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- Ages 8 and up
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The Whimsical, Mad-Dashing, Geography Game. Based on the book by Laurie Keller. For 2 to 4 Players, ages 8 and up.
From the Manufacturer
Whoever said that learning about U.S. geography had to be boring must not have read The Scrambled States of America. We fell head-over-heels for Laurie Keller's hilarious story and knew that it had the making for a great game. As with her book, we hope our game provides a fun way to enrich basic knowledge of U.S. geography. Players learn the names, capitals, nicknames, shapes and positions of the states through a myriad of visual teasers, language riddles and geography challenges. After playing, you'll see that there's more to the 50 States than meets the eye!
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This item Scrambled States
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||5.3 x 3 x 8 in||2.19 x 8.06 x 10.38 in||9 x 9 x 2 in||9 x 12.5 x 3 in||2.5 x 11 x 9 in||9 x 12 x 1 in|
|Item Weight||0.65 lb||2.17 lbs||2.4 lbs||1 lb||1 lb||0.75 lb|
Top Customer Reviews
1. The maps that come with the game are not great. On the game cards the states are the actual shapes that they would be on a regular map. However, on the game map, it is very cartoony which results in card shapes not matching up with map shapes, making it harder to find the states by shape. I have included a picture so you can see some examples.
2. There are 10 game cards that are useless in teaching anything. They ask you to find states that are different colors, have eyes closed, are wearing something, etc. Has nothing to do with learning states at all. Some examples provided in one of the pictures.
3. The colors are off. Red on the cards looks hot pink on the maps. Brown on the cards looks like magenta on the maps. These are very confusing to younger children as it's hard to tell exactly what color they are needing to look for. Picture provided.
Other ways to improve:
It would have been great to see the Great Lakes, Mississippi River, or the Gulf of Mexico on the map. I made a replacement map (picture provided) but will be tweaking it to add some bodies of water, and then I plan to create 10 "cards" to glue on top of the useless ones with questions like "Is west of the Mississippi River", "Touches the Gulf of Mexico", "Touches Lake Michigan", etc. It would add some educational value and not take anything away from the game.
Overall, this is a great game to help learn states without using screens. If you are ok with screen time, then invest in Stack the States instead. If you want to avoid screens a little more, then this is probably the next best thing, but it is a distant second. Feel free to save my map graphic and print it out to use with your game. I printed it out on card stock on a full sheet of paper and my 6 year old has had no trouble reading state names (Michigan is screwed up, I know). If I ever get around to finishing version 2 with bodies of water I will post the new map here. With a new map and taking out the 10 useless cards, it would be a solid 4 stars. Addition of bodies of water would be an out of the park 5.
Each player has 5 cards face up for everyone to see. Each card has a state. There is a different pile of clue type cards. Someone turns over a clue and the first one to find a state matching the criteria wins. They put the card in their own discard pile and get a new state card. The person with the biggest discard pile wins.
The best clue cards are "Go the Distance". With that card, you turn over another state card and the person with the closest state wins.
I would give the game 5 stars but it has a couple of cons - some of the clue cards read such things as "a blue state". These don't refer to political tendencies but the color they are on the maps that come with the game. These do nothing to help learn the states. I took them all out. The other con is not all the info is accurate. I live in Georgia. The card lists the nickname as "Empire State of the South". Georgia lists its nickname as the "Peach State". Also, we play by altered rules that make the game go faster and gives the younger one a chance to win. We let each person that has a card that meets the criteria discard the pile.
The game does more for learning the states and their relative position in the country than for learning capitols but if you are playing a game they enjoy, it is always nice to learn at the same time!
The cards are durable. I rated this 4 stars because the game comes with 4 small maps that probably won't last my family forever. It would be nice if the maps were made of card stock. I'll probably laminate my maps so they will last longer.
This game isn't intended for anyone who can't read. Thus the age recommendation of 8 and older. My son just turned 5 this month and he can't read but he tries to play along the best he can. He typically ends up on a team with an adult and he "helps".
This game does provide some family bonding time and is beginning to teach my children about the location of states. I think this game is a neat concept.