Sometimes there aren’t enough minutes in the day to play. Have you ever noticed that the kids always want to play on the computer or the iDevices? Mine would play all day…if we let them, which we don’t, by the way.
What I’m getting at is this…some games are actually beneficial games, learning games, and often times the kids don’t even realize that they are retaining quality information. Which leads me to my actual point, we recently reviewed Roman Town (an iOS game for the iPad) and Mayan Mysteries (an online computer game) from Dig-It! Games. **
Roman Town is a fun game that is played on the iOS platform, primarily the iPad from Apple. Once downloaded we were able to access the entire game and poke around a bit. The storyline that goes along with this game is the basic history of Rome. There are five levels in the game, each named for something specific in Rome.
- Streets of Pompeii
- House of Vettii
- Temple of Jupiter
Once you enter a level, you must complete the playing area as BOTH of the main characters, Fiona and Charlie. These two young people are studious explorers and adventurers. During the level you are given fun facts about Rome and the Roman people, including the soldiers. The games that are played by the users are based on games that were played in the Roman era. The games provide a plethora of learning for the users, here are the games and the learning that they provide:
- Calculi: a strategy game of 5 stones in a row to win
- Roman numerals: correctly identify as many as possible, this is a timed game
- Concentration: matching pairs / memory game
- Knucklebones: roman numeral game of chance, usually played by Roman soldiers
- Code Breaker: critical thinking / logic to open a lock
- Jigsaw: logic game to identify a photo
- Pipes: problem solving
- Maze: problem solving / logic
There is an option for the user to listen to all of the facts and directions being given. The user just needs to tap the speaker icon at any time.
A unique combination of historical facts and fun games for the user. The games are quite enjoyable and once you complete the game, you can reset to start all over again!
Mayan Mysteries is an online computer game.
Once you are set up with your new account you can jump right into playing! This is an amazing storyline that shows the main characters Fiona and Charlie on the trip of a lifetime with their Uncle Alex. When the game begins you are taken through their storyline and introduced to the characters. There are numerous levels, achievements, artifacts, and more in this game.
Since this is an online game, there is a High Score that shows where you sit among everyone playing. Each time you login you have the option to resume your current game or start a new one. Here are some examples of the information being given about the Mayan world:
The game revolves around the excavation of the Mayan ruins. There is a bad guy on the loose that the kids and their Uncle Alex are trying to find, as well as learn new things along the way. There is so much information about the Mayan culture that there are pages upon pages of facts and details.
A feature that is helpful is the speaker feature that allows the user to listen to all of the facts, instead of having to read all of the information themselves.
Some of the actual games that were played and what they taught:
- Questions and Answers about the facts that are given
- Find the Artifacts: matching / recognition / memory
- Deciphering the Glyphs: matching / logic
- Puzzles: logic
This game is a very full lesson on the Mayan people. This is an excellent and fun way for the users to learn about a culture from long ago. There are so many fascinating facts, some information that we even still use today.
How These Games Worked for Us
Both games are suggested for middle school grades but I have to be honest, I really enjoyed the games myself!
Ana, my 10 year old, was the only other user for these games. She learned so much about the Mayan people and so enjoyed all of the games in Roman Town. Her time was spent listening to the Mayan Mysteries storyline and then completing the Q&A and games. She was so amazed at all of the tools and hard work that the Mayans had even “way back then”. She thought is was really cool about the Three Sisters from Mayan culture. (The three plants that are usually planted together for amazing growth, corn, beans, and squash.)
She enjoyed the different voices used for each character that spoke during the story. Also the fact that there was a mystery to be solved. Ana enjoyed searching for clues as well as seeing all of the areas that the Mayan people were originally located. She said she felt challenged when it came time to answer the questions in the Q&A, she wanted to do well so that the looters didn’t make it ahead!
When she played Roman Town she had a wonderful time with the games. Truth be told, this was her favorite game out of the two we reviewed. She loved the logic games and she loved trying to outwit the individual games so that she could win.
Both games were well received, easy to access, and play. We had no issues with logging in and all of the directions were easy enough for her to understand on her own.
We (yes, we) look forward to finishing the Mayan Mysteries to learn the outcome and continuing to enjoy the games in Roman Town.
These games are an ingenious way to incorporate history and fun in learning. We would recommend both games, as we thought they were extremely fun to play!
** These games are aligned with Common Core Standards. **
See what my fellow Review Crew members had to say:
We hope you enjoyed this latest review and visit again soon to see what else we using!
In His Grace.