We were excited to get the opportunity to review the Mayan Mysteries interactive history lesson from http://www.dig-itgames.com/. I chose Eli, age 11, to be my tester. We received the iPad app, which retails for $9.99 on iTunes. This game was designed for kids in grades 5-9. The app is rated age 9+ on iTunes.
This is also available as an online computer game, for $21.99. In fact, they have a try-it demo version available here.
He started using the app before I left for China (taking the iPad with me). The first couple of times he sat down with it, he was full of things like, "Wow! Mom did you know that people steal from the archaeological digs? They sell the stuff that they find, and if they don't think it will make money they just throw it away!" I was touched to hear his indignant outrage at the loss of historical artifacts and information.
His favorite aspect of the game was finding the artifacts. I could tell he was learning when he told me things like, "Mayan kings were considered good if they did a lot of battle and kept conquering stuff."
I was particularly thrilled to get this interactive lesson with game-like features, since we will be studying ancient civilizations this coming school year, and when we get to the appropriate era, I can reset the app to allow Josiah and Brianna to play through it, and maybe even Jack (depending on reading level).
There was, of course, a break in his using the app, while I was gone. When I got home, I had him start up again. The app picks up where the user left off, so it was right where he was in the engaging story line the last time he played. He was able to finish the lesson in just a couple more sessions.
When asked what his least favorite part of using the app was, Eli replied, "I had to find out how much people owed to one king, so I had to do math in Mayan culture. It's already hard enough in American culture! But Bri helped with that part." He liked the parts where you had to figure out dates according to the Mayan calendar.
I mentioned that Dig It Games also makes a Roman archaeological dig game, and he said, "Cool!" Perhaps that will be a good supplement this coming school year, as well.
In summary, this is a fun supplement to reinforce Mayan culture and history. Try it out here and see if your kids would like it, too.
Thanks for clicking for us!