NatGeo: World of Secrets

 

Learning(i)

Kids explore, collect artifacts in hidden-object game.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players explore seven locations around the world to search for the main character's missing father, helping fellow explorers they meet along the way.

Positive role models

Players interact with various characters who are willing to help in exchange for having tasks completed for them.

Ease of play

The game is easy to learn and play. Hidden-object scenes offer limited hints (unless the player is willing to pay for more), and a ticking-down timer creates time pressure to finish a scene as quickly as possible.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Players need help from others, or they can buy their way through the game. They can spend real money to speed up the game and purchase extra power-ups.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Areas must be unlocked by asking Facebook friends for items, which may encourage kids to befriend strangers on Facebook. The names and profile pictures of top players are displayed on a global leaderboard.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that NatGeo: World of Secrets is a hidden-object game played on the Facebook social network. The game is free to play, but players can spend real money to speed it up and purchase extra power-ups. Facebook friends are required to unlock new areas, which might tempt players to friend strangers on Facebook. As with most Facebook games, World of Secrets can be addictive.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • exploration
  • history

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Intrepid characters, a visually appealing Victorian theme, and fun locations to explore keep kids engaged, although they'll be exploring the same scenes many times over. There is also time pressure to complete the puzzles.

Learning Approach

Kids learn interesting facts about the locations they explore. Items and locations are, for the most part, baked in to the story, which involves searching for missing explorers.

Support

Help is never more than a click away. Kids can earn or purchase additional hints throughout the game and chart their progress through maps and leaderboards.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • exploration
  • history

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • work to achieve goals

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together

Kids can learn concentration and observation by playing hidden-object scene puzzles. They'll learn a bit of geography about the locations they explore, and discover facts about historical artifacts such as the liberty bell as they build replicas for a museum. World of Secrets bakes learning into the puzzle-based adventure, but the fun is dampened slightly by too much repetition of the same puzzle scenes.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

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What's it about?

In NATGEO: WORLD OF SECRETS, players visit seven locations -- including Egypt, the Yucatan Peninsula, Alaska, and Great Britain -- to investigate the disappearance of the main character's father. They receive help from explorers of the National Geographic Society. Players search 27 hidden-object scenes for items, which are then combined to build artifacts to decorate a museum. There are more than 160 quests to complete, which involve exploring, interacting with characters, building, and decorating.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

World of Secrets offers hidden-object searches that are mostly on-message with the game's Victorian-era setting and explorer theme. For example, you might search an arctic scene for fur-lined boots, skis, and binoculars -- not just random junk. There's some effort to liven up the scenes with random events, such as storms and fog, which add extra layers of challenge (unless players buy their way out). Quests and leveling give the game focus and a clear sense of progress. Players are required to play the same scenes over and over again, however, which becomes repetitive after a while in spite of the game's efforts to shake things up with varied item lists and locations.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Facebook's privacy settings and why it's important not to give strangers full access to your Facebook profile, wall, and photos.

  • Discuss the interesting places you get to visit. Which one would you most want to visit in real life?

Game details

Platforms:Facebook
Price:Free With Microtransactions
Available online?Available online
Developer:6waves
Release date:August 2, 2013
Genre:Puzzle

This review of NatGeo: World of Secrets was written by

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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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