Seterra

Seterra is a geography quiz game. With quizzes spanning geographic features, countries, capitals  and cities Seterra knows a lot more about world geography than I do, but it’s a great teacher. It is available for download or online, the primary difference being the volume of advertisements (3 online vs. 1 offline).

Ease of use/intuitiveness: 9
Aesthetics:6
Entertainment value: 3

Seterra African Country Quiz Screen Shot

Me, failing a quiz about African Countries. A correct 1st answer colors the country white, 2nd attempt pale yellow, 3rd attempt bright yellow. On the 4th attempt the target country flashes red, and is colored red once selected.

The strength of the program is its simplicity – especially off line, the user is presented with a simple, clean interface with few distractions. On line is a little more cluttered, but still easy to use. The visual fed back of coloring the countries is very well done, although I would choose a color other than white to symbolize success – maybe overlay the countries flag.

The 25 largest cities quiz, offline screen schot

The 25 largest cities quiz, offline. Before being answered each city is a small dot – look for Dhaka near Ghangzhou.

On the other hand, it is a very simple program that could be further developed. It was first released in 1995, and that is probably why it  is so elementary. Modern students would probably benefit from a bit more flash, maybe more detailed maps with some geography – satellite photos would make a great wow effect – or the option to use night pictures where the lights of cities could be seen.

Other additions would include some integration of international news feeds with current events, and the option to use historic maps. A way to organize classes and track progress (something like Xtramath’s teacher interface) would take this program to the next level.

That said – anyone looking for an easy, relatively pain free way to learn or teach international cities, countries, and geographic features will find that Seterra is exactly what they need.

The menu of Seterra (offline) screen shot.

The menu of Seterra (offline). The game was developed in Sweden, and has much more comprehensive options for Europe, but there is still an impressive amount of information across the globe.

Also check out these other free-ware products from the same designer (who happens to be the author of educational-freeware.com)

  • Sebran (early education)
  • Selingua (language vocabulary)
  • Sephonics (spelling and phonetics – probably best suited for linguistics students)