A looter has been digging up Maya sites, clearly looking for something specific. Could it be the mystifying Ladrone, a secretive thief with a history of stealing artifacts? Whoever it is, it’s up to Team Q to stop it!
Does that grab your attention? Or your child’s? Through an online computer game, Mayan Mysteries Online Game, by Dig-It Games, teaches about the Mayan culture – decoding glyphs, the Mayan calendar, history, and more. It also teaches quite a bit about archeology—the tools used, what artifacts are, and how they are found in layers, and the ways that archeologists analyze their findings to learn more about ancient cultures.
In each section of the game, the player can click on various people in the scene to read information, play games, and take “challenges.” Each game and challenge mastered earns the player points and gets him closer to solving the mystery of the stolen artifacts.
There is a fair amount of text that needs to be read during the game (usually 2 pages like the one pictured below). Learning the information is important in order to answer the challenge questions and master the games.
Translating glyphs was one of the easier puzzles.
Mayan math calculations were a little more tricky.
Emily has enjoyed playing Mayan Mysteries and I have felt that it was a good learning experience. I’ve often found that educational computer games have too much “game” and too little learning. This wasn’t the case here. I felt that this was good solid “school time” even though she was having fun.
Emily is very interested in archaeology—It’s one of her (many) possible career plans, so that aspect of the game appealed to her as well. Since she is from Guatemala, she likely has Mayan heritage, so this game had two great appeals right from the start!
I haven’t found a lot of materials to teach about the Mayans, so I think this game definitely meets a need in the educational world. I’m impressed by the amount of good information about the Mayan Culture and archaeology that is included in Mayan Mysteries. I think this is a great value!
Mayan Mysteries Online Game ($21.99 for a 1-year license) is designed for grades 5-9 and is also available as an iPad app.
Dig-It Games also sells “Roman Town,” another archeology themed game that teaches about ancient Rome.