This game can be played by one group or by two or more teams competitively. The activity is more dynamic if played in competitive teams, with a minimum of three players per team, ideally 5-10 per team. The game may be played just once as a quick activity or icebreaker, or in several rounds, optionally enabling the group/teams to review and refine their coding systems, at the discretion of the facilitator. This is a very flexible game concept and can be adapted in many ways to suit your situation and purposes.


  • Devise a secret coded (non-verbal, non-written) communication system for your team which makes it possible to pass a very simple piece of information – a single digit number between 0 and 9 – throughout the whole group/team, person to person ideally, so that everyone knows the number.
  • The first team to successfully convey the number to all team members is the winner. (If playing as a single group then the task is simply to successfully communicate the number throughout the group.)
  • The number must be conveyed using non-verbal and secret signals – it cannot be spoken, mouthed, written, signaled by holding up a number of fingers, or ‚tapped‘ using fingers or feet, etc.
  • As soon as a player has figured out the number, he/she must privately record it on a piece of paper, as proof of successful communication. Alternatively, to avoid the risk of accidentally revealing numbers, instruct people to write down the number after all teams have completed the round.
  • No speaking is allowed while the game is in progress.
  • Teams can be given between 5-10 minutes to devise and test their codes. Large teams may need more time.

The facilitator begins each round of the game by showing the number (a single digit between 0 and 9) to the team leaders. The team leaders then take their seats or starting positions and await the facilitator’s signal to start the game during which the number must be communicated to all team members – using the non-verbal secret code – and ideally person to person. The team leaders must signal to the facilitator when the group/team members have figured out the correct number.