Explore Our Planet With ‘Wonders’ and ‘Flags of the World’

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Flags and Wonders of the World, Images: Tactic Games
Flags and Wonders of the World, Images: Tactic Games

What Are Wonders/Flags of the World?

Wonders of the World and Flags of the World are two complimentary games for two to six players aged eight and up that teach geography skills. In the games, you are challenged to match flags or famous landmarks to their correct countries and continents.

Components

Each game contains:

  • 200 Cards
  • Six Continent Boards
  • World Map
  • Instruction Sheet

*NB Our copy of Flags of the World originally arrived containing a world map printed in Swedish rather than English (the other content was correct). After contacting the company, we were issued with a replacement copy and we were told that this was a one-off packaging error.

Wonders of the World Contents, Image: Sophie Brown
Wonders of the World Contents, Image: Sophie Brown

How Do You Play Wonders/Flags of the World?

Setup

To begin a game, you must first choose which continents you wish to play with. Separate out those cards, shuffle them, and deal out the correct number of cards depending on how many people are playing as follows:

  • 2-3 Players: 40 Cards
  • 4-5 Players: 50 Cards
  • 6 Players: 60 Cards

These cards are shuffled together and placed into a deck in the middle of the table to form the Question Deck. All the remaining cards from all continents (including the ones you’re not playing with) are then shuffled together into a large, single deck. This is the Scoring Deck which is also placed in the middle of the table.

Flag Cards at the Start of a Game, Image: Sophie Brown
Flag Cards at the Start of a Two-Player Game, Image: Sophie Brown

Each player then takes a Continent Board and places it in front of themselves with the writing facing toward them and enough space to place cards in portrait orientation below it. They then take four cards from the Question Deck and place those cards picture side up on the four spaces on their Continent Board with the image facing toward the other player/s. The game is now ready to play.

Gameplay

The first player begins by choosing a card on another player’s Continent Board and making a guess as to which country that flag or landmark belongs. If they are correct, they take that card along with two additional cards from the top of the scoring deck and place each one below their Continent Board, attempting to put the cards below the correct continent.

Playing a Two-Player Game of Wonders of the World, Image: Sophie Brown
Playing a two-player Game of Wonders of the World, Image: Sophie Brown

If the player did not guess correctly, the player whose card is being guessed reads out the first hint on the back of the card. If the current player guesses correctly after the first hint, they receive that card and one additional card from the Scoring Deck, and if they guess correctly after the second hint, they receive only that card with no bonus from the Scoring Deck. If they are still unable to guess correctly, the country is revealed and the card returns to the bottom of the Question Deck. It helps to remember any cards which are returned to the deck as they will come out again.

The player whose card was being guessed takes the top card from the Question Deck and places it in the now empty space on their Continent Board. Play then moves to the next player and continues until the Question Deck empties and an empty space on a Continent Board cannot be filled.

Scoring

At the end of the game, the players check the cards they have won and placed under their Continent Boards. Any cards that have not been placed under the correct continent are discarded and the other, correctly placed cards are counted up. The player with the most correctly placed cards is declared the winner.

Flags of the World Contents, Image: Sophie Brown
Flags of the World Contents, Image: Sophie Brown

Should You Buy Wonders/Flags of the World?

Wonders of the World and Flags of the World are two easy to learn games that will genuinely help with teaching some geography skills—at least the kind of geography skills that might come up in a trivia quiz. The games are well-packaged in appropriately sized boxes and also plastic-free, which makes them very environmentally friendly, great for games that teach us about the planet.

I played the games with my nine-year-old son who is just over the recommended age of eight plus, but he found both games very difficult, simply because he hasn’t learned enough about the world yet. Saying that, my husband and I also found both games difficult. Sure, it’s easy enough to recognize the flags of the United States of America or the United Kingdom, but would you honestly be able to identify the flags of Micronesia, Liechtenstein, Armenia, or Burundi at a glance? Me neither. Of course, this is exactly what the game is here to teach, and with regular play, there’s absolutely no doubt your knowledge will improve. You’ll probably just find it frustrating to begin with.

Sample Flag Cards, Image: Sophie Brown
Sample Flag Cards, Image: Sophie Brown

I had been curious how the continents would be divided so there weren’t some containing just three countries while others contained dozens. In the games, the continent of North America contains the central American countries down to Panama along with the various Caribbean islands, and Oceania contains numerous Pacific islands such as Tonga, Fiji, and Samoa. This means that the smallest number of countries in a continent is South America (12), while the largest is Africa (53).

The two games could also be combined into one, large game containing both flags and landmarks.

One criticism I had of the game was that it simply went on too long. Even in a two or three player game with the smallest number of cards (40), we found that it dragged. However, this problem can be corrected very simply by dealing a smaller number of cards into the Question Deck. For a short and sweet game, you can easily get away with as few as ten cards, while for a longer game that doesn’t feel like it drags, twenty felt like a reasonable number.

Sample Wonders Cards, Image: Sophie Brown
Sample Wonders Cards, Image: Sophie Brown

While this isn’t the most outright “fun” game we’ve ever played, it is certainly enjoyable and you will undoubtedly get a lot of education out of your game time. These are not games I will be pulling out during family games nights, but they will be added to my cupboard of homework helper games that I can pull out whenever I need to make related homework more entertaining.

I can also see these being of great value to anyone who regularly attends general knowledge quizzes. Questions about flags and landmarks are staples of pub quiz nights, and these games will help you memorize these locations in a far more interesting way than staring at a textbook or encyclopedia.

GeekMom received these games for review purposes.

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