The Potato Game

From Ludocity
The Potato Game
Designer: Pippa Johnson
Year: unknown
Players: 9+
Stuff required: Something not entirely dissimilar to a bag of potatoes
Crew required: nil/one.
Preparation: Ten minutes.
Time required: Variable.
Place required: Outdoors space.
Activities: Running, sneaking, finding, teamwork.
This is a playable game - it's finished, tested and ready to play.
This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

A tactical team game with running and potatoes. Potatoes and running optional.

You will need

  • at the very least 9 people, but more is better
  • some potatoes - from 2 per person should be right
  • an interesting area larger than about 30m by 30m.


Divide people up into teams of at least 3.

Give each team more potatoes than there are people in the team and two/three same-coloured balloons with potatoes in them.

Get as many people as possible in each team to start the stopwatch on their phone: they'll need two minutes for tactical discussion at the start point and one minute to get away and start their first base, however many minutes you want the game to run for and then two minutes to get back to the start point at the end of the game (i.e. a total of game plus 5 minutes). The rules about the number of potates that can be carried do not apply during the first three minutes and last two minutes.

Send the teams on their way. Play lasts as long as you want it to.

If you think cheating is going to be a problem then get as many assistants as you can to stalk the play area: they can steal any potatoes which are being stored or carried in 'illegal' ways.


The aim of the game is to collect as many potatoes as possible.

Teams may travel together or as individuals and may go anywhere sensible (there is no need to limit the play area).

Potatoes must be stored at Potato Bases (marked with a balloon).

You can move your stash of tubers at any time and hide them elsewhere (ie choose a new Potato Base), but you can have no more than two/three Potato Bases at any one time.

Potatoes may only be transported visibly, carried in one hand, and by groups of two or more. A group may only carry one less potato than the number of people involved. i.e. one person in any group must have their hands empty: 3 people can carry 2 potatoes, 2 people can carry 1 potato, but 1 person can't carry any potatoes.

The potato base balloons count as potatoes but cannot be stolen.

You can only 'get' potatoes by taking them from the floor (be they in a potato base or not): no one can stop anyone else picking up a potato if they can reach it - the only defence you have once your base has been discovered it to relocate.

Play history