Byron's Games Review: A Geography Board Game

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We are a board game family. Perhaps to a fault, because we're running out of room for games, but just keep getting more! I can't pass up a good educational game, though, so when Byron's Games offered to send their award-winning Continent Race board game, I jumped at the opportunity!

Suitable for ages 7+, this game helps teach kids (and adults...) about the countries all over the world, their flags, the continent they're on, and their capital cities. "Created by a kid for kids" (the tagline on the box!), it's a fairly simple game, but well-made and appealing. Players need to collect a certain number of cards from each continent in order to win the game, and it's a race to gather countries from all around the globe!

There are several different ways of playing, with multiple levels of challenges to appeal to different levels - when the kids played on their own, they started with no "mystery" cards, which meant that every card was color-coded to correspond with its continent. Once you add in mystery cards, you have to figure out which continent a country belongs to, because it will no longer be color-coordinated with similar countries. I liked the mystery aspect, as did our 10-year-old, but the younger kids got frustrated by it since their grasp on geography is not quite as advanced. So we made the mystery cards a collaborative effort, which made everything even more fun!

The board is sturdy, as is the box, and the cards are just the right size for small hands and large alike. I almost wish there were a pronunciation guide included for trickier country names, but I think a better option would simply be to do an internet search to hear the proper pronunciation!

We have found ourselves playing several times over the past month, and it has been interesting to see how well the kids remember where each country actually is. I noticed that when we all search the map together to find the exact location of each country, everybody remembers better where it is next time. I also found that apparently the fact that one of our seven-year-olds reads one atlas that we have fairly often means that she already knows about a whole lot of countries and their locations!

I found it interesting that the makers of the game chose to include (with stars next to their names) some countries/territories whose independence is disputed (Palestine, for example), but did not include Taiwan (which made my husband pretty angry, and we wondered if it's because the game is made in China).

I can see us pulling this game out quite a bit in the future, considering how simple it is. While my 7-and-up children enjoyed it the most, I think it could work for kids as young as 4 or 5 as well, if they simply focus on the color of the cards and the countries' flags. Or they could play as a team with older siblings or parents.

We found ourselves eager to continue the game even when we had a winner! Everybody wanted to keep playing until they each managed to collect cards from every continent, leading to even more learning fun.

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