/ March 4, 2024/ Board Games, Geography Games, Social Studies Games/ 0 comments

My family has had and loved The World Geography Card Game for years, but over the winter, we had a chance to try The World Geography Board Game. When I found out that there was a board game version, I wondered which would be better, so I’m sure you wonder, too.

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The World Geography Card Game came out first in 2018 (and was updated in 2019 before we bought our copy), but the board game came out in 2020. Both games include all 193 countries recognized by the European Union plus Vatican City as a UN observer.

The World Geography Board Game Cards

I seriously love these cards. Not only are they more up-to-date than other geography games we’ve tried, but their statistics are the most encompassing. Each card lists the country, capital city, area, population, gross domestic product per capita (GDP), highest point, and number of neighboring countries. A picture of the flag is included on each card. In addition, each country is assigned a number that corresponds with its location on the map. Finally, the continent of each country is represented by the colored circle around the number.

Another thing I love about The World Geography games? The way they divide the continents! I prefer Eurasia rather than separating Europe and Asia, but I can understand that using Eurasia might imbalance the gameplay. However, I think it’s really cool the way they divided the countries into continents by culture, so several countries are actually part of two continents. The most notable example is Russia. Eastern Russia is in Asia, while Western Russia is in Europe.

How to Play

On your turn, roll one die (two are included; we’re not sure why), then choose whether you want to do a fact comparison or a challenge. If you do a fact comparison, you can choose between area, population, GDP, highest point, or number of neighboring countries. Everyone puts their card face-up and compares that fact; the person with the highest number gets to move.

If you choose a challenge, the player to your left challenges you. They can choose between continent, location, flag, and capital city from their card. They can also choose to reverse the challenge, but we didn’t try that. If you answer the challenge correctly, you get to move the number of spaces rolled. If you don’t, the next person to the left gets a try, and so on and so forth. The challenger gets to move if no one can answer correctly.

Board vs Card Game

There are some differences between the board and card game. First of all, the board game, obviously, has a board. This board has a pathway around the continents that you need to get through, with a definite start and finish to the game.

One of these spots on the pathway is the iceberg. When you get to the iceberg, you have to stop, even if you have moves left in the roll. In order to get off the iceberg, you have to answer a challenge question correctly. You don’t get to move if you win a fact comparison.

The board game does have extra action cards, which are kind of fun. However, most of them are on the meaner side. For example, when we playtested the game, my husband found himself stuck on the iceberg. I could see him readying his action cards, which could require our daughter (his challenger) to choose another challenge. So I threw down my pirate action card, stealing all his action cards.

We Prefer the Card Game

After trying the board game, my family has decided we prefer the card game. While the board and action cards had the potential to make things more interesting, a big drawback for us was there was a definite end to the game. With that finish space, we felt we needed to get all the way to the end (especially for the recording). If we’re playing the card game, we have the freedom to decide when we’re ready to be done.

Another thing that my family needs to consider is size of the game. The card game has an insanely small box, and all of it is used. The board game’s box is much bigger, with most of it wasted. If we were to keep the game, we’d unbox and bag it and just store the board separately. However, for us, the card game is a much better fit.

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