TYPE: Three different card games with game board map
SKILLS: Geographic knowledge of the names and locations and other features of the 47 prefectures of Japan
LEVEL: beginner to advanced; mixed levels OK
AGES: 10 and up
GAME TIME: LINK 20-30 minutes, WAR 5-10 minutes, HOLIDAY 10-20 minutes
GAME ENDS: When all the cards have been played
INCLUDED IN THE DOWNLOAD: (all PDF) game board (46 by 46 cm), prefectural cards, rules, question cards, map key, flag cards.
A PNG file of the game board is also included (5400 by 5400 px at 300 dpi)
States of the World is a collection of board and card games designed to improve number reading, provide conversation practice using comparatives, and to develop geographical knowledge of several types including country/prefectural names and locations, capital cities, and relative sizes of land masses, populations and economies. There is some element of luck (cards are drawn) but it is essentially a strategy game as players make decisions each round in their attempt to fulfill the winning criteria. The games can be tailored to suit any level of geographical knowledge and can also be enjoyed by groups of mixed geographic and English abilities.
Visit CompellingGames.com for detailed rules, photos, free updates and if you need to buy physical playing cards (plastic or linen) or sturdy game boards. Digital downloads of all the games are also available there.
Currently available: Europe, Asia, U.S.A, Japan.
Africa is available as a free download so you can get a sense of the quality.
GAME 1: LINK (2-5 players)
Each round consists of 2 players drawing 1 card each and playing a mini-war (as in the card game War). Both players say the name of their prefecture but keep their card hidden from view. Player 1 asks a question from the question card. A player wins the round by having the higher number (or better rank) in the category chosen by the questioner; or by answering the question correctly. The winner can either keep the card they are holding or change cards with the losing player. Then both players place a piece on the map board. Play now continues with player 2 and player 3. The game ends when all the country cards have been used. Points are scored for linked prefectures (1 point for each contiguous prefecture, minimum 3).
GAME 2: WAR
A War-type card game can be played if you only have 5-10 minutes to spare. Follow the same routine as above, except the winner keeps both cards.
GAME 3: HOLIDAY
Players start at a predetermined space, draw a card, roll the dice, and move their piece that many spaces naming all the prefectures passed through. When the destination is reached, a new card is drawn.