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Around the World, The Ultimate Global Board Game Review by Kathy Gelzer

Stacy George
Around the World, LLC

Around the World, The Ultimate Global Board Game, is a lot of educational fun for the family. It is geared to ages eight and above, but you could play it with younger children. Clue cards can be read aloud to children who have not yet learned to read. The important factor and what the game is really all about is correctly answering the questions on the four types of category cards. These are: Culture and Customs, People and Places, Geography, and Language.

The rules say you can play Around the World as teams or as individuals and as many as five teams or players may play. (One note about the game package we received: although it contained five global scorecards, there were only four player pieces.)

Each team or player has a scorecard and tokens to place on the card for each correct answer. The four categories of questions have corresponding colored circles three of each on the scorecard. When a player fills up his card with tokens, he is the winner.

The questions vary in difficulty, and some of the tougher questions have hints. Here are some sample questions: "Ciao" is a word from which language? What is the "countryside" usually referred to in Africa? In which city/country is the Eiffel Tower located? Which region of the world holds the largest amount of oil? What group of people is referred to as Kiwis? Classical homeschoolers will like that several language cards reference Latin.

To even up the game a bit, I let the children take another card and try to answer that one if they missed the answer to the first card on their turn. We also made a modification to this rule: "If a player already has three tokens for a specific category and they land on the same category again, they wait for another turn until they reach the category they need." This can take quite a while, so instead of rolling the dice and hoping to land on the category we needed to fill, we just chose a card from the category needed.

The game board, a standard square size and shape, consists of a colorful world map in the middle with a border of landing spaces that match the four category cards. There are also two World Bank spaces and corresponding cards with special instructions to follow, such as "move ahead one space" or "collect a token of your choice."

A World Wonder space on the board directs the player who lands there to pick one of the World Wonders cards and place a gem on the corresponding location on the world map in the center of the board. This does nothing to further you toward winning and seems a bit gimmicky to me.

A nice addition to the game is the option to buy extra sets of category cards at $14.00 each to tailor the game to your specific studies or interest. There are cards for Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South America. These can be used with the board game or as a stand alone quiz game, especially handy for something to do while traveling with children.

Product review by: Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2008