Improv, for the win

~ #blog #game #idea

I came up with this idea for a competitive improv-based party game that turns out to be incredibly fun and a welcome distraction from Everything Going On Right Now.

I tried playing it with a few friends on a trip and it was a great success. It works best if you try to be as silly as possible!

The rules might change. I might also do a permanent page for them if it turns out to be popular.

the rules

In all scenarios each player must act the part of a chosen character. They will have an objective which will sometimes be to make the other player fail in their objective.

The characters portrayed are either constructed at random by the audience or decided by the host who conducts the game. These are entirely for entertainment purposes but must be maintained for the player to win.

Each scenario has a time limit of 60s.

If any player stops talking for 5 seconds or repeats themselves more than 3 times, they forfeit the game.

After 60s, the audience votes on the winner.

The first player to 3 wins wins overall. Not sure about the order of play, maybe players are chosen at random based on how many games they’ve played before.

The different categories of scenarios are:

  • don’t mention
  • don’t ask
  • don’t apologize
  • don’t laugh

If you’re feeling brave, apply the “don’t laugh” rule to every scenario.

Scenario 1:

One player orders a coffee from another player who acts as the shop owner. The first player wins if they manage not to make reference to themselves. The second player wins if they can get the other player to talk about themselves.

Scenario 2:

One player is boarding a budget flight to a neighbouring city. Their objective is to swap seats with another passenger whilst not answering any questions. The other player must play the role of an air hostess who is asking the customer whether they would like any kind of refreshments and wins if the other player answers any questions.

(Could add audience participation for the third person)

Scenario 3:

A jogger in their 3rd kilometer of their weekly 5k run is trying to get past a cyclist (player 2) going down a small alleyway. The jogger must get the cyclist to say sorry or otherwise apologize in the process (potentially by getting quite agitated). The cyclist must avoid being apologetic but let the jogger pass. No laughing.

Scenario 4:

The local jazz band is playing at an underground wine bar. During the interval, the drummer (Player 1), wine bottle in hand drunkenly strikes up a conversation with the saxophonist (Player 2), who’s completely sober and very annoyed at the fact. The drummer’s objective is to get the saxophonist to smile or laugh.

Scenario 5:

Two trees (Players 1 & 2) are in a park. They strike up a conversation to catch up as part of their morning routine. The first tree to mention any part of a tree loses.

Scenario 6:

A patient (player 1) walks into A&E with a body part badly injured, their objective is to get the doctor (player 2) to mention some kind of medical procedure. No laughing.

Scenario 7:

A mountain climber has become stuck and is hanging from a cliff edge from their rope. A passerby notices the climber in distress and quickly calls for help from the audience, relaying the audience’s questions to the climber. The climber must answer every question asked by the audience without laughing to win.

Scenario 8:

A plant shop owner (player 1) is putting together a display for her shop window. A customer (player 2) walks in and is trying to decide on a plant to buy but is having trouble. The shop owner has to convince the customer to buy a plant without mentioning anything to do with the plants themselves.

Scenario 9:

Sunbather vs. seagull (no laughing)

Scenario 10:

Thai massage place, neither the masseur nor the customer can mention a body part.

Scenario 11:

The guys beard is trying to get the guy laid. No laughing.

Scenario 12:

Train conductor is trying to get passenger to pay a fine for not having a ticket without saying the words “ticket”, “if”, “you”, “please”, “need”.

Scenario 13:

One player is the commentator of a horse race, and the other player is a spectator who supports the first horse that the spectator mentions.