The most addictive edutainment title I have ever played since MECC's oldie Amazon Trail for DOS, Globetrotter 2 is an outstanding release from Deadline Games of Denmark, published only in selected countries in Europe by Vision Park. The game is the sequel to the first Globetrotter game, which in turn was made as a spiritual sequel to semi-popular Backpacker series. While the purpose of Globetrotter 2 remains the same as for Backpacker (i.e. educates players on world geography, history, and culture), the gameplay has been much improved and diversified. |
In Globetrotter 2, your goal is to become President of the Globetrotter Society by climbing up the hiearchy. You progress through ranks by undertaking and compleing various missions assigned by the Society, mostly of the "take picture of landmark X or animal Y in this city" variety. Each city in the game has one Globetrotter Society building, and this is where you go to get mission assignments. The gameplay is more complex than it looks, because there are many inter-connected elements. In order to take pictures, you need to buy film for your camera. And in order to buy film, you need to get money and find out where the shop is. As your character moves around the graphically unique and attractive 2D map of the city, his/her energy gets depleted. To replenish your energy, you can either rest in a hotel (which of course you need to find first, or get a taxi to go there directly), or answer random trivia questions about the city you are in during daytime. There are three ways to get money: complete a mission, answer random trivia questions at night, and "work" (i.e. answer trivia questions) in one of the locations where jobs are available - you gain money for each trivia question you answer correctly. Trivia questions range from very easy to very difficult, but most of them depend on your knowledge of that particular city (or the specific subject if you are working - for example, if you work for a botany you have to answer questions about plants, and if you work for a cinema you must answer questions about movies).
The game is a lot of fun because the more you play it, the more challenging it becomes, and the more gameplay elements will be open up to you. For example, once you become a senior member, you can buy SpeedyMint in stores to boost your movement speed on the map (essential for completing missions with a tight deadline), and you will get a watch to keep track of how much time you have left to complete missions. Your experience level also determines where you can travel to. You start off in Washington D.C. in the USA, and can only travel to a few other cities. As you gain experience, you can fly to more exotic cities in other continents including Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
The game has a lot of elements that keep it fun and refreshing - if those thousands of trivia questions are not enough to keep you hooked. From time to time, a jester will appear to offer you an opportunity to bid a lot of money to answer a (usually tough) trivia question. You must avoid thieves who prowl the streets at night, looking for pockets to pick. You can photograph hundreds of many different locations or animals, each of which contains at least a short description and usually some interesting anecdotes. One of my favorite elements in the game is that some of the missions require you to play a mini-action game. These include sailing a dinghy down the wild rivers, race a 4x4 through the wilderness, and climb the world?s highest mountains. These action games are very well done, and are a lot of fun to play.
In the final analysis, Globetrotter 2 is probably a love-it-or-hate-it kind of game for most people. Needless to say, you will likely find the game repetitive and boring if you have no interest at all in world geography, cultures, or non-competitive games. On the other hand, if, like me, you enjoy trivia, travelling, or just learning about histories and cultures of different countries - and some general knowledge in a wide variety of subjects to boot - you will doubtless find Globetrotter 2 the most effective and addictive way to learn. The gradual addition of new features as you progress through the ranks of the Globetrotter Society helps keep the game fresh, and will keep you hooked for hours on end. Two thumbs up for this underdog that was unfortunately discontinued very quickly after its release, and an induction into our education Hall of Belated Fame.
Reviewed by: Underdogs