GeoKids USA by Alexandre Minard/ A & R Entertainment- Review
GeoKids USA is a US geography app designed for ages 9+ It is a universal app that works on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Players can play in 3 different modes: Training, Challenge and Adventure and learn a variety of information about the 50 states from State capitals and flags through natural features and places of interest.
This is the best place for players to learn new US geography facts, and has 4 sections to choose from: GeoKid, Flags, Quiz and Discovery.
In this game the player is shown a map of the USA and asked to locate something on the map. Each time there are several locator pins (usually 7 or 8)and the are asked to pick the right one. The player can answer questions from these categories: State Name; Capital City; Big Cities; Points of Interest; State Flag; Rivers, Parks, Deserts, Mountains and Lakes; or “All Categories”. If they get the question correct they move on to the next one; if incorrect they are shown the correct answer before moving to the next question.
All 50 State Flags are displayed alphabetically by State Name. Tapping on one reveals the State Name, Capital, Population, Area and Largest City. You can tap again to see its location in the US, plus its shape and State Seal.
Here the player can tap anywhere on a US map to see the State Name, Capital, Population, Area and Largest City.
Players can answer multiple choice questions in their choice of 8 categories: States, State Capitals, State Flags, State Seals, State Population, State Area, Points of Interest or “All Themes.”
Here players fly around the US with “The Pilot”, at each state they land in they learn the State Location, Capital, Population, Area and Largest City. If they press “play” they have to answer 5 questions where they correctly pick the right location on the map. If instead they press the airplane symbol they have to answer multiple choice questions. In both cases they earn points based on both the number of correct answers and the speed of answering. As they earn points they can move up through levels and earn trophies.
In challenge mode the player is given the name of a city and they need to accurately locate it on a map. Unlike in other modes they get no pins to choose from but have to do this totally independently. Once they put their pin on the map, the true location is also marked and the player gets to see how close (or far) they were. They score points based on accuracy (but if they aren’t close enough they will score 0 points), and can earn bonus points for speed if their location is close. There are 50 levels in this challenge and they can only move onto the next challenge if they score sufficient points in the current level.
There is a wealth of information in the app, and students can learn a lot of information about the states from it, but it can feel a little overwhelming at first with all the modes and categories to choose from. My recommendation is if you want to use the app to learn US geography and State facts, start with Discovery or Flags in training mode. Once you have learned some information from there, move on to GeoKid or Quiz, still in training mode, to test how you are doing. Once you are comfortable with those modes move on to Adventure. Finally, when you are starting to feel pretty confident about knowing where at least some of the cities are it is time to try out the Challenge mode.
The app does record your stats on how well you are doing in terms of right answers both by category and by State, but it does not have individual player profiles- which would be a very useful addition in families with multiple children using the app.
One nice additional feature is that GeoKids is compatible with Apple TV as well as iPad and iPhone. This means if you have a New Apple TV (4th Generation) and you purchase the iPad/ iPhone app you will be able to play it on your TV as well using your Apple TV (without any additional charge.) I like playing it on the big screen as I think it is easier to get a feel for the geography when you see it on a big map instead of a small one. I think it could may for a fun family challenge game to have different family members playing against each other on the big screen if they added individual player profiles and the ability to play against each other “head to head.”
On the bottom of the screen hints appear to tell you information about different modes, this needs updating as it frequently references countries instead of States (presumably as the directions are the same in their Europe app.)
Overall, this is a useful app for learning US geography and State facts, and a fun way to test and expand your US geography knowledge. It is suitable for older Elementary and Middle school age children. I’d love to see multiple player profiles added and a more detailed information section to help beginners know where to start. It is a little confusing currently as players may find themselves inadvertently taking quizzes before they have learned enough Geography to answer them.
iTunes Link: GeoKids USA – Alexandre Minard
by Alexandre Minard
Price: $4.99 USD
With GeoKids USA, learning Geography is fun.
We will drop codes for this app in the review on Wednesday 30th December.
Codes Please comment if you get one
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.