The Evolution Game

Move up the evolutionary ladder by beating other players at rock paper scissors in this energetic game!

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A step-by-step guide to play the game


Explain the five stages of evolution in this game by naming them and then making the movement and sound representing that stage. The stages are:

  • amoeba: fish movement, amoeba-ish sound
  • frog: squatted frog jump, frog sound
  • monkey: jumping while scratching under armpit and on head, monkey sound
  • man/woman: walking around regularly, saying "hello"
  • king/queen: waving like a king/queen (or sitting on a previously chosen "throne"), saying "You can call me 'Your Majesty/Highness'!"

Ask all players to copy the movements and sounds with you, to get into the spirit of the game and to break the ice.


Now, the game begins. All players start at the lowest level, as amoebas.


While making the gesture and sound of an amoeba, each player will look for another player to compete against in a game of rock paper scissors.


The player who loses the game, stays on the same level and remains an amoeba. The player who wins the game, moves up an evolutionary level and becomes a frog. He will then jump around like a frog, making a frog sound, until he finds another frog to compete against.


The winning frog moves up a level and becomes a monkey. The losing frog moves down a level and becomes an amoeba again, and so on.


In short, every time a player wins they move up, and every time they lose they move down, but they can't go lower than an amoeba or higher than a king/queen. Players can only compete against players who are at the same evolutionary level as them.


Let the players play for a couple of minutes. When the energy level is going down, ask the kings and queens to join you. They will battle it out in a final round of rock paper scissors, since there can only be one king or queen!


The last queen or king standing, wins the game!

Extra game information

Encourage all players to put a lot of energy into making the movements and the sounds. The players cannot talk, so it should be clear from their movements and sounds which evolutionary level they are at and putting a lot of energy into the game just makes it more fun as well!


  • You can change the evolutionary stages at will. In the video above (made by Riveredge Nature Center), for example, the stages are: egg, chicken, dinosaur, tree and lumberjack, but you can also add a superhero, an alien,... Encourage the players to come up with their own evolutionary stages!
  • Players can compete with everyone, not just with the players at the same stage of evolution.

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