I am a member of the TOS Schoolhouse Review Crew. The following is a review of Mayan Mysteries, an iPad app by Dig-It Games.
My iPad was a Christmas gift from my husband that I had on my wishlist for a long time, primarily for work related apps. I didn't realize until we actually started using it what a great tool it would be for my children's education. Mayan Mysteries is one of the interesting educational apps that have added variety to their learning. It combines game type features that they enjoy with new information making it a win-win tool for learning. This educational game is available as an online subscription or as an iPad app for $9.99. Though the name gives a clue about its historical focus, it also includes a significant math component that we found challenging.
The game takes place in South America, in the historical "Maya World." Adventures are shared in several countries as the kids click through and progress through each location. When they complete a location, additional areas are revealed for them to explore.
When they return to the game, they are given the option of starting over or resuming their former game. After starting over a few times, my kids ended up working together to progress more quickly. Some areas were more factual with a lot of reading including highlighted words that when clicked led to more in-depth definitions. Games followed the reading sections using the new information to progress through the games.
Below, the basis for the math games is shared. While it seems quite simple, plugging the new system into math word (and picture) equations was quite a challenge and slowed their progression through the game.
As the kids completed each challenge, new levels were revealed. We didn't always earn bonus points on the math games.
There is a heavy mythical component to the game, and a "spirit guide" goes with the player through the levels. The historical account seemed more based on myths, though the website shared that the factual information included contributions from a world-renowned Maya expert.
Designed for grades 5-9, there is a rating of 9 + for "Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes."
See what other crew members shared in their reviews here. We also reviewed the online version of their game Roman Town. You can also find Dig-It Games on Facebook.