‘Around the world’ game: What’s the trick?

Sabina Nisioi
Sabina Nisioi
'Around the world' game

Table of Contents

Just like in the case of ‘Green glass door’ and ‘Password’, ‘Around the world’ is another group game that hides a secret. The good thing is that you’re here now, so you can be sure that you won’t be the last one cracking the code next time you’re playing ‘Around the world’! Let’s see what it is about this game that makes it so enticing and fun.

Materials and equipment

Good news! You don’t need any supplies for this game. That’s what makes it perfect for an indoor setting, as much as for the outdoors. You can play ‘Around the world’ in team buildings, campings, on holidays, during friendly gatherings, as a means of getting to know each other better, and even on Facetime, as a virtual game. Once you have the players, you’re good to go. 

Of course… that is if we’re talking about the classic version of the ‘Around the world’ game. 

  1. But if you’re looking to challenge the adult players, you could make things more difficult for them by dropping to the liquor store first. We bet that if there’s some of their favorite booze involved, they will be less likely to figure out too quickly the secret rule of the game. More than that, shots can even become penalties!

And while we’re at it, we’re also letting you know about our top-notch drinking ‘Minute to win it’ games for adults. 🤭 (*Note: Take into consideration the players’ age and the legal drinking age for the area you’re living in).

  1. If you’re doing this as a fun activity for kids, you could use a whiteboard and some markers. This way, you give your students a hand to keep track of the game and crack the code faster. And we’re telling you: this is one of the best ways to spend recess time because kids can sit at their desks, or on the floor in a circle. 

Looking for other games that are perfect for a short break?

Players and purposes

‘Around the world’ can be played even with 3 players, but things are much more fun when there are several people involved. That’s what makes it a great activity in a classroom – because it works well with any size group, it can last as long as you wish, and is an excellent short time-filler at the end of a class. 

The trick is that at least one player should know the secret rule of the game, and at least one player should have no idea what’s going on. 

The goal of ‘around the world’ game is for players to spell out the words ‘Around the world’ by naming places they would like to visit. The places must start with the letters A, R, O, U, N, D, T, H, E, W, O, R, L, D, in this exact order. Therefore, the player that begins the game must know how to play ‘Around the world’.

Rules: How to play ‘Around the world’?

  1. Ideally, everyone should be sitting in a circle, but that varies depending on the context. Students might be seated at their desks, if you’re over at your friend’s house, you might be in the living room or in the backyard – anyway, what’s important here is that the setting can be relaxed. 
  1. Then, you establish an order for the game to be played.
  1. As we’ve already mentioned, the first player must know the secret rule. He/she will start by naming a place he/she would like to visit. This place can be a country, a city, a mountain, an ocean – whatever ‘around the world’. Hence, the first player will say, for example, ‘Algeria’. The second player should continue by saying a place that begins with… correct, R! So he/she could say ‘Russia’ or ‘Rwanda’. The next player must go on with a place beginning with the letter O, the next, with the letter U, and so on and so forth.
  1. But what happens if players don’t figure it out and after hearing ‘Algeria’, the second player says something like… ‘Nigeria’? Thinking that maybe the trick of the game is for locations to rhyme. Well, in that case, the player is out. 
  1. Eventually, sooner or later, everyone cracks the code, but it might take a few rounds for that, depending on the size of the group. If you want to offer a helping hand, you can repeat as many times as you like the places that have been mentioned so far. This way, people might decipher the code faster. 

Skills and abilities

  • Use your memory – remember the players who got it right and try to discover a pattern in their answers. 
  • Be sharp – pay attention to the other players. Remember that some of them know the key to the game, and some of them don’t.
  • Think logically – avoid getting stuck and overthinking words.
  • Listen carefully – improve your listening skills.

‘Around the world’ hasn’t really convinced you? Browse eTeamBuilding for more fun games!

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