7 Addictive Online Geography Games to Learn About the World and Travel Virtually
How well do you know this planet we live on? These geography games will quiz you on knowledge of countries, places, and territories in unique ways and also teach you a bit about Earth.
Don’t worry; these aren’t Q&A quizzes or boring tests. Instead, you’ll be shown things like Google Street View images, walking video clips, and Google Maps altered to remove some information based on which you need to identify places. Right or wrong answers often come with trivia and extra information about the place. It’s a lovely way to test your knowledge and even travel virtually when you’re stuck indoors.
1. Geotastic (Web): Best Free GeoGuessr Alternative Online Game
GeoGuessr was one of the best educational Google games that took the internet by storm, with everyone trying to figure out where a Google Street View image is taken from. Unfortunately, GeoGuessr is now a paid online app, which is a pity because not many of us want to pay for a quick fun game. But don’t worry, Geotastic gives you the same experience in the form of a free, crowd-funded online game.
You’ll need to register to use Geotastic, and all your games are saved to track points and rank. You can choose from game modes like High Score Hunts (beat your own high score), Challenges (play challenges set by others), and Online Ranked (seasonal matchmaking modes with points and ranking). You can also play with friends locally or by creating or joining an online lobby.
The Geotastic game works exactly like GeoGuessr. Each round loads a Street View image of some place on Earth. By panning around, you must guess where you are and drop a pin on the map. The closer the pin is to the actual location, the more points you get.
So why is Geotastic free while GeoGuessr is paid? Well, as you might have guessed, Geotastic is ad-supported. You’ll need to view a 15-second video ad each time you log in, but that’s a worthy price of admission, right?
2. Hide and Seek World (Web): Multiplayer Free GeoGuessr Game for Fastest Guess
Geotastic is easily the best of the free GeoGuessr alternatives, but I have to admit, I found myself playing Hide and Seek World (HaSW) for a longer time. There’s something more fun about its interface, as you try and compete against other players online to get closest to the Street View image shown.
You can either create your own game to play with your friends or join a Find Wolly public game. Wolly is HaSW’s AI mascot who creates public games and “hides” in a location. All players then race to pin the location on a map, with points distributed according to who is closest and fastest, in that order.
The ticking clock for the countdown, the live-view game room where you see how close or far others are, and the pressure to get it right all come together for a fun experience. But know that you can only play two public games per day in the free version, while private games have no restrictions.
3. Geography Game (Web): Click the Right Country on a 3D Globe
How good are you at identifying countries not on a political map of the world but on a 3D globe? Geography Game is a smooth and beautiful way to test your knowledge of the world atlas. The name of a country or territory will pop up on the screen, and you have to click where it appears on the globe.
You can select a region (continents, 50 states of USA) or open up the whole globe. There are two game modes. In Traditional Mode, you’ll be asked to identify all countries worldwide at least once. In Random Mode, territories are asked randomly for a predetermined number of rounds. All correct answers will stay highlighted, so you don’t click them again.
By default, after three incorrect tries, the right answer will start blinking on the map. However, in the advanced settings, you can choose to disable showing the right answer or increase the number of incorrect tries before it is shown. You can also choose whether you want to be able to skip an answer or not.
4. City Guesser (Web): Guess the City From a Walking Video
City Guesser is a different take on the concept started by GeoGuessr. It replaces the Street View images with short walking videos taken by real people. Guess the city from the sights and sounds of the video in the shortest time possible to earn the maximum points.
There’s a surprisingly wide collection of these videos bundled into several categories. As you might expect, you get the full world, continents, countries, famous states, and famous cities. But there are also special collections like busy places, fast food, nighttime places, coastal cities, beautiful views, etc. Those are actually a lot more entertaining and challenging.
Additionally, City Guesser offers a few game modes to up the stakes. There’s a Streaks Challenge to see how many countries you can guess correctly in a row or set a radius limit to see how close you can get before a wrong answer. And there’s a self-explanatory time limit challenge, along with an entertaining “no moving challenge” where the videos are taken from a stationary camera looking at a city in action.
5. Terraclues (Web): Scavenger Hunt to Solve Clues and Guess the Places
Terraclues calls itself a scavenger hunt built on top of Google Maps. The idea is to solve a clue whose answer is a location, and then pinpoint the location on a map of the world.
Here’s how it works. Each hunt has a series of clues. The clues appear in a text box in the top-left. You can search in the box for a location, or use it to run a Google search in a new tab to solve the clue. Then you can return to the box to type the location name.
Often, you will need to zoom in or zoom out to the specified magnifying number for Terraclues to accept that you’ve solved the clue. You might even have to switch from Map view to Satellite view for certain answers. These varieties only make Terraclues more fun.
There are already a lot of user-created scavenger hunts available for free to play on the website. You can also create your own hunts and open them to the public, or share them privately with friends. You don’t need an account to play, but you do need to register to create your own hunts.
This is only an online scavenger hunt. If you want to physically participate in solving clues and locating things, there are excellent apps for scavenger hunts that you can try.
6. The City Map Quiz (Web): Guess the City From an Unlabelled Map View
Google Maps has gotten all of us used to the look of top-down views of maps, noting roads, train lines, waterways, parks, and other landmarks. But can you guess which city it is if all the labels are removed? Put it to the test at The City Map Quiz.
Each level of the quiz shows a snapshot of a map of one part of a city, removing all points of interest, pins, or labels. You’ll be given four options with it. Click the right one, and it turns green, the wrong one turns red.
By default, it starts with a worldwide city map quiz of 34 levels. But you can choose categories, such as countries or continents, and even select difficulty levels within that at times. Some of these require a paid subscription for $2.95 per month, but the free collection of map quizzes is large enough to test your skills.
7. Zoomtastic (Web): Guess the Place From a Satellite Map That Zooms to Reveal More
If you can stay productive and not get addicted to Zoomtastic, you’re a better person than many others on the internet. This geography game is so intuitive, fun, and irresistible that it’s advisable only to play it when you don’t have a lot of work to do.
Here’s how it works. First, you choose either world, cities (with options for continents or world capitals), or wonders of the world. Depending on your choice, a random satellite map will appear on the screen, and a countdown starts. After every few seconds, the map zooms out or zooms in, revealing more details about the location.
After 10 seconds, you’ll see four possible answers to choose one. It displays which hemisphere it’s from in the top-right corner. In the Wonders version, you can also avail of clues like a picture or the country’s flag.
Play Anywhere, PC or Touchscreen
All the games in this article work on any web browser and are surprisingly good for touchscreen devices. Phone screens do feel cramped, especially when you need to see the place and the map simultaneously, but the experience on iPads or tablets is excellent. So go ahead, and test your geography skills.