Friday, February 4, 2011

Dig It! Games and Roman Town; a TOS Crew Review

Roman Town, from Dig-It! Games is a computer program that exposes users to archaeology and Roman history while playing games. And it's on sale (see end of post for sale code), too.

I like learning about ancient Rome. I think a lot of us do. It stretches the mind to try to think about it. History is important. Roman Town gives children a peek inside ancient history while using a mouse and working their ways through excavation sites on the computer screen.

This game is really neat for the right age group and for the right kind of learner. I learned a lot of information playing it, and I like how the creators use games to their advantage in way that almost sneaks information in the back door. And not just ancient Roman history, either. Science is taught, too, along with some scaffolding of thinking and detective skills that an archeologist would need in a real excavation.
As I played, I kept thinking to myself, "I did not know that!"

System Requirements for Roman Town: Windows Vista/XP/2000• CPU 800 Mhz; RAM 412MB; Hard Drive 350MB

Here's a peek at a video of the game:

Players have the option to explore a room, clicking on objects in the room to take them to a new page with information about that object. A brief fact is offered about that object, with several "learn more" options available. When the object is a game that was played during that time period, players have the option to click through to a Roman Town version of that game and play it.

Players guide workers to dig through excavation sites and unearth treasures and learn about them. There are games and puzzles to play; broken pieces to put together into artifacts, matching games, old/new, guess what doesn't belong, for some examples. Roman Town offers several different kinds of quizzes to test your knowledge after you've explored a site and a room and done some digging.
Roman Town uses children from that Roman Town to help teach by sharing their experiences, which is a good lesson in perspective taking to think about what life might have been like back then. (Individuals on the autism spectrum are usually delayed in perspective taking, and having this imaginative visual piece on the screen is an interesting way to provide experience in taking someone else's perspective.)

My typically developing middle schoolers deemed Roman Town too young for them, although the targeted grade range is right where they are, 5th-8th. For my homeschooler, who is developmentally delayed in many areas, including academics (like reading) , there is too much information to read. She's a much younger reader than her chronological age. She is overwhelmed by text and big words, and when trying to play Roman Town, she would click through to try to find the games without reading directions, game rules, or the neat facts & information. She was frustrated by it. If the written information were also read aloud as an option on Roman Town, the game might be more attractive to her, and it might reach a wider age/grade range. We will save this one for a time when she's a stronger reader and try it again. This is a "not yet" resource for our family.

Regularly priced at $39.95, there's a discount available to you at this time. Use the code TOS2011 and get Roman Town for a final price of $19.96. Offer expires February 21st.

To read about my Crewmates' experiences with Roman Town, please go HERE.

We were given a downloadable version of Roman Town for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. I was not paid for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review. I do not benefit in any way should you purchase Roman Town with (or without) the sale code.

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