Version Reviewed: 2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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Eagle eyed readers will have noticed the price for GeoWiz already. No, it's not a typo. It is $19.99 which sounds like a hefty price tag for an educational game for kids. This is a game aimed at a very specific market though. While raising funding for schools along the way, GeoWiz is also a great way of making geography fun for kids. It's the kind of game that's at home in the classroom environment as well as used during spare time by an adult boosting their geographical knowledge. Unfortunately it's not always plain sailing with GeoWiz a little too prone to crashing for my liking.
GeoWiz offers a plentiful supply of different games in which geographical information can be imparted. Each of them tend to have a similar goal (matching x piece of trivia with y) but it makes it easy to memorize for future reference. A series of memory games riffing off the pairs format is most likely the first port of call. These then form the basis of future knowledge. Players must match the continents with each other, countries, capitals and flags are also available.
The ID game series then requires players to match other variables. These encompass things like matching the picture of the continent with the name, as well as country emblems, capitals and flags. It's knowledge that's easily learnt if the player has paid attention in the earlier memory stages. A similar increase in knowledge is offered with the Q&A section.
Building up the knowledge gained without the player really noticing is a great move. In the case of adults, they'll notice how their knowledge has improved but for kids, they won't even realise just how much they've learnt until it all comes back to them in different circumstances. A series of difficulty levels further boost the trivia with 5 levels ranging from Beginner to Expert, keeping all players on their toes.
Encouragement is provided via achievements and social features as well as a points system for easy consultation. Players not wishing to play all the time can also consult encyclopediac style sections with overviews of the information within the game.
Perhaps most unique of all is the booster club concept. 50% of the game's selling price goes towards supporting a school of the player's choice which is a great idea for a game so perfectly aimed at youths.
GeoWiz isn't going to be an app for everyone. It's more a great tool for a classroom or home tutoring than for a gamer looking for a quick fix on their daily commute. As an educational tool however, this is ideal.