GeoGuessr is—you guessed it!—a geography game that involves making (educated) guesses. It has been around since 2013, but, unlike a lot of other “freemium” online games, it has stood the test of time well.
Here’s how the gameplay works:
You’re dropped into a random Google Streeview scene. Based on whatever clues you can identify—the variety of the flora, the aesthetics of the road signs, the models of the cars, the name brands advertised on the billboards, etc.—you try to guess your location by placing a virtual pin on a world map.
“Oh,” you might say, “the stripes on this highway have rural Argentina written all over them.”
Or, “Okay, I’m seeing an apartment that has what looks like an ‘à louer‘ sign in the window. Am I in Paris? Lyon? Montreal?”
The closer your guess ends up being to your randomly selected location, the more points you receive. It’s exciting to see that you’ve correctly guessed the right country—or even the right region of the right country. On the flip side, it’s disheartening to see that you were an ocean away. I suppose it’s theoretically possible that the game would place you on the very street where you reside!
For one of my guesses, GeoGuessr plopped me down in the middle of a big, empty stadium. I guessed Amsterdam. It ended up being Copenhagen. A bigger soccer fan may have fared better than I did!
I was proud of this one. My mind went straight to Eastern Europe. I kind of haphazardly guessed a spot near Jelgava, Latvia, and the real location ended up being just 118 miles away in Klaipeda, Lithuania. Not bad at all!
In this case, I saw the rocky landscape and the sparse, scraggly plants and guessed a city in the Northern Territory of Australia. The real location: 6,592 miles away, just outside South Africa’s Camdeboo National Park. Oops.
Creating a GeoGuessr account gets you one free game consisting of five locations each day. A premium account, which costs $1.99–$2.99 per month as of October 2020, gives you unlimited gameplay, as well as the option to play with friends, create leagues, earn badges, and build your own custom maps.
As far as opportunities for “armchair travel” go, GeoGuessr hits the spot!