Our youth group does an amazing “no-setup, no-materials” game that’s super quick to explain and simple enough for anyone to pick up: Man Bear Gun.

Man Bear Gun is basically”full body” Roshambo (Rock Paper Scissors).  Players start out finding a partner and standing back-to-back.  Each part of the game has three actions to perform:

  • Man: Strike a heroic pose.  Hands on hips, chest out.  Stand tall, and stand proud!
  • Bear: Full-on grizzly pose.  Both arms out like you’re going to give them the bear hug of all bear hugs.
  • Gun: No pistols here – one hand out under the “stock”, and one hand on the trigger, rifle style.

Ties eliminate both players, to keep the game going quickly.

There’s a quick rhyme you can say on stage to help players understand what beats what:

The man beats the gun… the gun beats the bear… the bear beats the man… if you tie, you die.

Then, count off to three.  The players turn around and assume their poses. The losing player is eliminated (both players are eliminated if they assume the same post).  The winning player finds a new partner and play continues until there’s one winner.