REVIEW: Geogo! Board Game from Oaka Books

Geogo! is an educational map reading board game in association with Ordnance Survey aimed at key stage 3. The aim of the game is to collect 6 different skill award counters before any other player and then return to one of the two O.S. HQ’s found on the corners of the board.

Inside the box you get: one playing board, 4 x counters, 2x dice, 4 x 10 skill award cards, 2 x double sided O.S. map inserts, 2 x O.S. 50,000 scale map extracts, 2 x 25,000 scale map extracts, 1 x 1:50,000 legend, 1 x 1:25,000 legend, 60 x question cards (with a total of 240 questions), 1 x measuring thread and instructions.

To play:

The game can be played with between 2-4 players, everyone places their counter on the start square and you roll the dice to determine who goes first. There are 4 maps to choose from; Aviemore and Mumbles are 1:25,000 scale maps and Hereford and Liverpool are 1:50,000 scale, one will need to be chosen before you start but the map is likely to change several times during the game to keep the map reading practice varied. Play moves clockwise around the board and when you land on a skills square you will need to answer a question from one of the colour coded question cards. The question cards are divided in to 10 different categories and each card has four questions on – one for each map, so you get asked a different question depending on which map is in play. If you get the question correct you are awarded with a skill award counter and you need to get 6 of these and then make your way back to O.S. HQ in order to win. The 10 question categories are: Land Use, Industry, Transport, Settlement, Landforms, Relief, Grid Reference, Direction, Symbol and Distance (you will need the measuring thread for these questions).

However, you might lose your skill awards! If you land on a ‘Lose a Skill’ square you have to lose one skill of your choice (if you have 3 or more) or you could stand to lose a skill if another player bumps in to you on the map and they want one of your skills! You can choose to change the map if you land on the ‘Change the Map’ square and this is also an option if you bump in to another player if you don’t want to take any of their skill cards. The O.S. HQ’s are placed at opposite sides of the board and once you have collected all of your skill cards you will need to roll exactly the right number to land on one of the HQ’s to win. You can continue to collect skill cards along the way as extra ones will protect you against losses.

We really love this game, the board and all pieces included are of excellent quality and there is great attention to detail. This is such a fantastic way to learn or expand on a wide range of map reading skills and we found it really interesting as well as educational. While the game is aimed at key stage 3, slightly younger players would also benefit from playing in pairs with an adult as the game teaches the skills you need, rather than you needing to know the answers. Overall, the perfect game for teaching some helpful life skills and essential map reading skills, something that many children probably imagine that they don’t really need today, but having taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh award when I was at school, this game is certainly something I would highly recommend for those taking part in this.

Geogo! Geography Board Game is available from Oaka Books and you can find it here.

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