We love history in our household. We talk about it. We read about it. We visit historical sites. We go to museums. We have a lot of really neat history curriculum. My three boys even hone in on historical facts from the video games that they play - and, oh, do they like to play video games. A few years ago we were chosen to review a great online game called Roman Town from Dig-It! Games and Joshua loved it. It had everything that he loves about video games. When we found out that we had a chance to review another online adventure from Dig-It! Games called Mayan Mysteries, we jumped at the chance to review it. We weren't disappointed. Joshua loves Mayan Mysteries just as much as he loved Roman Town. So, what makes these games so special? What are all the things that Mayan Mysteries has that Joshua loves about video games. Let me see if I can describe them.
Well, the first thing that will keep Joshua's interest in a video game is a great story line. What's the story line? Well it begins like this. Someone has been stealing Mayan artifacts and excavation tools from archeological sites. Professor Alex Quinn has been called in to help. He needs to come immediately. Only there is one problem! Professor Quinn is watching his two 12 year old twin niece and nephew along with a friends for the summer. Who are the nice and nephew? Fiona Quinn - who loves archeology and Charlie Quinn - who love solving mysteries. And what about the friend? Who is he? Why its YOU of course. Professor Quinn has no choice but to bring you all along. So you all form "Team Q" and you're off to solve Mayan Mysteries!
The first thing you have to do is look for clues. Most of the clues seem to be popping up around and leading to different archeological sites. So, one by one you visit different Central American archeological sites where you are taught how to dig for clues and then, research what you have found. All along looking for different signs as to who the thieves could be. It really is fascinating to learn all about Mayan history and about archeology. Joshua has learned a lot. And, don't fear, this isn't any fly by night game with lousy graphics. This is professionally done and the graphics are fantastic!
What makes this game so unique, however, is that you aren't just learning fantastic information about the Mayan culture and about history, but you are also learning problem solving skills through solving the mystery. In this game the mystery is who is who the thief is. Well, you kind of know at the beginning who the thief is because he/she purposefully leaves clues for you to find. Kind of a taunting type thing. The clues seem to be coming from someone named "Ladrone". Unfortunately Ladrone means "thief" so that doesn't help much. However, I'm sure you and Team Q can decipher everything.
What would any game be without achievements that you have to accomplish. This game has several of them. You receive achievement points by finding artifacts and clues, solving puzzles and by answering questions that reinforce things that you have learned.
This game really has everything that kids like about video/computer games. However, it is hard to even call it a game because it is really a fantastic learning tool and can easily be added to your homeschool curriculum. Your kids will wonder why they never had as much fun learning before this! I know Joshua loves it and sometimes doesn't ever realize he's learning. To find out more about Mayan Mysteries and about Dig-It! Games. Just click on any of the highlighted links above. Oh, and do you remember the other game that I said we reviewed from Dig-It! Games several years ago - Roman Town. Well, some of the other crew members got to review it as well as Mayan Mysteries and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy game playing...umm...I mean learning!