For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dig-it Games! - TOS Review

We recently got to review an unfamiliar and quite different product than what we are used to: a computer game.

Dig-it Games! is a company that specializes in educational computer games for kids. The founder, an archeologist and former school teacher, wishes to "promote creative thinking, independent learning and cultural understanding."
 "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."
They seek to match together adventure, fun and history learning in one product.

Dig-It Games currently have 2 products available: Roman Town and Mayan Mysteries.

We were blessed to be able to try out Mayan Mysteries.
Dig-it Games On-line App photo dig-itgames-mayanmysteries_zps7a4409ab.jpeg
Mayan Mysteries is a puzzle-based game whereby you help a professor and his niece and nephew solve the mystery of finding a mythical city and figuring out who is behind the mysterious looter who has been digging up mayan sites. In Mayan Mystery you solve problems, do Math, learn about Mayan History and Geography and learn archeology.
The game can be played on both Mac and PC. It is an online game so it uses a browser and requires an internet connection. It is also available as an Ipad app for $9.99.
Age recommendation: 11 and up.

Price: $21.99 for a single user licence.

You can try out some of the adventure and the fun through the free demo available on their website.
Our experience and opinion:

Mayan Mystery is a fun educational game. If your kids love computer games this is definitely something to have them try.  Its emphasis is not action but rather education and thinking, but in a very engaging way.
I had my soon to be 10 year old give it a try, and he enjoyed playing it. Playing it a few times a week he was able to complete it within a couple of weeks.
What I like about it as a parent/teacher:
  • It is educational: he learned about ancient Mayan civilization and about archeology (artifacts, looters, hieroglyph, mayan calendar, digs etc...).
  • It encourages critical and mathematical thinking through puzzle and problem solving.
  • It is comprehensive: on top of presenting in depth the history of Mayan civilization, it covers geography, Math, and comprehension skills. It does not shy away from any aspects of mayan culture so one has to be aware of the presence of sacrifices and warfare and spirit guides topics.
  • There is lots of text to read but the company has thought of provided an optional speaker that reads the text out loud for you. That was really good for my son, once we found it, as it was not an obvious option to find.
  • It is challenging and requires thinking: there are questions after each texts that check that you learned something and the Math and problem solving portions are elaborate. I had to sit with my son for some of them to help him go through them. In that regard the age recommendation is spot on.
  • It is not violent.
What is enjoyable as a child:
  • The graphics are appealing.
  • The story and characters are inviting.
  • It is highly interactive.
  • The comic strips introducing the different sections of the game.
  • The going back in time, which may bothered some kids, but for my son was no problem because he considered it not real and mythical.
From my son: "It was good!!! It's history, it's got puzzles to solve, I just like it." My son absolutely loves History.

In all transparency though I have to say that this particular game seems to be the first of a series, so once you finish it it is not resolved, and you will have to wait for the next one (yet to be released), and continue on the adventure. I do wish that we knew that in advance and/or that this was presented somewhere on the website as it took my son by surprise since he was expected to solve the mystery.

That said, this little issue does not in anyway diminish the value and learning potential of the game.


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