Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. The app has a library of more than 1,300 past National Geographic Bee questions and 1000+ locations. And you also get the classic National Geographic Society song when you open the app.
GeoBee Challenge app is taking users on a journey to explore the world while testing their geographic knowledge. We don’t think it will be appropriate for beginners as they will find questions and map rounds too difficult if they are just interested in geography facts. The app has an intuitive interface that is easy to use and we think it’s a good idea to go through the instructions on how to play before using the app mainly because the scoring system is rather complex.
Game play is organized into rounds of three different types of challenges, each one involving 5 locations that need to be identified correctly. The three rounds are:
• Multiple-choice challenge – you have to tap on the right answer
• Map challenge – you need to identify a location by zooming, pinching and tapping your way to mark your answer on an interactive map
• Bonus Rounds – you are given a photo from the National Geographic photographs and you have to locate what’s in the photo – as an added challenge you are not told what the photo represents or where it was taken to make it more difficult
To complete the game and become a GeoBee champion you have to get through all 15 rounds (75 challenges in total). There is a 44 seconds time limit to answer the questions so you need to be quick because the faster you answer the better your score will be. While playing the game we discovered that you can re-answer a question by tapping again on it, at which point the timer freezes and you can keep continuing until you get the right answer. This is a glitch in the app that can be easily fixed, but easily allowed us to cheat the app.
Another surprise was how accurate you need to be in the map challenge. To get the maximum score you need to tap on the exact location of the area in question – getting nearer will still get you some points because partial accuracy points are received for reasonably close answers. It was daunting to start with and we soon realised pointing cities on the map was more difficult than we anticipated. After playing a few times our game improved considerably because we took our time to zoom in on the country in question and then focus on the marked locations within it. Some of the questions are duplicated but they occurred just four times in half an hour, which is not too bad.
We have to say that the majority of questions in the multiple choice challenge are focused around the USA geography, but all the other quizzes cover the rest of the world. We ended up challenging ourselves on who gets the best score and kept checking our top scores under the Community tab from the main screen. That’s when we noticed the Open Feint icon that unsurprisingly was inactive –the social platform for games was discontinued last year. The app is well priced at £1.49 and if your kid is already interested in geography this is one of the geography apps that will continue challenging him. Despite all the minor glitches we enjoyed the playing with the app and scored it with a 4 stars EAS Certification. Take the GeoBee Challenge!