The Hunger Games

I recently heard about a great game idea. While The Hunger Games is a wildly popular book and movie. I think the game will be a big hit as well.

The second installment, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, is coming to theaters this November, so this would be a great game to promote as the previews start to air.

Special thanks to Cody Fort of our local Boys & Girls club for sharing the game!

PREP TIME– 30-60 Minutes

ITEMS NEEDED– Large Room (preferably with multiple adjoining rooms), Nerf Balls, Nerf Guns & Darts and Nerf Bows & Arrows

GAME TIME– 10-30 Minutes



Just in case you’ve never seen The Hunger Games, the plot centers around Katniss, a young girl who is fighting for her survival. The basic premise of the movie involves several teams that try to pick each other off in an effort to be the last one standing.

For this game, you can play in teams (in which case you will need some sort of identifier, like a colored arm or head band) or as individuals.

The game is quite simple in concept. In the center of your play area, you will place all the Nerf weapons. Once you start the game, players can rush to the middle to grab a weapon or they can run and hide until a more opportune time. If a player is hit, they must go out. All players who are out then go to a designated area and wait until the next round begins.

Side rooms become hiding places and strategic locations for individuals to pick off their opponents. As time elapses, close rooms and narrow the field of play to speed things up.

NOTE: If you don’t have access to a large room or a building with multiple rooms, you can play outside in a place with obstacles or even set up cardboard boxes or other objects in a room.


1. We recommend shorter rounds (15 minutes) so that those who are out do not have to wait forever to play again (this would not apply to very large fields, as the game will take longer to develop). Another option would be to place those who are out on the side and arm them with Nerf balls that they can hurl at passers by. This way they are still part of the game.

2. While it may be tempting to have the lights off for this game, we recommend leaving them on so that leaders can monitor who has been hit and who is still in. This game requires a degree of honesty, but it becomes impossible to tell what is going on when it is dark.

3. Place weapons throughout the playing field in addition to those in the middle. This can be done beforehand, or during game play.

4. If you want to go really big for this game, find an old paintball field or campground to rent out. Try to rent it out during off hours to lessen the cost. You may need to use heavier Nerf weapons as well. If this is too expensive, simply find an open area with trees (just make sure to give boundaries). These work as great shields and hiding places for participants

5. Film the game and produce a video with some intense battle music! You can then show the clip at your next meeting and award the winner a prize… maybe a Nerf weapon!

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