National Geographic Challenge

Common Sense Media says

Game show/board game is a blast -- but questions are tough!






What parents need to know

Positive messages

The overall takeaway from the game is that learning about (and knowing about) the world is not only fun and interesting, but useful.

Positive role models

It's a quiz game, so there are no real characters, but you may consider the game itself to be a good role model, as it puts a premium on intelligence and curiosity about the world.

Ease of play

The actual gameplay is quite simple and can be handled by just about anyone, but the caliber of the trivia questions is a different story.  There are two levels of difficulty and the "Hard" questions are tough ones that can cover just about any minute detail of world history or geography. Even adults are bound to be stumped by a lot of them, but learning as you play is part of the draw. (The game always provides you with the correct answer when you are wrong.)

Not applicable

The occasional question may make reference to a part of history with mature themes, such as the ride of Lady Godiva.

Not applicable

The game carries the name and logo of National Geographic.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The occasional question may make reference to an alcoholic beverage by putting it in a historical or geographical context (i.e., vodka is a liquor of Russian origin).

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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 kids can learn


Social Studies

  • geography
  • history
  • events


Thinking & Reasoning

  • deduction
  • logic
  • memorization


  • meeting challenges together

Engagement, Approach, Support


Learning Approach


What kids can learn


Social Studies

  • geography
  • history
  • events


Thinking & Reasoning

  • deduction
  • logic
  • memorization


  • meeting challenges together

Kids can learn facts about world history and geography while playing a game show. This game is more fun when played with others, allowing families to compete together. The game tests your knowledge by asking timed questions, but it also instructs by showing the correct answer when you guess incorrectly. The game uses lots of different media, including stunning videos, and a wide variety of question formats. Players can choose their level of difficulty. Learning social studies facts is wild fun with this competitive game show.

This Learning Rating review was written by Mark Raby

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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.

Families can talk 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?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Ignition Entertainment
Release date:November 29, 2011
ESRB rating:E for Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Mild Suggestive Themes (Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This review of National Geographic Challenge was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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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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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