Monday, July 15, 2013

Dig-It Games: Mayan Mysteries for iPad (TOS Reviews)

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Though we have had our iPad for several months we haven't put many games on it, especially for the older kids. Recently we had an opportunity to review Mayan Mysteries for iPad from Dig-It Games. 

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The Mayan Mysteries for iPad is a game for 5th-9th graders and it takes you on an adventure with Team Q down to Guatemala on a quest through Central America to find the mysterious looter who is stealing artifacts from the archaeological sites.

As you work through the game you learn a lot about the Mayan history, geography, and culture. Every level has a quite a bit of reading along with questions to be answered. Figuring out math problems along with doing map work is also included. You also help uncover artifacts, learn about the Mayan calendar, find hidden objects, and decipher Mayan symbols.

There are a lot of vocabulary words in the reading sections. You could tap highlighted word and find out the definition of the word and see a picture. While this was a nice and useful feature it could make the game really long if you tapped every single vocabulary word included. While the vocabulary words could help you with the questions asked about the reading section, it wasn't necessary to tap every word to complete a section.

I had originally thought this would be a great game for Chantry (11), but after playing with it for a while I decided to let Caleb (17) have a go at it first. It took him a few days to work his way through it. He seemed to enjoy it, though he found the math confusing.

I next let Chantry have a go at it. He had difficulty with all of the reading involved. Thankfully, they do provide an option to listen to the reading which did make it easier for him. He really wasn't drawn to this game. I think for him it was more work than fun.

Destini (13) wasn't interested at all in the game so I gave it a try. I will admit that I did find it a challenge. There is a lot of information about the Mayans and I think after a while I had information overload. I did find that the more I played the game the better I got at the puzzle challenges and decided I needed to brush up on my reading comprehension skills.

I don't thing any of the kids loved this game. Some of that could be due to not having an interest in the Mayan culture. If it had been about Ancient Britain we probably would have been fighting over it. Also, there are quite a few references to blood sacrifices and several 'spirit guides' come and help Team Q in their quest to find the looters.

One drawback to the game is that it is only for a single user license. Either you had to wait for a person to finish their game, pick up where they were, or start a new game. When I finished playing I didn't have any idea of how well I did compared to Caleb since his game was over with. (Since I was pretty bad I was probably better off not knowing!)

Overall, I would say Mayan Mysteries for iPad by Dig-It Games is truly an educational game. All the games included were some kind of puzzle to solve. If you are fascinated with the Mayan culture or study history during the Mayan time period, or have a child that loves puzzles and logic this would be a great enhancement to your studies.

The Mayan Mysteries for iPad is available at the iTunes store for $9.99 or as a single user license download for Mac and PCs for $21.99. You can also try the free demo here.

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