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Stack the Countries

Educational Value:
Fun Factor:
Skills:Community & Cultures, Geography, Shape Recognition, Map Skills

What we like best:

This app does a solid job of tackling geography—a somewhat dry subject—in a format kids will enjoy.

What you should know:

The free version has ads, and prompts players to buy the full version and other apps by the same developer.
Full Review:

Teaching geography can cause droopy eyelids—give kids a reason to study maps with this fast-paced game! Astana is the capital of which country? If kids can come up with the correct answer, Kazakhstan, they’ll earn a country to add to their “stack”—a Tetris-like onscreen tower of animated country shapes.

When the stack is high enough to reach the goal line, players earn a country reward. These bordered blocks are expressive, cheering on correct answers and frowning when an incorrect guess is made. The questions aren't always easy, but the challenge motivates children to learn the comprehensive range of geological facts presented. The cheery, animated graphics may be a bit young for grade 5 if not for the beautiful photographic background, which creates an eye-pleasing contrast. Both factual information, like capital cities and landmarks, and shape recognition skills are targeted.

The free version has some ads, but the quality of the questions and the depth of information are still high. There's only one level of difficulty, but players can opt to focus on cities, borders, capitals, languages or a combination. Young competitors will especially like the multi-player function, which pits players against each other to compete for countries, high scores and bragging rights.

Teacher Features:
The multi-player function lends itself nicely to classroom-wide competition and high-score comparison.
Reviewed 2012-10-17 on iPhone iOS5 by Roberta Munoz

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