Three Tries

Three Tries

What is it?

In this game, players try three solutions with true effort. Only the third solution works. This game helps develop the understanding of why three is a strong number when it comes to building stories.

How to Play:

Choose a problem scenario with your session parameters in mind. If you can stand and move around, choose a situation with a lot of physical possibilities such as moving a bed out of an apartment down a few flights of stairs or fixing a flat tire in the jungle.


In a one-on-one, in-person setting, you can either improvise through this game or tell it storytelling style. You might try having your writer come up with the first solution, offering the second yourself, and letting them provide the third. This game offers a fun and funny way to act together and to break through resistance that might pop up with improvisation games in one-on-one settings.


Use the acting or storytelling options described above.


Use the chat to suggest options for the next try and either vote or roll a die to choose which will be the one you use "officially." As above, you can act the scene out or tell it as a story.


In person, this game is a fun performance game. Four or so players can try to solve a problem that the audience suggests. After playing through, the game becomes a great launchpad for a discussion about the rule of threes in storytelling.


If you're playing in person and don't have time to let all the students have a turn to be the actors in this game, play it once as an example, and then break the class into partner pairs to play their own round and try it themselves.

If players are half-heartedly offering/trying solutions until the third, since they know it is the only one that will work, consider facilitating more actively and coaching the players to make each solution add complexity to the problem. For instance, the first solution, super-glue, creates a sticky mess on top of what was already wrong.

Alternate Uses:

Characterization: While this game is a fun one to explore big, physical problems, it can also be used to explore smaller scenarios, with a focus on better understanding your character's problem-solving style. Smaller problems can be fixing a broken object that is small enough to fit in your hand, or creating a small object for a specific purpose (like a school project or a gift).

Ice Breaking: This game is a crowd-pleaser, and can be a great one to help new groups get to know one another.