it backwards. Record yourself imitating the back-play. Play THAT backwards. Closest/funniest wins.

🔗 Two teams. Shuffle cards, place random card on side. Spread out rest of cards. No other rules. Be 1st team to correctly guess.

🔗 Write 0 somewhere. Players can add 1 once a day. Spy subs the # of opponents. If caught, Spy wins if # of days played > number.

🔗 When holding a stick-shaped object, flip it 180 degrees, again, 360, again, 1.5x, again,... see how high you can get.

🔗 Go to the museum. One point for each picture of people taking pictures. Pictures of other players taking pictures count double.

🔗 Tweet/text all players "RUNNING". Add number of seconds until first "CAUGHT" reply to score. Highest score after a month wins.

🔗 ESCAPE!: If someone counts a picture off, on 3 whoever gets the farthest out of the picture wins.

🔗 Spread Lego's on the floor of a room. After memorizing, try to cross barefoot and blindfolded. MP: Farthest/fastest wins.

🔗 Key Player sits in the middle of a circle of other players. Players convince Key Player to finger-shoot them last.

🔗 Knights' Duel. Play a game of chess with only the two knights on each side.

🔗 Have a formal debate about who wins. Witnesses may be called, all stats/sources must be from http://randomwebsite.com.

🔗 Players choose a distinct glitter color, place a pinch somewhere around the house. Watch spread. Most recently seen is winning.

🔗 At a meeting, text back/forth with other player(s). Discipline = Elimination. Bonus points:loudest ringer, longest relevant txt.

🔗 [in a video game context] When you die, a tweet goes out that allows any other player to exhume your remains and pick up where you left off.

🔗 [in a video game context] A game where you literally need to stay up and vigilant all night with your friends.