RSM iPad game review: Stack the States, Stack the Countries

Over the course of the upcoming posts, I thought I would put together my own mini-reviewes on iPhone and iPad apps that my children enjoy. I am one of those Mom’s who is involved in what my children learn and do with the electronic devices in our home (either their Nintendo DS or the my iPad and iPhone). So, I don’t load anything onto my iOS devices that my children couldn’t also play with or enjoy. You won’t find any first person shoot-em up games on my iPad.

This first review is for two iOS educational games by Dan Russell: Stack the States and Stack the Countries. My husband is a bit of a geography nut, so when I saw these titles, I immediately had to try them out. Turns out, they are quite simple, fun and educational at the same time.

Stacking and answering questionsThe goal in both games, is to answer multiple choice questions about US States (Stack the States) or about World countries Stack the Countries). For each correct answer, you earn that state or country. Once earned, you have to stack them one on top of another. After your stack has reached a line (and the line gets higher and higher as the game goes on), you win another state of country on your map. In the end, you populate the US map or the World map with all the countries.

Stack the States iconThe kids’ favorite, since we live in the US, is stack the states. While some of the reading has been above my kids level (kindergarden, 2nd grade), they’ve actually learned enough on Stack the States to recognize a good number of the states by shape and abbreviation. Each round of stacking starts with a photo of a landmark in one of the 50 states, with a voiceover “Read. Set. GOooooo!”. The kids love to repeat or sound off at the same time. I found I am actually quite good at the game myself. Thankfully, I haven’t forgotten everything I learned in US geography in grade school.

Stack the countries image.Stack the Countries is a little harder for me simply because of the content. I know my 50 states, but know less than I would like about world geography. With the same setup of multiple choice questions, Stack the Countries has players earn a country, then stack those countries until you’ve managed to balance them high enough to cross a line. Once you do, you earn a country on your map. The end goal is to fill the entire world map. I think my husband is almost there. The most impressive thing about the game was that the developer is constantly updating as the world’s maps and borders change.

At only $0.99, I would recommend both of these games to parents of grade school children. If I were in middle school, I think I’d still enjoy it, but I don’t know middle school aged children yet. I will let you know when mine get there. I especially like that they are universal apps and play as well on my iPhone as on my iPad with not loss of resolution. I tend not to install apps on my iPad that aren’t built to switch between iPhone and iPad (i.e i won’t play iPhone only apps on the iPad). I am happy to see that the developer here isn’t asking parents to buy his app twice (once for iPhone and once for iPad).

Take care and enjoy