TYPE: Three card games with game board
SKILLS: Geographic knowledge of 50 American states, D.C., 2 commonwealths (Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands), and 3 territories (Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa) including: capitals, population, relative size, highest point, admission to the union, agricultural commodities, and major industries.
LEVEL: beginner to advanced; mixed levels OK
AGES: 8 and up
GAME TIME: WAR: 5-10 minutes, LINK: 20-30 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), state cards, flag cards, rules, question cards, name key.
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 drawing on basic geographical knowledge of several types including country 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 country 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 countries (1 point for each contiguous country, 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 countries passed through. When the destination is reached, a new card is drawn.