In this iPad-only game, the player drives (or sometimes flies) from state to state throughout the USA, answering geography-based questions to win money and other rewards.
To start the game make sure the arrow on the app gauge is set to My Garage. Tap the Play Game button. The app gives the player a choice between starting a new game or continuing the current game. The game chooses a state at random to begin game play. I started in Florida the first time, then Nebraska the second.
To clear the state the player must answer questions about the state’s geography. Players earn $5 for each correct answer. The easier questions ask about the state’s postal abbreviation, or time zone, but tougher questions ask the player to identify bordering rivers or mountain ranges. Some of these are going to be tough for a kid to answer.
That’s why it is so important to study up at the Visitor’s Center, which a player can reach by going back to the garage and tapping the gauge so that the red arrow points to the Visitor’s Center. This interactive database has everything a player needs to know to score big while playing the game. There are fact sheets about each of the 50 states, as well as all of the answers a player needs to clear every state
After a crash course in fun facts about the 50 states, a player can return to his game. Once the player answers the questions, he can choose from a number of contiguous states to visit. Certain states also contain airports that allow players to jump from Illinois to Alaska, or any number of other far-flung destinations for the price of $35. The airport helps a player reach all 50 states without traversing through those he may have already cleared, and presumably save fuel.
Visiting states costs fuel, so at times a player will need to pay $5 for the chance to fuel up by answering more questions, e.g. “Where is the Santa Fe trail?” or “Where is Los Angeles?” or “Where is the island of Maui?”
A player can still progress through the game even if he doesn’t answer every question right. He can actually go until he runs out of fuel, but he will only clear a state after he answers all three questions about it correctly.
In addition to money and fuel, the player can also win achievements throughout the game. Earned money buys paint jobs for the player’s car, or even a brand new car.
The game allows up to three players to save a game, so parents can purchase it with the knowledge that each kid gets his own account.
Geography Drive USA for iPad balances educational goals with strategy and enough rewards to keep kids engaged.
Download Geography Drive USA for iPad from the App Store for $4.99.
What I liked: I liked that a player could customize the sign on his garage. Though the game’s defaults are set, rather cleverly, to Lincoln, Washington, and Roosevelt, it’s easy to change the name, color, and icon on an individual player’s sign.
What I didn’t like: Nothing!
To buy or not to buy: Kids will enjoy playing Geography Drive USA. It’s a perfect surprise to add to the iPad on your family’s next road trip. Obviously, the game is limited to the geography of the US at the moment, which is a shame because kids in many other areas would likely enjoy playing a version for their home country.
- App Name: Geography Drive USA
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Education
- Developer: Spinlight Studio
- Price: $4.99