When it comes to learning and education in general, I have always been a firm believer in what some might call “sneaky learning.” After all, why should learning be so boring and dull when there are so many fun possibilities out there, with children not even realizing hat they are learning something. National Geographic has taken yet another step toward “sneaky learning,” but this time it comes in the form of a video game: National Geographic Challenge. Personally, I was hoping this is just one of the soon to be many titles that surface and redefine educational Wii games.
What can players expect from National Geographic Wii? Essentially, this is a trivia game that features over 5,000 questions in both single player and multiplayer mode, and there are also fifteen types of quizzes, which range from true or false, anagrams, higher or lower, memory, fast focus, observation, odd one out and many more. The multiplayer mode allows you to play with up to four people, which means it is also a really good candidate for family game night.
This title offers a pretty promising premise as far as methods to discover, learn and play; the possibilities are endless here. I actually thought it would work really well in my case; I have a twelve year old cousin who loves wildlife and nature as much as I did at her age, so what better way to indulge in that common love while still learning a great deal than National Geographic Challenge?
Though, aesthetically speaking, the graphics are gorgeous, intriguing and exciting overall, the game kind of grea a little stale as far as fun goes. It was possibly made worse by the fact that I had such high expectations going in, making it all the more disappointing when I finally sat down and played it. It is not that the game is inherently bad, but many of the games were a little boring and did not really engage our attention. The puzzles were somewhat fun, but again, they lacked real engagement. Some were actually too difficult for the children to enjoy due to small puzzle pieces being difficult to maneuver.
To be honest, it also seemed to be a bit disjointed overall. Again, I am not saying that it is a bad game, but it definitely did not live up to my expectations. If anything, I would certainly recommend that you rent this game to try it out before going to make a purchase. I am hoping that National Geographic tries their hand at making a fun Wii game again in the future, but I also hope they take a little more care at making it fun and engaging.