Friday, February 4, 2011
TOS Review ~ Roman Town by Dig It! Games
Today's review is of a computer learning game that focuses on archaeology and ancient Roman life. It was developed by a professional archaeologist in an attempt to make the study of archaeology fun. Judging by my 7th grade daughter's reaction to Roman Town, I'd say the goal was achieved!
My daughter is fascinated with ancient history - primarily that of Ancient Egypt. The reason she enjoys learning about Ancient Egypt is because she loves archaeology. So much so that when she hears of a new archaeologcial find she laments that it wasn't her doing the finding! Having access to Roman Town by Dig It! Games has been more fun than school work for her!
The game Roman Town comes with a downloadable Educator's Manual, which makes use of the game easy for moms and kids. While the game is fun, it's also very educational. We learned quite a bit about archaeology, which is impressive when you consider that it's a topic we're well acquainted with in our homeschool. It was also a nice change for me to discuss some of Ancient Rome's history in lieu of Ancient Egypt! Sometimes too much of a good thing can be just plain too much, if you get my drift :)
The geographic location of Roman Town is a site in southern Italy somewhere around Naples, with the historical sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum close by. I like the use of a modern day map combined with historical geographical sites because it ties the present day with ancient history. It also cements the location in the student's mind to see it on a map - we've all met people who can't locate parts of Europe or Asia on a map and the reality is our world is a whole lot bigger than North America. To rightly relate to the world we live in at this time in history, we need to know where we fit into the whole world and where each part of that world fits into God's plan of redemption. In the Christian homeschool, there is always more being taught than academics and I appreciate that Dig It! Games lends itself easily to our family's bigger educational goals.
The player (or should I say learner?) is an excavator at a dig site. There are 6 dig sites in Roman Town and each site is like it's own mini-game. The player can choose the type of tool they would like to use at the dig site. Using 2D and 3D reconstruction, memory games, modern versus ancient comparisons and much more, Roman Town teaches Roman history along with archaeology.
Language and spelling skills are strengthened as new vocabulary words are learned - this is by no means a language arts program but a mom could easily incorporate the vocabulary from Roman Town in writing and spelling assignments.
Now lest you think that only my 7th grade daughter who has a keen interest in archaeology enjoyed this computer program, my 8th grade daughter and 5th grade daughter also played Roman Town. They liked the dig sites and the challenge of completing each level and learned more about Ancient Rome than they knew previously. It's truly a fun learning game for children of all ages.
The layout is very thorough and it is evident that a whole lot of consideration, attention to detail, and hard work went into the creation of this product. The creator's passion for her subject matter is clearly seen in the game itself as well as in the end result. And homeschool moms know that a passionate teacher makes the subject matter come alive - which is exactly what occurs when learners play on Roman Town.
To learn more about Dig It! Games visit their website at www.Dig-ItGames.com . Roman Town is available for purchase at the company website in CD form for $39.95. The Educator's Manual is available for $19.95. There is also a Teacher's Edition - feel free to suggest it to any public or private school educators you might know who could use this resource in their classroom.
As an aside, let me mention that I received this product free of charge for review purposes.
As a special bonus Dig It! Games has made Roman Town available to blog readers at a 20% discount. To take advantage of this offer use the coupon code BLOG20.
Day 76 done :)
Jan L. Burt