Instructions for the National Geographic Board Game

By David Ferris

"On Assignment with National Geographic" is a board game that imagines the player in the role of National Geographic photographer. The object is to score the most points, which are awarded by traveling to assigned destinations, filling in the six photos in your portfolio, discarding photo cards that aren't part of your own portfolio list, and answering "Continent Card" questions.

Pregame

Divide into teams if more than four people are playing. Place the markers on the map board in the space marked headquarters.

Choose one person to be an editor and one to be a banker.

Distribute (if you are the editor) a portfolio and portfolio list cards to each player. Each person must roll the die to select (based on an odd or even roll) which side of the list to use.

Deal four photo cards (picture side up) to each player. More photo cards will be passed out at the start of each player's turn. Players cannot turn their cards face-up but they should read the instructions printed on any wild cards.

Distribute (if you are the banker) 10 tokens (representing one point each) to each player. If, during gameplay, someone runs out of tokens, she can exchange one photo card for five tokens from the bank.

Game Play

Roll the die to determine play order. The player with the highest roll starts and the order proceeds clockwise.

Examine the pictures on your photo cards and select one that corresponds to one of the six categories on your portfolio list. Use the category reference card to help you determine if the photo card fits the category. To improve your hand, draw a photo card from the deck at the beginning of your turn, trade a card, or sell it to another player for an agreed upon number of tokens.

Place the card on the map. Move your marker to the country you think it depicts and state that country's name out loud. At this point, players holding a wild card can do the same with their marker. The player to the left must check the back of your photo card to determine if your guess is correct.

Take a token from the bank if your guess was correct and put the photo card in your portfolio. If you are wrong, the player to your left will read the assignment (a clue), also printed on the back of the card. You can guess again, and can buy a clue from the bank for one token per clue. If you have not guessed correctly in three chances, your turn ends and the next players takes his turn.

Continue until one player completes his portfolio with six correct photo cards (verified by the editor.) Then, have each player calculate his point total. Ten points are awarded for filling in the portfolio list before anyone else, 10 are given for each correctly identified photo card and one for each token. Five points are subtracted for each remaining photo card in a player's hand. The player with the most points is the victor.

About the Author

David Ferris started writing professionally in 2006 and has been published in several newspapers. He has worked in a variety of fields including education and law. He strives to one day be an authority on all subjects, great and small. Ferris has a Bachelor of Arts in political science.