Flags of the World Card Game

Flags of the World Card Game

RRP: £12.49
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RRP £12.49
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Flags of the World is a fun and educational card game that includes all the independent countries in the world. The game helps you learn all the flags of the world, the location of the countries and lots of other interesting information. The game contains 200 cards and a world map. Flags of the World is an interesting game that can be played everywhere!
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Category Tags , , , SKU TTC-02177 Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • It's educational.
  • Family game for older children.
  • Small, transportable box.
  • Good value.

Might Not Like

  • Probably should be an age 10+ game.
  • Not particularly beautiful.
  • Won’t be played as much as some others.
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Description

Flags of the World is a fun and educational card game that includes all the independent countries in the world. The game helps you learn all the flags of the world, the location of the countries and lots of other interesting information. The game contains 200 cards and a world map. Flags of the World is an interesting game that can be played everywhere!

Now, I think I know what you’re thinking! Something along the lines of “Holy cowbells Batman there is a game about flags – that will be high-octane, fast-paced, edge of your seat gaming. Am I cool enough to play it?”

Perhaps you’re not thinking that after all. But here you are reading a review of it, so you are a little bit intrigued…

I must confess I don’t tend to seek out geography-based games. I dare say the market isn’t saturated with them even if I did. So why on earth do I own it? (pun intended)

Well, my wife found this little niche game as a Christmas present for my eldest son, then 10-years-old. He’s one of those kids that likes to bury his nose in an atlas of the world or a book about extinct animals, rather than delving into superhero cartoons. This is not something we have encouraged or discouraged as parents, it is his natural interest and part of his character. So, here I am embarking on a review of the Flags of the World Card Game. This is a family title from Tactic Games.

Gameplay

Flags of the World is for two to six players and works very well at both ends of this spectrum, but the more players the easier it becomes. The instruction sheet says it plays in 20 plus minutes, but to be honest it is really unpredictable how the game will play out and while it could all be done and dusted under half an hour, it can take longer.

The box also boasts that the game can be played from ages eight and up. It would seriously depend on how adept your child is at geography. If you’ve got yourself a prodigy it’s probably true, but most eight-year-olds will be unable to be competitive against grown-ups as they just won’t know enough of the flags to compete. My eldest son enjoyed playing this aged 10 and now he’s 11 he can give his mum a challenge. I’ve probably watched a few too many World Cups and Olympics for him to worry me… actually it can be closer than I care to admit. Alright stop pressing me he beat me the last time we played… happy now?

So, what do you do? Well the object of Flags of the World is to correctly identify flags and work out on what continent they belong. Set-up is quite straight forward. You decide what continents to play, from the choices:

  • Europe.
  • North & Central America.
  • South America.
  • Australia & Oceania.
  • Asia.
  • Africa.

Choosing the continents alters the difficulty, depending on your background you will probably recognise the flags of certain continents more than others. You can play with them all or just one or two depending on how many of you are playing.

Once that is decided you shuffle the flag cards from those continents and then you take out between 40 and 60 cards from this selection to become your question deck. The remainder of cards are shuffled again and placed flag side up and become the scoring deck.

Each player gets a small folding matt on which to place four question cards, these are face-up flag cards. These provide the other player(s) a choice of flag to go for. The bigger the group of players the more choice and thus slightly easier pickings. For example, in a two-player game you only have four cards to pick from, whereas in a four player game you have twelve (you can’t pick one of your own question cards).

Play moves along like this: You pick a flag in front of another player that you think you know and name it. The owner of the card then checks if you are right. If you are correct you get that card and an additional two cards from the scoring pile. They’re then get placed below your question mat and you put them beneath the continent to which you think they belong.

If, however, you make an incorrect guess the owner reads out a clue that is on the underside of the flag card. You then get another guess, if you are correct this time you get one score card to add to your continent board. If you are wrong again, you get one final clue and if you then answer correctly you get the card in play but no bonus score cards. Wrong again and the card is revealed and then gets put on the bottom of the pile to resurface later, so all players should take note in this instance. The question card then gets replaced by the top card on the draw deck. And play moves around to the next guesser.

There is also a folding A3 map of the world which is a handy reference for some of the clues. This still doesn’t give it away by any means. But with a clue like ‘A country with a coastline on the Southern part of the red sea.’ you might get closer to guessing that it is the flag of Eritrea – that is if you know where the red sea is on the map! In the likely event that you are left with a selection of flags you do not recognise you simply have to guess. The same can be said of the flags you get in the scoring pile too, there is some guess work to be done which makes the game a bit more equal.

Play continues until the entire question deck is used up. This is the end of the game. All unused question cards in front of players get discarded and the scoring begins. Checking each continent one by one you look to see how many of your flags are on the correct continents, incorrect cards are discarded, and the others remain on the continent board. The player with the most correctly placed cards on their board is the winner.

I should also mention there is a board game version of this game, again published by Tactic. It appears to be a variation on the theme, but I hasten to add I have never played it so I cannot compare the two… yet.

How it Plays

Flags of the World is easy to learn. Counting out the cards at the start is a bit of a faff but not really a problem.

When other players take their go you wince as you think you would’ve known that one and internally gasp when they say the wrong answer. Sometimes only to internally gasp again when your answer was wrong instead.

Playing this game makes the everyday person feel a little parochial. There is the realisation that you only know a very small proportion of the 195 countries represented in the game. Then you realise that you have only visited a really small proportion of these. Then you think about your next holiday and wonder whether the Isle of Wight really as adventurous as you thought.

Back to the game. Most of the time you are either a question master or being the guesser. Therefore, players are interacting often enough not to get bored or feel left out. Play passes around quite swiftly really. Game length depends on the ease of the flags and your knowledge of them. The mechanics are right, and I wouldn’t change much. The only thing I would mention is that the clues vary in difficulty quite dramatically. All in all, it works.

Packing away is a bit dull as you must separate out all the cards from different continents. That is unless you always intend to play with all the cards.

Components

Flags of the World isn’t the visual feast that some other games are. The question boards are perfectly functional, if not a little lacklustre.

The cards are a bit lightweight and could’ve been printed on a slightly more luxurious stock. The design on the front is a flag and just what you would expect. Verso has the country marked in red on a small map of the continent to which it belongs with a note of its capital city. Below this is the area and population along with the name of the country and continent too. So, there is a bit more information here if you were actually learning about geography in this way.

The folding map is paper, on a good paper stock, and the reverse displays all the different flags, but it is tricky to get too excited about a folding paper map. What I do like is that all the countries have a number which must be cross-referenced with the key below. It makes it feel a bit more like you are map-reading when you are using it.

This isn’t a game about beauty, this is a game about flags, countries, continents and the world. It is just as you’d expect, but it isn’t more than that. So, as a positive, I’m not sure what you could do better. Oh, and the box, the box is small and transportable. I love smaller box games as my three gaming cupboards are overflowing.

Final Thoughts on Flags of the World

Flags of the World had gathered a little bit of dust for about a year. However, writing this review got it out the cupboard again and it surprised me how much I enjoyed it. I’d forgotten what a clever little game it is. Now, having a good knowledge of the flags is a definite advantage, but the clues and mechanics of card placement on continents does level the playing field slightly. As a result, you shouldn’t be put off if you are not familiar with all the flags of Asia, for example.

Realistically though, Flags of the World isn’t a game isn’t for everyone. I hasten to add, for those that it does appeal to, it is a very good game. It is well thought out, plays well and is educational. My 11-year-old son, for example, loves it, mainly because he has a very good chance of winning. He certainly rates it in his top ten favourite games. My wife on the other hand has a long list of games she would rather play ahead of this one and I can understand why. My eight-year-old son got bored a quarter of the way through and hasn’t played it again.

So, in summary, if you think you would like this game because you and/or the people you know are okay (or better) at geography, just buy it now, you won’t be disappointed and it is good value too. Cripes you got to this point of the review you must be fairly keen! Unless perhaps you just scrolled past all that previous piffle to get to the ‘Final Thoughts’ and score. Shame on you though because I tried really hard up there to enthuse and excite!

If on the other hand you’re not reading this now because your eyes glazed over when you read ‘Flags of the World’ at the top, this game is certainly not for you!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • It's educational.
  • Family game for older children.
  • Small, transportable box.
  • Good value.

Might not like

  • Probably should be an age 10+ game.
  • Not particularly beautiful.
  • Wont be played as much as some others.