Dig-It! Games: Mayan Mysteries {TOS review}

Online games can be fun. Dig-It! Games not only gives your child that opportunity, but also provides a learning experience along the way. In its game Mayan Mysteries, which was launched in 2012 and is available online or as an iPad app, users are set in the middle of a mystery that needs solving and your children are the ones to do it.

The company, Dig-It! Games, was created in 2005 by professional archaeologist Suzi Wilczynski, who use to teach middle school students. Wilczynski’s desire for Dig-It! Games is to

promote creative thinking, independent learning and cultural understanding.

in children. She partnered with Robert J. Sharer, a former archaeologist and university professor of archaeology who has overseen 50 decades of excavations in Central America. Dig-It! Games offer users the full archaeologist experience in the games it offers along with the educational experience and background of Wilczynski and Sharer to help them know what it is like to “be-right-there” in an actual dig.

With the creation of Mayan Mysteries and Roman Town, users are able to learn about archaeology and ancient civilizations through interactive tools.

We had an opportunity to review the online version of Mayan Mysteries. Mayan Mysteries is a puzzle-based game geared towards children 11 years old and older. Even though the target age is for younger children, adults may even enjoy trying to figure out the mystery.

Players find themselves in the middle of a dig in Central America alongside Professor Alex Quinn and Fiona and Charlie, who are Quinn’s niece and nephew. The dig has been plagued by an unknown looter, who is looking for something, which is unknown to Quinn. Your child will become a part of Team Q (Quinn’s archaeologist team), who wants to not only continue on its dig and discovery of Mayan artifacts, but also reveal the identity of the looter. Could it be Ladrone? You will have to play the game to find out.

Users answer questions and solve puzzles about Mayan culture and with each one they solve, it brings them closer to unearthing artifacts and solving the mystery of the identity of the looter. As you move through the game, you can really see the influence of Wilczynski and Sharer in regards to the process real archaeologist go through when on a dig. It is like you are really there or as close as you will ever be without actually hitting the sand. Your child will get to analyze found artifacts, learn about the ancient Mayan culture and also do the following:

• Visit Maya sites
• Uncover and analyze artifacts
• Decode glyphs
• Explore the mysterious Maya calendar
• Learn the intriguing Maya math system
• Solve puzzles and gather clues to track the confounding Ladrone

Watch the video trailer:

You may even demo Mayan Mysteries.

River and Lily had the opportunity to review this game. As it has been in the past, I also learned a lot from the games regarding the history, which is something we all enjoyed about the game. Since we will probably not being going on any archaeological digs anytime soon, it was really neat to walk through the process of an actual digs. Students also get a chance to practice their skills in math, geography, history and reasoning as they seek to uncover artifacts and figure out who is looting the dig. Of course, on an actual dig, we would probably never run across the adventure of seeking the identity of a artifact thief (or maybe we could) and that added to the excitement of the game. My children love mysteries, which I believed played well in their ability to solve the mystery. I’m sorry, but we can’t tell, especially since the mystery continues in Mayan Mysteries 2, which is due out soon.

A few notes of caution regarding Mayan Mysteries are the inclusion of topics like sacrifices, warfare and a Mayan spirit helper.

Mayan Mysteries is available online for $21.99, which is for a one-year license for a single user. There is also an option to purchase the game as an iPad app.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

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