During my school years, I enjoyed learning about geography and different countries around the world. But, I didn’t have the fun learning resources as my kids do today. My app pick for today, National Giraffic, is a great example of these resources. It offers a great gameplay that encourages kids to learn about countries, capitals, and flags, while playing and having fun.
Warm up, Train, and Take the Exam
National Giraffic divides the game into several maps, such as South America, North and Central America, and Africa. The game will show the countries in each map as as puzzle pieces. For example, the South America map has 13 countries/puzzle pieces, whereas the North America and Africa maps have 24 and 43 countries respectively. Your task is to place these pieces onto their respective locations on the map before the time runs out.
Each time you place a piece onto the wrong spot, the game's mascot giraffe will lose one of its mood points. You start the game with five mood points, and you can regain it organically by correctly putting the puzzle pieces in their locations for five times in a row.
To challenge your knowledge, the game has additional stages where you try to guess where a country is located on the map by its capital or flag. You can choose which stage to play with, although I suggest starting with the countries first.
The game has three difficulty levels: warmup, training, and experts. The map in the training level has overlays that will help you locate each country on the map. The maps in the training and expert levels do not have these helpful overlays -- you'll play with a blank map instead. The expert levels are similar to the training levels, but with a shorter time limit.
Parents Need to Know
National Giraffic uses in-app coins to reward you for your achievements. You will receive coins every time you play a game, regardless of its difficulty levels or stage. Naturally, the faster you complete a game and the less mistakes you make, the more coins you will gain.
You can use the coins you've earned to buy power-ups in the in-app store. For example, you can buy a power-up to improve the giraffe’s mood for 100 coins. More powerful power-ups allow you to freeze time for five seconds, or show you where a country is on the map.
The game is free to download. Upon installing, you will get the first three maps for free: South America, North America, and Africa. You can make in-app purchases to unlock the other maps, which include USA, Asia, Europe, and Russia. Do note that the links to these in-app purchases are not secured behind a parental gate, so if you're not planning on buying them you might want to put your device in Airplane mode before handing the app to your kids. I hope the developer will consider putting a security question for unlocking these in-app purchases, in their next update.
Things I Like
National Giraffic is an excellent example of how a great game can encourage kids to learn as they play. At first, they’d want to place each country correctly on the map. Then, they start to remember what each country is called and the name of its capital. Next, they also learn about each country's national flag. It’s simply impossible to complete the Exam for capitals and flags without really knowing where each country is located.
The game is great for family game nights. Its scoring system can be used to challenge friends or family members to learn about countries in the Caribbean or even the flags of African nations.
National Giraffic is a great geography game for kids ages 6+ who want to learn about the different countries in the world. The nature of the gameplay forces kids to learn where each country is located, and how each country is associated with its capital city and national flag. It really is a fun game for the entire family where everybody learns, no matter how old they are.
App was suggested to us.