Ian Waller and his family try out ‘The Ultimate Geography Card Game’

Let’s be honest, home schooling over the lockdown is hard work! Whether you’re setting formal lessons each day or going for a more casual approach, there is go much to think about, particularly if you’re mixing in working from home alongside the myriad day-to-day tasks.

So when the chance comes up, why not make that home schooling fun? Our latest attempt at this came with the arrival of The World Game, also described on the box as ‘The Ultimate Geography Card Game’.

The idea here is to test your knowledge of the countries, flags and capital cities of the world. To help out, your supplied with a world map where each country has its own number, and a set of cards, each one featuring a country, its capital city and map, and a few facts about it. With each player then dealt a pile of 20 cards each, the objective is to acquire all of the cards that the other players are holding.

And so we were off. For each go, players take it in turn to choose a Fact or a Challenge. The Fact option is pretty straightforward – pick up the top card of your pile and check out the four facts about the chosen country – area, population, highest point and neighbouring countries. Choose the one you think is best, compare it to the top card of everyone else’s pile and whoever has the highest number wins all of the cards. So very much like Top Trumps and very easy.

The Challenge option, meanwhile, can be a little more, well, challenging. Here you get to choose between Continent Challenge – which continent is the country on my card part of; Flag Challenge – here the flag of my country, tell me which country it is; Location Challenge – here’s what my country is called, now show me where it is on the map; and Capital City Challenge – this is the name of the country on my card, can you tell me the capital city?

Now if the chosen country is France, America or one that we’re all pretty familiar with, we’ve all got a chance. However, if you happen to pick Angola, Belize or one of the many which we knew by name but had very little idea whatsoever about them apart from that, we struggled.

So did it work? Did we have a good time and learn something along the way? Well, yes, even if it also showed up our pretty awful knowledge of world geography outside of Western Europe and North America (and even then, we didn’t exactly shine…).

By not taking it massively seriously, we had a really enjoyable game and learned a fair bit along the way. When it came to picking out countries on the map, we used a system of warm, warmer or ice cold to help the younger players, while clues were introduced to help with the names of capital cities, such as ‘the first syllable sounds like something you’d carry shopping in’ (in case you’re wondering, the answer to that one was Baghdad…).

And yes, along the way, we did learn about the size of some countries and how big their population is, which country is on which continent and how utterly confusing flags are.

OK, no, this isn’t a great game for younger players, but for ages 10 and upwards, particularly if they’re studying world geography at school, we can recommend that you give The World Game a go. And along the way you just might find out just what the capital of Kiribati is…

The World Game costs £18.18 from https://greatcardgame.com/