We were recently asked to review a computer game called "Roman Town- Dig It". The website states it is the "premier archaeology computer game for kids". It is available for purchase at a reasonable price of $39.95. But, for a limited time (until February 21) you can use the coupon code TOS2011 and purchase the game for only $19.96 making it an awesome deal! This game would be great to add to a unit on archaeology or Roman times. However, it is also just a great, fun game that kids will love even without any previous knowledge of either of those subjects
Though the website says it is the "premier archaeology computer game" it is so much more than that. My 9 year old has learned so much about Roman living in his "playing".
Each level has different artifacts to "dig" and after digging out each artifact you learn about that artifact and how it was used in everyday life in Roman times!
At the end of each level there is a report that must be completed to move on. The report was a big part of the learning aspect of the "game". I didn't tell Paul that this was a "learning game" and just presented it to him one afternoon when he was on the computer playing his normal games (that are also "learning without knowing it" type games--we seldom have games that aren't educational around here). He flew right through the first "dig" and then came to the "report". The report is a paragraph with missing vocabulary words and the words are listed in a "word-bank" at the bottom of the screen (see image below). You have to drag each word into the correct spot--he was stumped because he had not taken the time to learn about each artifact. We went back through it together and he was amazed at how much there was to learn and how interesting it was to learn about Roman life! I never had to remind him again to read the information about each artifact. He was so happy when he was able to complete the next report without any help from Mom and on the first try!
After each "dig" there are also learning games and puzzles for the student to play that reinforce what was learned during that "dig". Paul loved this aspect and stayed on each level longer than needed because he enjoyed the games.
One aspect of the game that I wasn't expecting was that there is no sound. I really thought I wouldn't like this, at first, but then I figured out what a great feature it is! Paul had to read all the information. Also, with my 3 very loud kids I was glad to have a game that was silent! Since he is a fluent reader it was not a problem but if your child is not a fluent reader take that into consideration before purchasing. There is a great deal of reading and the words are not easy. I would think it is written on atleast a 3rd grade level. The website states that the game targets 5th-8th graders, but Paul is a strong reader and did well with it.
As I have stated in previous reviews of computer learning programs we are not big fans of games with high graphics and fast moving images. Kids don't need to be constantly bombarded with that. That is one of the things I love about Roman Town. Though the images are highly detailed and show what Roman life was like, it is not a fast-paced "crazy" game that is more play than education. It is a truly educational experience! It's great to teach problem solving and critical thinking skills on top of the facts your child will learn while playing!
There is also an educational guide available for download. The guide gives information on Archaeoloy and Roman life making it a valuable tool for those who wish to incorporate Roman Town in to a study on archaeoloy and/or Roman times. It also includes fun activities and ideas for lessons to expand your studies. The educational guide is full of great ideas but the game can be fully used and enjoyed without the guide, and without any additional g studies on Rome. We are currently studying American History but this was just an extra activity.
Don't forget about the coupon code TOS2011 to save 50% on this game. Only $19.96 is a great deal on this great game!
Don't forget to take a look at what other TOS crew members have to say here
Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the product. There was no other compensation given for the review