Today is the last third time, when we are returning to Cortex games series. This time, we will together look at variant with subtitle Geo. Like the previous two boxes, this one also comes from the workshop of the company Captain Macaque and Esdevium Games distribution across Europe. It offers ninety cards, ten of which are specially covered with tactile materials. And again, you will be collecting pieces of the brain – quarters made of colored cardboard.
Before we answer question, that all of us are most interested in (how different is Geo from other versions?), we should briefly recall together, how Cortex actually plays. Opponents measure their strength in the various tasks, that are gradually revealed from a deck of cards. All are focused on reactions. Exceptions are tactile task, that involves only one of the participants (winner of the previous round). Player has to correctly identify here one of ten cards by touch. After a correct answer, player always gets that card. However, only two of the same type can be exchanged for one quarter of the cardboard brain. Whoever completes picture of whole gray matter from four parts is the winner.
It all starts with very well-known task: memory. Players try to memorize a set of images, but instead of having some dull images, you will be looking on geography stuff. Who believes first to remember all pictures correctly slaps the card with his hand, therefore covering it and must now list all images on the card without revealing it.
Although maze tasks work the same way at first gland, game now also involves knowledge, in addition to the speed. Players must find connection between country (its flag, silhouette, etc.) or city and things typical for it. It may be a symbol (such as pyramids) or words. You will immediately get the feeling, that you are playing a slightly different game.
But the flags have their own separate tasks. Players must choose the only one right flag for depicted country. Here it starts going gets tough, because flags are not easy to discern. Duplicate task also does not work the same way. On the cards, players are not looking directly for the same picture, but two symbols, that represent the same country! Conversely, another type of tasks reckons, that players will find the only symbol, that does not have land in common.
Last traditional task is counting the population. Among three countries represented, players are tasked to choose the one, that is largest compared in number of inhabitants. And so, we are left now only with the tactile challenge, which offers the euro, Italian pasta or Eiffel Tower.
Cortex Geo Challenge took its geographic theme really to heart. Makers have managed to transform virtually all types of tasks and include some element of knowledge and thus sufficiently distinguish the game. It is certainly change to be welcomed. However, it also has the effect, that just Cortex Geo is probably the most challenging of the trio with age requirement and children will have problems solving some of cards.
Because tasks on the cards are actually such puzzles themselves, you will find also the key to their solution at the end of the rulebook. It’s something new, because all other versions did not need it – they had a solution visible at first sight.
Unfortunately, just because they are devoted to individual themes and known countries, it is possible to better remember them by finding the right solution. And thanks to it, replayability suffers over time. If you play Geo Cortex regularly and often. You will then remember correct solutions and it will get back down to the reaction contest.
Other features of the game remain valid. Mainly it’s gameplay, where obtaining card is not prerequisite for victory. Only after completing two cards of the same kind, player gets closer to defeating his opponents, because he receives new part of brain. And then there are, of course, touch cards, that are the main reason, why you’ll want to check out this news. Whole game is fast and fun, especially in the higher number of participants.
Cortex Geo still has the same great gameplay mechanics. On top of that, It classifies also with its knowledge element. At the same time, this new parameter is also reason, why answers to some of the cards are easily remembered. That does not alter the fact, that Cortex is great fun. And that goes for Cortex Geo as well.
Review: Cortex Geo – brain as a globe
Cortex Geo is a game, that continues successful series, remains faithful to it, but at the same time is sufficiently different. Individual tasks are focused on the knowledge of countries and their symbols. Players can not therefore win only through reflexes, but they must also know something. There is not so much cards, that it was not possible to gradually remember solutions and thus the game loses on the versatility and charm of its siblings. Fortunately individual tasks are really fun even then. Therefore Cortex Geo is perfect party game for those, who like added value to classical reaction games.