Acid river

Participants have to cross a contaminated river, an “acid river.” The teams will be given a few tablets (fewer than the participants) and must find a way to cross the river without ever losing contact with each other and without ever detaching from the tablets. The goal will be achieved only if ALL participants succeed in reaching the island.

type: game
purpose: cooperation, communication, team-work
no. of players: 10 -15 people
time: 20-40 min
prep time: 5 min
materials: tablets to step on (i.e. cardboard boxes, pillows, etc.) – less
than players, ropes (to make borders)
RPG: no


  • Make a river from ropes 


Story: You need to cross the river, but it is acid. You cannot touch it. Plus, whenever you are not standing on a stone, it is being carried away by stream. 

Goal: to cross a contaminated river, an “acid river.” 


  • You have a number of “stones” (tablets, less than players)
  • Every player needs to get on the other side of the river
  • If anybody touches the river, we restart the game
  • If nobody is touching a stone, it is taken away by river (organizer)

For facilitators:

  • Part of the time can be devoted by the group to find a strategy to cross the acid river (5/10 minutes): during this time trials can be done.
  • You can have 2 teams on the other side of the river. They might be competing until they understand that the game is won only when every player reaches the other side or river.

For reflection:

Observing the competitive and cooperative dynamics generated among participants will be interesting. The Acid River activity is useful for understanding that the useful outcome can be reached only through cooperation.

  • How was it?
  • What happened?
  • What do you take from it?