Friday, February 4, 2011

Roman Town by Dig-It! Games (TOS Review)

In the proliferation of computer games, many are billed as fun and educational - the combination of those two elements sells a lot of products.  Often you find that it's either so educational that the kids find it boring; other times there's too much fun and not enough education.  

But once in a while you stumble upon a gem - Roman Town by Dig-It! Games is one of those gems.

Product Details...the Basics...

Roman Town, by Dig-It! Games, is an interactive game where your child gets to be the archaeologist!   The game was developed by Suzi Wilczynski, a professional archaeologist, and is targeted for 5th through 8th graders - but older kids (including me!) will like it too.  My third and fifth graders LOVED it.  

The game has been awarded Dr. Toy's Best Vacation Products Award and the National Parenting Center's 2010 Seal of Approval.  By playing, kids learn about Roman culture, society and history in a way that a lot of kids learn best - little bits of information at a time.

Roman Town is available on CD and, as of 2011, retails for $39.95.  But from now until February 21, 2011, TOS Crew Readers can use a special code to get 20% off of the 2010 retail price of $24.95, which will make the price less than $20! Use the code TOS2011 to get this incredible discount.  Up to 5 users can be stored in the game.

A downloadable (.pdf format) educator's manual is available for $19.95.  A classroom setting version (with multiple licenses) is available by contacting the vendor (click here for contact info).  Click here to see all the options for purchase.

A Mac version is in the works, but for now the game only works on PCs.  System requirements are:
     • Windows Vista/XP/2000
     • CPU 800 Mhz; RAM 412MB; Hard Drive 350MB

Product Details...the Fun Part...
Your child's job will be excavating a town close to the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, near Mount Vesuvius.

There are six areas to excavate in Roman Town.   

You're assigned a certain number of "diggers", and a variety of tools to choose for each digger.  

 As each digger "finds" something, you click and then excavate the area.  Once the artifact is uncovered, facts are given about it. 

Once you've found all the artifacts in an area, you're taken to the lab where there  are several activities to do for further learning, plus activities to test how much you remember (a report to fill in, true/false, word match and word find) on what you've found in that area.  Once you're done, it's on to the next area!

Here's a brief video about the game that will give you more information and a feel for what the game is like:

What I like...

...that it truly is educational and fun. 

...that the girls love it so much they ask to "play".  

...the graphics are wonderful! 

...that they throw a little Latin in.

I wish…

The girls did fine reading the information, but could have used some help with pronunciation on certain words.  If no audio is possible, then perhaps on the trickier words a phonetic pronunciation could be added in parenthesis to help.

I wish there was a volume two - six areas are just not enough!  Puddin did four areas in one day.  The vendor advises, though, that if you re-play the game, you find more artifacts.  

I'd love to see this game adapted for different time periods, perhaps colonial times, and maybe even a "futuristic" version that covers modern history - what a great reinforcement for learning history! 

I wish that the "L.E.A.R.N." activities (for the various artifacts, rooms, etc.) weren't optional (you can click "return to digging" without looking at them).  My girls soak up every bit of knowledge, but I know that some kids will want to just play the game.

Watch out for...

It's addictive.  Even I found myself caught up in the game, with no idea of how much time had passed. 

Be sure to...

Take advantage of that coupon before February 21!

Check out the online arcade here  - there are fun games and activities!

Check out the FAQ section here.

If your child is like mine, they will want to know more about archaeology after playing this game (I have been asked by the girls to find a real dig that accepts children - if anyone knows of any, please let me know!) - click here for more resources on archaeology.

Click here for tips on how to use this game in a homeschooling setting, and here for how to use it in a classroom setting.

Final thoughts...

The girls love this game.  I love that it's got that perfect mix of education and fun.  It's a winner in my book!

Thoughts of my crew mates...

To see other reviews of this product, click here. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:


Disclaimer: As part of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the product described in this review at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.

No comments:

Post a Comment