Monday, July 8, 2013

TOS Review - Dig-It Games - Mayan Mysteries

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Does your child enjoy solving mysteries and puzzles? How about archaeology or computer games? If so, Mayan Mysteries from Dig-It Games might be the right fit for your child or student. Learning history, archaeology, problem solving, critical thinking, and decoding are all aspects of Mayan Mysteries

Dig-It Games is a company that creates games for online playing as well as mobile devices. Suzi Wilczynski is the founder who just happens to also be a professional archaeologist. The website states:

"Dig-It Games is dedicated to encouraging kids to explore the world around them through historically accurate content that conforms to curriculum standards and seamlessly blends entertainment and learning."

The author of this program has years of professional experience in the world of archaeology and she brings this knowledge and experience to the forefront through her products. Robert Sharer also contributed to this product. He as well has years of experience from the field and spent time in Central America where he discovered the tomb of an ancient Mayan King.

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Mayan Mysteries for a single user retails for $21.99. Once purchased you will have a license valid for one year to play. The author of Mayan Mysteries has an age recommendation of 11 years and older. This game can be played on MACs and PCs. An iPad version is also available through the App Store.

Mayan Mysteries introduces us to the ancient Mayan world through puzzles, games, reading, and problem solving. Students/players are introduced to historically accurate information from the ancient Mayan world. There are artifacts to discover, reading to answer comprehension type questions, puzzles to decode, maps to study, and even math skills are needed to help the Mayan people with trading. The beginning draws the player in with a story presented in a comic book format. As the student works their way through each level of play they learn many interesting facts about the Mayan civilization.

Both myself and Grace played this game off and on during each week we were reviewing it. We have never actually studied the Mayan Civilization so this game did teach about a time in history that was new to us. Some aspects of the game are extremely challenging. It humbled me to have to ask my husband to help me and Grace figure out the calendar and money activities. I felt like both activities could have had more explanations on how to solve the puzzles. Of course that may have been the whole purpose of a "challenging" activity - to challenge the mind with problem solving. Anyway, it was too much for me to wrap my brain around and figure out. This in turn slowed our play time down. Grace is not fond of reading, and there is a lot of reading involved with this game. On that same note there is lots of information to learn about the Mayan Civilization and reading is a good avenue to learn it. When I pulled husband in to help me solve the puzzles he was drawn into the Mayan art and graphics. He is an artist and found the graphics that were included in the game fascinating and has spurned on many ideas for future art projects. My favorite sections were the reading and answering questions plus the "digging" up artifacts. Grace's favorite portions of the game pertained to the mapping sections. Although this was not a great fit for our family, it is a well thought out and executed game. I am sure there are many families that would love this game. Educational and entertaining at the same time.

Go visit Dig-It Games to see the games they currently have available to purchase.

Be sure to also visit the TOS Review Crew to see what the other Crew families thought about Mayan Mysteries.

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