A team-building, relaxed, memory game for small groups

How To Play Empires

Materials Needed


First of all elect a adjudicator to go into the other room. A topic is chosen i.e. Food, Cars, brads, Countries ect. and one by one each person playing walks in to the room with the adjudicator and tells them what 'thing' of the category they are. (if the topic was food, Player A could say- Apple). The adjudicator then writes the players name and their chosen thing. Everyone in the room does this

The adjudicator then comes out and randomly reads out every bodies things once (and once only).

Everyone has to try and memorize all of the things through out the entire game. Starting with any player they call out the name of a person and what thing they think they are. If they are wrong the person just says no, but if they are right they say so and then move next to the person who got it right. They now are the King of an Empire. This same process goes around and around the circle gradually building up more empires.

If your thing has been guessed and you are in an Empire you cant guess any more peoples things but you can however help your King to decide whose thing they should guess next. Your turn is just simply skipped.

If you are the King of an Empire and your thing is guessed you AND your ENTIRE empire has to get up and move to that persons empire. The winner is the King whose Empire has everybody playing in it. i.e Towards the end there will be just two Empires left (they could be 1 person or 20!) and if a King guesses the other Kings thing they win everybody in that Empire and WIN the game.

NOTE: The adjudicator must never read out the list of things again during the game. They can only tell people what they are if they forgot (in another room of course).

NOTE: An Empire can have only 1 person in it (The King) it doesn't have to be more than 1 to be an Empire (i.e. if there were 30 people playing at the start there would be 30 Empires)

Have Fun :D


Build-Ups, Memory, Strategy, Team-Work

Added by
on 8 September 2013


Add a comment

Join the Discussion

All comments are reviewed and moderated before being displayed on the website. Please allow 24-48 hours for your comments to be activated. By submitting this form you agree to our privacy policy and disclaimer.

This has been a favourite game with all the young people I have taught in my last 20 years of teaching. I tend to play it on last days of term. It is so simple to explain and the youngsters (all ages) will be begging you to play it again and again. For Bruce, if this helps to clarify, I always introduce it like this and it never confuses and never fails to turn into a really enjoyable game:

1) first you - the adjudicator - give them each player a small piece of paper (a couple A4 sheets folded and ripped into as many pieces as you have players)

2) instruct them to write the name of a person (I just keep it to that one category but you could dictate different categories as ‘Singularuty’ suggests). I tell them the person can be living or dead, a person from history, a TV celebrity, a footballer, a cartoon character, a politician...anyone, just so long as you don’t tell anyone who you ‘are’ and try not to pick someone everyone will immediately associate with you.

3) tell them to fold the piece of paper once and put it in the adjudicator’s tub/hand...whatever...just take them in

4) tell them, ‘I am now going to read out all the names twice and only twice.’ Emphasise that’s they will have to listen to and try to memorise all the names as they won’t hear them or be reminded of them again. Read them out.

5) Now explain that, starting with the first person on your left, and working round the room, each person gets to ask one person (per go), e.g. Eve asks, ‘Adam, are you Kanye West?’

6) If the answer is no, it moves to the next person to guess.

7) If the answer is yes, then Adam joins Eve, who has just guessed him and becomes part of Eve’s empire.

8) moving on, each player dies the exact same thing. They will either end that round still on their own, guessed by someone and part of someone’s empire or having guessed someone and being the ‘king’ of their own empire of 2 people.

9) Now things get interesting. If Matthew guesses Eve’s identity (‘Eve, are you Prince Harry?’), she not only wins Eve but Adam as well.

10) as you go through the rounds, people are relocating to sit with their empires and you can end up with a mix of empires of 15+ people, some with 2 or 3 in it and single-person empires (people who have not yet guessed anyone else nor been guessed themselves. Small (even single person empires) as powerful as big empires because, they could easily go from having no one to guessing the emperor of 15 players’ identity and win the whole lot to himself.

11) the game ends when there is one emperor who has all of the players in his/her empire. This moment usually provokes roars of delight from all players and a very joyful victory dance from the winner!

The average game lasts half an hour to 40 minutes.

Remember, I told you, your classes/youth groups will plague you to play it again every time they see you...and you will be tempted to just say yes.

Posted by Ruth 4 years ago

Is s a good game, the vassals enjoy helping the King in our group. Thanks for the clear instructions.

Posted by Mrs M 6 years ago

i think this will be extra fun combined with rock-paper-scissors when choosing who gets to guess.

Posted by malwx 6 years ago

This game does look interestinggggggg . I will try it in my youth group .

Posted by Alfred N F X 6 years ago

Looks like a fun game but with one weakness: basically whoever doesn't guess first and is thus recruited into another persons Empire is doomed to be a "vassal" the entire game with no chance of ever being King or Queen. Other than that it looks good - I still may try it once to see how it goes.

Posted by Pete 7 years ago

Not gonna say my real name, but I love this game...
definitely a favorite

Posted by pyro_doughnut 7 years ago

The instructions are hard to understand due to spelling and grammar mistakes. From what I picked up, it sounds interesting :)

Posted by Bruce 10 years ago
Pin it
Comment Post comment
Similar Similar games