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Game Review: ‘Flags of the World’

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In the aftermath of the infamous study that revealed two-thirds of Americans did not know where Iraq was on a map, it has become obvious that we need to learn more about our world as technology draws us closer and closer together. The Flags of the World game from TACTIC is a great way to learn about our ever-shrinking world, getting up close with facts, maps, and all of our fluttering flags.

tactic flags of the worldThe contents of the game are simply a world map and 200 cards detailing the different countries of the world. Each card is backed with a flag done in quality printing. Simply flipping through the deck is enough to spark wonder in anyone’s mind of the many colorful banners our world flies. The faces of the cards give information about the country including its continent, capital, population, size, and a pair of geographic facts.

With such a strong base, Flags of the World proves versatile: rather than a single game, Flags of the World is four-in-one. The first two deal specifically with flag-recognition. In the first game, players each take a row of cards and lay them out in front of them. Players take turns naming the flags in front of opponents, and, if correct, collect the card with the player having the most declared the winner. The second game is a simplified version of the first, giving a larger selection and making it easier for younger players.

The third and fourth games up the ante by including points systems. In the third game, teams compete to collect cards by guessing as a “host” holds up the flags and giving the listed facts as clues. Naming the country before the clues gives more points. Game four, nicknamed “Star Play,” is the most challenging version of the games. Players pick a flag and name the country without looking at it. If an opponent thinks that is wrong, he or she may call out “Check!” In a move reminiscent of the classic card game BS, the player who is wrong pays a fine of losing cards. This is the most entertaining of the games included in the set, giving plenty of hilarious potential for challenging one another and laughing about it, all while everyone learns a little something about the world.

Flags of the World is a widely variable game that can be enjoyed by any geography enthusiast age six and up. Each game has a different length, and players can always limit the number of cards used to fit a half-hour study-hall or a family game night. Outside of competitive play, the cards may be used as educational flashcards to help with studying either alone or in a group. It is important to learn more about each other as globalization continues to roll, and knowing what flags we are see is a great step forward.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.