Gotcha Game Rules

by Chris Brower

"Gotcha" can be a fun game among a group of people.

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The game of "Gotcha," also known as "Assassin," is usually played by high schoolers, college students or people in an office environment. The object is to "get" your "target." You "get" them by touching them with an approved weapon (a fake weapon) or hitting them from far away with the fake weapon. Your target is a person assigned to you. The last one standing wins. As you play, it's important to keep in mind that the object is not to actually hurt or harm anyone, but to play the game all in good fun. Although there are general rules for the game, people often change them for their own version of the game.

Game Runner

There's no set way on deciding who is in charge of the game. Some suggestions include voting, simply selecting someone or several people, having the head of the office/school/group be in charge, or whomever suggested playing the game. The person in charge decides on the rules, informs everyone playing of the rules, decides on what weapons will be allowed, keeps track of who has been eliminated, and assigns targets. The game runner also act as a referee if any situations should arise, so that person must be prepared to make judgments.


The game can be played anywhere. It's not usually confined to a field or other closed area. However, there can be designated "safe zones," where people cannot be eliminated. Also, trespassing is usually forbidden, such as someone breaking into a house to try to eliminate someone. The goal is to have fun without breaking the law. However, if you invite your targeter--the person who has you as a target--into your home, then that is fair game for him/her to try to eliminate you.


You will be assigned a target by the game runner. That person can assign the targets any way he or she pleases, such as drawing names out of a hat, doing it alphabetically or whatever method preferred. Once you have eliminated that target you get assigned a new one.

Eliminating a Target

You eliminate a target by hitting him in the torso with your weapon or from a distance if the weapon shoots--for example, water guns--or can be thrown, such as socks or some other safe toy. The approved weapons will be decided by the person in charge. Remember that you're not trying to hurt your target--do not use real weapons. Once you've eliminated your target, report it to the person in charge of the game. Also, only you can eliminate your target.


If your targeter has made a move to get near you or attack you, then you may try to eliminate that person anytime in the future. Otherwise you cannot try to eliminate your targeter.

If You're Eliminated

If you're eliminated, you are out of the game and may no longer participate. Your targeter will be assigned the person who was your target, so you may inform him/her who your target was.

Length of "Gotcha"

"Gotcha" is usually played over a several-day span, such as two weeks. It's usually not confined to a few hours or one evening. This adds a special element to the game, as you have to be on your guard for several days at a time.

About the Author

Chris Brower is a writer with a B.A. in English. He also spent time studying journalism and utilizes both to deliver well-written content, paying close attention to audience, and knowing one word could determine whether a product is a success or a failure. He has experience writing articles, press releases, radio scripts, novels, short stories, poems and more.

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