I don't know if using Google is supposed to be within the spirit of the game, but it's incredibly satisfying to scrape together a few clues, and then home in on the exact spot. Playing it without Google is a lot more boring in my opinion.
The biggest problem is that South Africa, Mexico, and Australia all have extremely similar looking endless expanses of nothing.
I love the fact that you can explore really obscure parts of the worlds in a couple of seconds and it almost feels like you're there. It's a great way of getting a feel for a place before visiting too.
I also love maps in general so this is a really cool mixture.
Yeah, the scoring should be made flatter between 50km and 500km and steeper above. Now there's bigger point difference between lucky shot in the right country and unlucky one than between unlucky shot in roughly right place and choosing wrong continent.
I don't play for the points. I play to be dropped in the middle of a place and explore a place I would have never seen. But I do google since it is fun to be right.
Once I was dropped on a logging road in Canada. It took about a hour to hit a paved road and another 15 minutes to find a sign announcing the logging road ahead. I found a sign and googled it. Even that was wrong. I thought I was in Oregon but was wrong.
I had the opposite experience: once I was dropped in Macau. Where else do you have signs in Portuguese and Chinese and a large baroque church in ruins? I had sub-kilometer precision without even moving.
Question is, were you dropped somewhere with or without a smartphone? :-)
My personal rule is absolutely no googling. I've been tempted to print out a list of all the phone area codes and take it with me in my virtual alien-ship-to-random-destinations since that is something I could actually do were I preparing for such a scenario.
I thought that was cheating, just like looking on the map for terrain that matches, until I saw someone on HN post "Challenge mode: 20 minutes and no zooming on the map". I was already doing that lol...
Sometimes I play with the "no-Google" rule, sometimes not. I am obsessed with this game. It's useful to study the Street View coverage map .
My best non-Google ever was being plopped down in front of a motel in Idaho City I'd stayed at; the second best was in front of the Miaoli train station in Taiwan. Both times, within 5m of the original location.
This was submitted nearly two weeks back, here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5682367 but it must have slid off the front page and into obscurity so I am glad it has come up again and received the attention it deserves.
However, I am curious that the URL seems identical so how was it possible for a new submission to be made? I thought HN just added another vote to the original for duplicates.
I managed to get 24m on one without using Google, but it put me next to a well known tourist restaurant in Ibiza. It was well enough known that once I zoomed in enough on the island it actually was listed.
That was actually my best game; I got the continent right every time. The most disappointing was where I recognized an Australian Ice Cream chain (one of my friends really liked it) but guessed East Coast when it was in Perth.
Three suggestions that came to mind after playing this game for a while (skipping over performance issues, as they seemed to be from the Google street view API and not the app): local storage to save any progress when accidentally leaving the page, specific region gameplay and custom mapping for challenging friends.
By "specific region gameplay" I mean allowing the player to crop a certain region on the map and let them play within that area. For instance, America could be cropped and the player could then be tested at his/her ability to spot the different characteristics of each state. This basically just adds a certain ease to the gameplay instead of being placed into a secluded forest in Asia.
And custom mapping is basically how it sounds: allow the player to place their own markers and share the link with friends. Though since the "sharing link" is currently just a base64'd JSON string, I'm sure customized links could be created with a little manual effort if needed.
Sometimes you have too little information and it's pure guess then and moving just few steps can bring you some more. On the other hand one can take hundreds of steps before giving answer and challenge might depend on time spent so maybe it's not that silly.
It would be best if each step costed you some amount of points.
Tougher than it seems. It's not so bad when you're in a city and there's some kind of writing and architecture, but often as not you're in the middle of nowhwere and it's all guessing based on rocks and trees.
There's other things to look for. Are they driving on the left or right? Is the road dead straight (if so maybe Australia/USA?) Is the road line down the middle yellow (USA and I think SA) or white? etc.
well done. perhaps check IP geo to know whether to show kms or miles. i kept getting the continent wrong. perhaps zoom the map to the right continent so I'm picking where on the continent it is vs where in the world. if you want to make some $, perhaps have some of the places be popular destination cities for my geo and after the guess, let folks click to "get there" over to hipmunk and get an affiliate fee
This was posted to Metafilter about a week ago. I have spent well over two hours everyday with it. I spent about 4 seconds on Tumblr in the last year so I guess geoguessr is worth the GPD of the entire planet.
I understand not moving around the car and not Googling (and even not rotating though I consider it extreme) -- all that is part of the inherent challenge of finding out where you are from visual information.
But what's the point of not zooming in the guessing map (in the top right)? That's just the interface for giving the answer; and restricting zoom just makes it a pretty poor mouse accuracy game. If you know the exact position, you should be given the interface to mark it exactly.
Limiting the zoom function (top right, yes) is a good rule for a speed run. I think I did this playthrough in about 5 minutes. (I also discovered the variation by accident, as I posted below.) Altering the skill vs luck knob this way makes competitive mode a little more accessible to casual players.
And it's also a bit of a geography test. I guessed Moscow (wrongly, it was Minsk) and had to test my knowledge of where in the giant unlabeled shape of Russia that was. Similarly, pinpointing Montana out of all North America (with no country or state boundaries) is a lot harder than guessing "somewhere in Montana" when you can see the outline of Montana.