Ever since I was a child, I have always loved road trips. I actually prefer it over flying because I get to see many interesting things on the way. That's why I am very excited about today's app pick, Geography Drive USA, which turns textbook geography into a fun adventure across the nation.
The Road to Knowledge
Geography Drive USA is the latest app from Spinlight Studio, creator of the highly praised Pixel Parker and Operation Math Code Squad. In this educational game, you are invited on a coast-to-coast drive (and sometimes flight) across the fifty U.S. states to learn about their geographical conditions as well as key historical events.
Upon arrival in each state, you will be quizzed on your knowledge of it. Every correct answer will earn you some money. If you manage to breeze through all three questions, the state will be cleared and highlighted on the map.
Regardless of your performance in a quiz, you can move on to any of the neighboring states by dragging your car there. Some states also have airports which, for a fare, will let you fly to faraway destinations like Hawaii and Alaska.
If you have to drive, do remember keep an eye on your fuel gauge. Just like a real trip, you need fuel to keep your car running. When you visit a state, some is used up. You can fill up at the fuel stations but put your thinking cap on as you will need to answer more questions.
As you may have realized by now, knowledge of the U.S. geography is crucial to progress in the game. If you feel a little rusty, you can stop by at the Visitor Center to find brochures of all 50 states and a collection of regional and national maps.
In addition to partaking in quizzes, there are also many other fun activities to do in the game. You can visit the traveling state fair to play a game of guess the state or name the state capital, enrol in a spelling bee in Honolulu and get a job to deliver goods from one state to another. All of these activities will earn you a fairly large sum of money, which you can use to get a paint job for your car and even purchase a brand new set of wheels.
You can also earn trophies by clearing out regions, achieving perfect scores in mini games, saving up to a specific amount of money and more. There are 16 trophies in total, which you can view in My Trophy Case menu.
Parents Need to Know
Geography Drive USA is an extensive app for brushing up your proficiency in state and national geography. The app has a vast knowledge base, covering topics like the shapes, capitals and abbreviations for all 50 U.S. states; mountain ranges, bodies of water, important trails and railroads; as well as famous landmarks and key historical events.
These facts are then used to create over 750 questions, which translate into hours of gameplay. These questions vary in terms of difficulty level - some of the easier ones may require naming a state's capital or postal code while the more challenging ones involve identifying mountain ranges or important trails.
As it is almost impossible to finish the game in a single seating, the app saves your progress so you don't have to start over every time. It also supports up to three player profiles which are represented by a garage. Each garage sign can be customized with a player's logo, type and color.
To spark a sense of competition between all players, the app has a special section called Geography Drive Newspaper (accessible by setting the menu gauge on the main screen to News) that is shared by all the players on the same device. The newspaper displays the biggest achievements along with the names of the players who earned them.
Things I Like
At Geeks With Juniors, we are fans of Spinlight Studio. We have reviewed several of their apps before and have always been impressed with the quality of their work. Geography Drive USA is no exception to this rule.
The app has a great educational value. With a Visitor Center that contains brochures on all the 50 states along with all the information you need to complete the game, there's just a lot to gain from this app regardless of your age.
It is worth mentioning that, despite the overflow of learning materials, the app is not at all boring. In fact, it's really fun. The whole time I was using the app, I felt like I was playing in a game show to earn prize money and a cool ride. This effect is further emphasized by the retro-style graphics and upbeat background music, as well as the fantastic narration that would sound well on the radio.
Geography Drive USA is a fantastic app that makes learning geography a lot of fun. With so many things to learn, achievements to earn and plenty of other rewards, this app would make an excellent learning tool in both family and classroom settings. It is unfortunate that it is limited to the U.S. geography at the moment, as I am sure that juniors from other countries would also benefit from this app.
Geography Drive USA is available for iPad
Get it on the App Store: iPad