Mayan Mysteries – The Update! ~ Dig-It! Games #Review
One of the things I love about summer is that it’s SO much easier to find time to fit fun, educational games into the schedule! This year, Chris and Chey have been playing the updated version of the Mayan Mysteries (Online Game) from Dig-It! Games.
Mayan Mysteries is part puzzler, part archaeological treasure hunt, part engaging mystery narrative – and all cultural immersion. It’s an excellent addition to history studies, both alongside related instruction and independently. A free demo is available. I highly recommend that you – and your kids – try it out to see what the fun is all about! (The link is part-way down the Mayan Mysteries page.)
Students – and parents – are also able to view their accomplishments in comparison with other players. This adds challenge and incentive to the game, encouraging students to continue to progress. (It’s possible, however, with parental help, to skip this “dashboard” if a child has issues with the idea of comparison.)
Yes, kids do need to be online to play, and this comes with all the positives and negatives. If you have parental control software on their computer, simply add it to approved sites – otherwise, supervision to ensure they stay on appropriate sites is recommended, as always. The best part about online games, though – there’s no download, no install, and much less worry about whether or not it will work with your equipment. If you can get online, it should work for you.
Now, my kids have played Mayan Mysteries before, during a prior review, so it wasn’t totally new to them. However, one of the main reasons that they were interested in a repeat is because their sole complaint previously was that the game was just plain too short – they wanted MORE! (That, in my opinion, is the sign of a good anything, be it book, movie, or game. If the end comes, and you have mixed feelings, because you’re glad you made it there, but you’re oh-so-sad to see it go – well, that’s GOOD.)
Also, being 13 and 15, C & C are definitely competent gamers and computer users, so it’s no trouble at all for them – my participation pretty much consisted of giving them the login info and the url, checking in with them to see how it was going, and trying to figure out how to get screen shots. (It turns out that there’s something that just doesn’t like us doing screen shots on the site – at least on our computers – we’ll get those updated just as soon as we figure out a workable solution. In the meantime, I’ve added a gallery of screenshots from our previous review. Keep in mind that some of these may have changed.)
Parents of those younger or less comfortable with computers (are there any kids like this left?!?) might need to standby until students are logged in and familiar with moving through the game, but in all truthfulness, it’s pretty user-friendly. Especially to kids – I apparently try a bit to hard and make things more difficult then necessary on myself, because I tend to expect things to be a little less than user-friendly at times. Meaning, if it’s obvious to the kids, I’m going to totally miss seeing it. :)
This extended version of Mayan Mysteries has a much more satisfying and finished feel to the end of the game, according to the kids – I haven’t gotten that far through it myself yet. (There’s these two kids hogging the game, you see… can’t imagine who they might be.)
Interestingly enough, though, they still want more. Perhaps, instead of a second Mayan Mysteries as we wished for previously, Dig-It! Games could start work on yet another civilization to explore?