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How To Play Molecule

This simulation game is a great one to play on a youth camp. It involves a lot of running and team work but also involves some problem solving skills. You'll need a decent bunch of leaders to run the game and to fill the all roles.

Teams race against each other to collect and assemble all the pieces of the molecule by completing various challenges and solving problems.

Break the group up into small teams
Teams start altogether in one room
Begin the game by telling everyone a story (see below), then outline the rules

Each team must aim to:
- visit the mad scientist to see the molecule
- only one team may enter at a time
- each team can see the mad scientist as many times as they'd like
- find the keepers of the elements/bonds
- only one team may visit each keeper at a time
- each team can visit each keeper as many times as they'd like, however can only collect two of each element at a time
- upon visiting a keeper, your team will be given a task which must be completed before you are given the elements
- don't eat the elements, or you won't have enough to complete the molecule
- replicate the mad scientist's molecule exactly

To win, a team must be the first to replicate the molecule exactly.

The terrorists have a mad plot to annialate the world through chemical warfare
The only chance of survival is to find the molecule of all molecules that will act as a counter attack to anything that comes our way
Only one person knows the make up of this molecule - the Mad Scientist
The Mad Scientist will only allow you see his secret molecule for a short time - be sure to pay close attention to the bonds and elements required
Your task/mission - if you choose to accept it - is to find the keepers of the various elements and bonds to replicate EXACTLY the Mad Scientist's molecule in order to win the prize AND save the world


Mad Scientist
- Has the assembled element to show to teams.
- Might set up in a dark room and set the scene like a mad scientist's lab etc.

Keepers of the Elements
- Can really be whoever you want, depending on the elements you're using
- Some ideas include: Singing Raspberry Bush, Banana Man, Mr. Milko, Chief Chiko, Strawberries & Cream

Police / Prison Guard(s)
- If you have enough leaders (see below)

If you have enough leaders you can have some police/guards running around and catching team members.
Once caught, players will be imprisoned for 1/2 mins before being released back into the race

To make up the molecule, use a random assortment of the lollies you have bought and stick them together using toothpicks to create a molecule structure. Make it complex enough to be challenging to remember, but don't make it so confusing that it can't be replicated.

Each element keeper will need to have a challenge to give to teams to complete before they hand over the elements. The challenges can be any simple challenge - maybe a minute to win it style challenge, or a duel challenge, or a mini-olympics challenge - be creative, maybe get each leader to come up with their own challenge.

Materials Needed

lollies relating to roles listed in instructions (ie. banana man = banana lollies)

Submitted by Joel on 17 May 2011 12:00:00

Has this game been helpful?

12 Comments Add a comment »

This sounds extremely awesome! I am going to bring this up at our next youth meeting for when we go on camp :)

Posted by kayla on 9 Jun 2011 at 8:14:39

This is great - I was talking with other youth leaders about trying to come up with a game like this, but now we don't have to! Thanks for posting it! I'm gonna try it out in the near future!

Posted by TimmiLatte on 4 Aug 2011 at 9:55:46

this sounds like alot of fun i will bring it up at camp this summer to my fellow youth leaders/councilers and also for youth group at my church!!! :) thanks for this game idea.

Posted by miki on 13 May 2012 at 4:29:49

What are some of your task ideas? Is everyone hiding or just the Mad Scientist? What are the roles of the individual people? How long do they get to look at the molecule? It seems like something is missing here in the instructions.

Posted by Donna on 8 Apr 2013 at 1:28:49

this game is so cool i love this game yoooooooooo!

Posted by ariba on 3 Sep 2013 at 2:49:52

Are these comments for real?
This page is missing quite a vital element: a description of actually HOW to play the game.

Posted by JC on 21 Oct 2013 at 6:39:28

agreed, I was thinking the same thing haha

Posted by Jeremy on 8 May 2014 at 4:51:19

Way too confusing please clarify

Posted by Dave on 21 Apr 2015 at 3:02:41

Maybe we could add one role in the game which is the "infected person", where in if one of the team members will be touched by the infected person he or she will sit for 2 mins, and after that will be part of the infected too.. hence, He or she will not be allowed to join his or her team anymore,,this will make the remaining team members time pressured to replicate the mad scientist's molecule

Posted by nikki on 17 Oct 2016 at 4:14:12

It sounds cool and all, but HOW do you play the game?? What are all the extra roles for?

Posted by Cyj on 8 Apr 2017 at 11:42:03


Do you have any ideas for the assigments that the people must solve?

Posted by Tim den Hoedt on 28 Jun 2017 at 8:32:51

I've updated the description for the game so hopefully the instructions are clearer now and there's less confusion about how to play the game.

As for ideas for assignments/challenges - I would recommend doing "minute to win it" type challenges (ie. cup stacking) that a team or individual can do to earn the items they need. You could also do things like word puzzles or brain teasers.

Posted by Joel on 13 Jul 2017 at 11:33:26

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