A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that National Geographic Challenge is a fun, well-made quiz game/board game mash-up that features thousands of tough, challenging questions covering just about any topic that fits under the broad umbrella of world history and geography. There's not much to be concerned about, content-wise, but be aware that these questions can be real stumpers. Even the "easy" level should pose a challenge to most players. Also, be aware that there is simulated betting in certain rounds of the game, as players need to wager points on whether they'll answer a question right or not.
What's it about?
National Geographic Challenge offers multiple game modes for world trivia buffs. One is a game-show-like quiz format, while another works like a board game that sort of plays like Risk, but with trivia battles instead of armies. Players move around a global map, winning territories by answering questions correctly. There's also a slew of visual photo puzzles that can be played individually, outside of the quiz and board game modes.
Is it any good?
The standard quiz show mode of National Geographic Challenge is pretty great unto itself. But the "Explorer Mode," which plays like a world-conquering board game, is a fresh and exciting addition that is especially fun with four players. All modes make good use of photo and video clues, and it's nice to have access to those picture puzzles even when you're not looking for a full-on trivia challenge. The questions are real doozies, though, so be prepared to hear plenty of "wrong!" buzzers. Unless you feel completely confident on your knowledge of, say, the reigns of Soviet premiers or the populations of South Pacific islands.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the historical events brought up in the game's questions. Parents can use the game as a conversation starter, expanding upon some of the subjects that appear.
Does your family prefer playing family games on a console or around the kitchen table? Why or why not?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Social Studies: events, geography, history
- Skills: Collaboration: meeting challenges together
Thinking & Reasoning: deduction, logic, memorization
- Price: $19.99–$29.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Ignition Entertainment
- Release date: November 29, 2011
- Genre: Educational
- ESRB rating: E for Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Mild Suggestive Themes
For kids who love playing with others
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.