I think one of the best ways to teach kids is by the use of games. Interactive learning helps to solidify what is being taught and helps making learning fun for all. Dig-It! Games provides just that with their educational games. For this review, we received online access to Mayan Mysteries (Online Game).
About the Product
Mayan Mysteries teaches middle-school aged students all about Mayan history and culture. Your student will join forces with Team Q and become an archaeologist. There is a looter on the loose, Ladrone, and it is your job to collect the clues he leaves behind and catch him. If you can remain pure of heart and committed to protect the ancient artifacts of the Maya, you just might have the mystical city of Ich’aak revealed to you.
The game uses an intriguing story line to engage the student in a race. Clues are collected along the way as you complete a variety of challenges. We were able to learn all about the Mayan culture, practice using Mayan math, learn all about their calendar and so many interesting facts. You travel to eight Mayan cities and talk to people that lived during that time. After talking to each person in each city, you complete a challenge.
The challenge can be something simple like multiple choice questions, finding hidden objects, decoding glyphs, or more challenging activities like computing accounting records using their math units or working with their calendar.
We discovered that the Mayan people used a very advanced (and complicated) calendar system, made pyramids and had very sophisticated method of managing their water resources. The Mayan believed in many different gods and their culture is steeped in their beliefs.
As you work through the various challenges, you collect artifacts and clues that will help you. As the story progresses, the story “builds” in comic book style format. My youngest was especially interested in watch the comic book expand.
There are ways to expand the learning with additional lessons and printables. However, your students will learn plenty by just playing the game (sometimes my kids will complain that I try to make everything “school” hehe) because everything is historically accurate and the game includes over nine hours of interactive gameplay. The game can be played online or iPad (7.1 iOS or later) and is available for single player or classroom use. We strictly played online (Chrome and Firefox browsers) since our iPad is older; however, the vendor’s website states that the mobile app contains all of the same content as the online version.
I love to incorporate fun in our studies and educational games certainly helps with that. The game is easy for independent learning however, I would caution that you might want to sit alongside your student as they work. The Mayan practiced rituals (including offering human sacrifices) that are explained in detail in the game. I originally allowed my eight year old to sit with my sixteen year old and they worked through the game together. While listening to them play the game, I did have some concerns and decided not to allow my youngest to play it anymore. Note that it is recommended for middle school and up so I should’ve listened. Use your own judgement for your family.