Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Whether you homeschool or send your kids to a public or private school, you are not the only one with a lot more one-on-one time with your children these days! With co-ops and extracurricular activities canceled as well, everyone’s looking for ideas to do with home-bound kids during this coronavirus quarantine!
At our house, my kids love to play board games–especially my nine-year-old son. I think it’s his love language! So, when we had the opportunity to review Continent Race by Byron’s Games, I jumped at the chance. Of course, when I received this product several weeks ago, I had no idea that we would be able to share this with other families who are looking for unique ways to educate their kids and have fun while school is canceled.
We have been studying about a lot of different cultures around the world, but I felt like the kids were not getting enough geography in their lessons. I didn’t want to add another curriculum, so I was excited to learn more about this unique geography game that was “created by a kid for kids” (according to the company slogan!).
I wasn’t sure what to expect. But when the box showed up in the mail, I knew this was a quality product. The box itself is very eye-catching with the bright orange and dark blue colors. And I actually felt like this product was a lot sturdier and would endure a longer life with my kids, who tend to be pretty rough on our games. The box came with one world map, five continent lists with maps, 205 country cards, and three Antartica wild cards–just as promised on the content list.
Our family gathered around the fireplace one afternoon to figure out the rules together. The game is for 2 or more players, so it was a perfect bonding time for our family of five. Of course, our six-year-old felt a little left out as the game is for ages seven and up, but she worked with Daddy and was able to sort of figure out things by using the color codes on the cards.
I’ll admit that the first time playing the game did not go well. The rules were a little confusing. The purpose of game is to be the first one to get four countries from each continent, except for Australia/Oceania, which only needs two countries. Simple enough, right?
The confusing part comes in the form of the Advanced Level Play. Throughout the deck are orange mystery cards. Before you are able to determine if you have enough cards to complete one continent set, you have to figure out which continent that country belongs to. It would have been better if these cards had been in a different pack that could be set aside for Advanced Level Play. Instead, they were mixed in with other cards and looked like the other cards. The only way to tell they are different is the small question mark at the bottom of the card. Also, the instructions for Advanced Level Play are mixed in with the other instructions. It would be much clearer if there was a separate section blocked off with all of the rules for Advanced Level Play.
The game took us a while on the first round of play because we kept having to refer back to the instructions. After playing together the first day, my kids were ready to pack up the game and never get it out again. So, I waited a few days before bringing it back out.
The second time was different. My husband had taken time to really go over the rules beforehand and had figured out what we were supposed to do. The kids gathered around with some complaining, but they decided to give it another chance. As we started playing by the rules, the kids started to figure out how the countries matched up with the continents and even how to use the map cards to look up mystery countries. Suddenly, they were getting excited at finding matches and scheming on which cards to discard so no one could get a full hand. The Americas seemed to be the challenge to get during this round, and it actually started to feel like a competition! By the end, Mama had won the game, but it really is just the luck of the draw.
Meanwhile, our family was having fun together, laughing and joking, and all of us (including Mom and Dad) were learning about different countries and continents.
The next morning, I walked into the living room to overhear my son ask my oldest daughter if she wanted to play “that geography game” again! He has found a new game to love, which makes this mama/teacher happy! My eleven-year-old isn’t quite as excited about the game, but she was willing to play it again and definitely doesn’t seem to mind too much when we pull it out. Of course, the six-year-old wasn’t really in favor of the game because it wasn’t meant for her age, but I think that could be remedied with some simpler cards that are color-coded only. It would be great to simplify the game for a kindergartener!
Overall, I think this is one of the best products we have added to our homeschool. It’s simple, durable, and educational, while bringing the family together. If you’re looking for something fun and educational to add to your home during this time of family togetherness, I highly recommend you check out the products by Byron’s Games. You’ll also be happy to know that a portion of the money you spend with them is donated to support some children’s charities. Find out more about the kid creator, Byron. He’s trying to make learning more fun kid-by-kid!
Stay healthy and safe and play with your family!
Still wondering if this game is a good fit for your family? Check out some more reviews from other members of our crew!