I love travelling, and if I can get my hands on a good road trip, you won’t hear me asking for anything else. Alas, I live in a tiny country, and I also have a job which does not play well with the Internet-free wilderness or the immense amount of money such a trip would cost, so I usually have no choice but to tame my travel hunger by looking at pictures and reading about far-away places.
Another great way to satisfy your itchy feet are travel games. MakeUseOf is not new to the travel-game concept, and two years ago Saikat told you about 7 awesome travel quizzes to improve your travel IQ. There’s even more fun to be had with these 6 Google Earth games that provide a quick frolic around the globe. These two collections include some awesome travel games, with the Traveler IQ Challenge [No Longer Available] being one of my all-time favorites.
Today, I’m going to tell you about two new travel games which are not only fun, but and challenging and educational. By the time you’re done with these, you’re going to know every nook and cranny in this amazing world, and discover much more about what’s happening on it.
GeoGuessr is a fairly new game based on Google Maps Street View. The goal of the game is simple: look at a Street View image and guess which part of the world it’s from. But it goes beyond being an image-guessing game; GeoGuessr is a full-fledged Street View mashup, which means you get more than a simple image — you get the entire Street View interface to play with, look around, and find clues in.
After looking around to your heart’s content, head over to the world map on the right and make your guess. There are no clues. You need to guess which the continent, the country, and even the city, if you can. The closer your pin is to the right location, the more points you’re going to get.
This goes both ways. If you’re so far off you’re not even in the right continent, you’re not going to get too many points for your guess. It’s all calculated according to the number of kilometers your guess was from the actual place the Street View images were taken in.
GeoGuessr is not easy to fool. While you may look around freely, some blatant clues that can give the location away are blurred, so if you’re counting on license plates and such to make your life easy, you’re in for a surprise.
Each game round is made up of 5 guesses, after which your points are tallied and and you get your final score. The better your guesses were, the more points you’ll get for each round.
Try to beat your own score, or share your score with friends and try to beat each other. It’s truly addictive.
The Global Development game is a world-knowledge game made by The Guardian, and brings a more educational twist to the mix. Unlike GeoGuessr, The Global Development Game (TGD) is time-based, pitching your world knowledge against the clock.
The travel game is made up of 3 rounds, in an ascending order of difficulty, but you can play any part whenever you feel like it.
In round one, your goal is to identify as many countries as possible in a 60-second or less time frame. You’ll get a blank map of a single continent, and will have to click on the right country on the map according to the prompt.
Each wrong guess give you a one-second time penalty, so if you really don’t know the right answer, you can hit “pass” to go to the next guess. Each country you pass on will be shown on the map, so there’s a chance to learn for next time, and get even better.
In round two, you need to arrange 8 random countries from the same continent according to wealth (GDP per capita), from the richest to the poorest. You have 30 seconds to complete this feat, and you get bonus points for completing ahead of time. When you’re done and click “finish”, TGD will present the actual number for each country, and calculate your score for the round.
In round three, you have 120 seconds to answer as many image-based multiple choice questions as possible. These are not each questions, but ones that revolve around global development. The more questions you answer correctly in the allotted time, the better your final score will be.
TGD is an excellent way to learn more about the world. You can play each part over and over again, trying to better your score for each section. By logging in to guardian.co.uk you can save your progress and come back to it whenever you wish.
If you’re looking for a real challenge, this game is a must try.
From the moment I first laid eyes on GeoGuessr, it has become my new addiction. It’s easy and short gameplay makes it a true time waster, but one that won’t actually waste your time, but teach you more about the world.
Need a bigger challenge than that? The Global Development game is the most challenging travel game I’ve ever played online, including those hard ones where you have to fit all he US states onto a map!
What is your favorite way to get to know the world better? Is there a great game I should know about? Tell us all in the comments!