Stack the Countries

Common Sense Media says

Pile up nations while you pile up geography knowledge.

Age(i)

2
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app gives clear gameplay instructions when needed. All the information needed to answer the questions is contained in the app, but for an added challenge, kids can play the game without studying the flash cards or maps first. The game can also be customized to concentrate on fewer continents, or certain subject areas, instead of the whole world, and supports multiple player profiles.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There is a link on the main screen to a page listing the publisher's other apps. Tapping on them gives you the option to get more information through the iTunes store. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Stack the Countries is an educational geography game teaching and quizzing kids on the countries of the world and their shapes, neighbors, landmarks, capital cities, languages, flags, and other geographical facts. The difficulty is both low and high enough for a wide age range, including adults. The game supplies world maps and flash cards with country facts that can be studied before playing the game portion of the app. Gameplay involves reading questions and choosing from four different countries or country shapes as the answer. The game is not timed. If the player answers the question correctly, they get to drop the country onto the waiting pedestal. Kids keep dropping countries on the pedestal, moving or rotating them as desired before dropping, until enough are stacked up to reach the checkered line. Then the player receives a random country that gets placed on the world map. Once kids receive 20 countries, a second game called Map It is unlocked. After 50 countries, a third game called Pile Up is unlocked. Six different profiles can be saved in the game, and there is also a guest player option.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • geography
  • global awareness

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • solving puzzles

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The cute country images and fast-paced games -- as well as the ability to select the continents and types of questions -- make this app highly engaging. Kids can choose which country they want to represent their user account.

Learning Approach

Kids learn by studying the flashcards and by playing the three games, answering more than 1,000 unique multiple-choice questions, solving puzzles, and memorizing facts.

Support

Individual accounts can be created for six players (and a guest user). Up to eight different types of questions can be chosen. Data is provided on number of questions answered correctly, and the cute map acts as a results tracker.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • geography
  • global awareness

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • solving puzzles

Kids can learn the major distinguishing facts about 193 countries included on Stack the Countries. Through its flash cards and games, kids discover and memorize the shapes, capitals, landmarks, major cities, border countries, languages, flags, and home continent of each country. While kids learn basic world geography on Stack the Countries, they alsoincrease in global awareness about countries' border neighbors, sizes in relation to each other, and unique characteristics.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

Kids can read the flash cards before playing the game on Stack the Countries. For the main game, kids read a multiple choice question and choose from four different countries or country shapes as the answer. If the player answers the question correctly, the country drops onto a pedestal. Questions keep coming and kids keep dropping countries on the pedestal, moving or rotating them as desired before dropping, until enough are stacked to reach the line. Then the player receives a country that gets placed on the world map. Once kids receive 20 countries, a second game called Map It is unlocked. After 50 countries, a third game called Pile Up is unlocked.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

STACK THE COUNTRIES is a fun way to learn and test knowledge on the geography of the world. Since players can change which parts of the world and types of questions they are asked, the game can be tailored to what players want to learn at any given time. The countries all have happy, smiling faces that look at one another as they sit on the pedestal. Because of the different country shapes and sizes, it can take anywhere from one country to a dozen or more countries to stack up high enough to complete a game. The strategy of stacking the countries as efficiently as possible adds a truly entertaining element to learning geography facts. The game also has nice touches like a changing background that displays several different important locations on the planet, such as the Great Wall of China and Ayers Rock. The pedestal also changes to fit the background theme.

When kids answer a question correctly and are given the country to drop on to the pedestal, the country changes in size to be accurate relative to the other countries on the pedestal. So, for example, Russia and Canada end up very large, and Benin and Montenegro end up very small. Stack the Countries keeps kids' and grown-ups' attention for quite a while, as they test their knowledge and country-stacking abilities.

Families can talk about...

  • Younger kids may have trouble reading some words in questions or pronouncing the names of unfamiliar countries, so be nearby to lend a hand with reading.

  • If your kid isn't answering many questions correctly, suggest they read the flash cards first.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Apps for Windows, Windows Phone
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:November 13, 2012
Category:Education
Size:17.80 MB
Publisher:Dan Russell-Pinson
Version:1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Stack the Countries was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 6 years old October 21, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Challenging, but fun!

I gave it four stars because it is fun and loud and it shows landmarks. I recommend it. Parents need to know the states have eyes and kids might get a little scared. Parents can talk to the kids when they might not know something about the country. It is a good challenge.
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