How to Play Fortunately, Unfortunately (Tell the Story Group Game)

If you want the classic icebreaker improv game, then look no further than Fortunately, Unfortunately. This game can work in pretty much all situations.

Since this is not a competitive game, players can let their imaginations go wild without the worry of being eliminated. Let’s take a look at how it is played, shall we?

Features of the Fortunately, Unfortunately Game

 ★  Game Name Fortunately, Unfortunately
 ★  Group size small
 ★  Age any (6+)
 ★  Type stationary
 ★  Skill erudition
 ★  Place indoor
 ★  Time up to 10 – 20 min
 ★  Preparation no
 ★  Materials no

Aim of the Game

Fortunately, Unfortunately is an improv game. The aim is for players to have a ‘back and forth’ where they describe fortunate situations that have fallen prey to something unfortunate. Players will just keep on looping through the fortunate/unfortunate situations until somebody is no longer able to come up with a decent idea.

Group Size and Age

This is a game that can be played with as few as two people. You can really play it with as many people as you like, but we suggest that groups are no larger than 5 people. Any more than that, and it will be too long of a wait before somebody gets to say their next bit.

Do bear in mind that if you are playing with more than two people in a group, it is very hard to determine a winner. The game would have probably become boring for most of the participants before everybody has been eliminated.

This is a game that can be played by any age group. However, it tends to work best with children as a way to keep them occupied or as a bit of an icebreaker.

Preparation and Needed Materials

Other than deciding the groups and explaining the rules to the people playing, there is absolutely no preparation required with Fortunately, Unfortunately. This is what helps to make it such a brilliant game. It really can be played whenever you want. 

How to Play

Once you have the groups decided, it is time to play.

Step 1: The first player will say something fortunate. For example:

              “Fortunately, I just received a new iPhone for my birthday”

Step 2: The second player will then say something unfortunate related to that situation. For example:

               “Unfortunately, when you took it out of the box, it wouldn’t turn on”

Step 3: The player after that will then switch back to a fortunate situation, again related to the subject. This could mean that they say:

               “Fortunately, it only needed to have the battery charged”

There will then be this constant back and forth related to the same situation. Things can get crazy rather quickly once people start going off on a tangent to come up with ideas.

The game is played until people either get bored, or somebody can’t come up with a decent answer for the situation. You can then start fresh or stop playing the game.