I am always on the lookout for fun and interesting educational games for the children to play on the iPad. Recently we had an opportunity to use and review the Mayan Mysteries iPad App from Dig-It Games.
"Put your puzzle skills to the test as you travel through history and uncover the adventure of Mayan Mysteries! Explore the mysterious world of the ancient Maya and learn about its remarkable civilization."
The Mayan Mysteries iPad app ($9.99) was designed for children 9 and up, approximate grades 5-9. There is no violence or graphic images, but there are concepts of sacrifice and war far discussed. During the game, children are attempting to solve a mystery. They are able to learn about the ancient Mayan civilization and culture, visit ancient Mayan cities, uncover and analyze artifacts, learn about the Mayan calendar, decode glyphs, learn about the Mayan Math system, and try to solve the puzzle to track down a secret thief. Some of the activities include reading and answering a series of comprehension questions on different topics, mapping, search and find, matching symbols, digging out artifacts, and more. Points are awarded for correct answers and subtracted for incorrect answers. If you answer comprehension questions incorrectly, you are given an opportunity to try again. There are over 12 hours of playing time in the app. Only one user at a time may play. The game does save your progress as you go through the game, or you can choose to start over if you wish. After completing the game you can go back through and play again. There is a read to me feature that can be turned on or off if your child needs or wants help with the reading sections. The Mayan Mysteries iPad app is not recommended for use on the iPad 1.
My 11 and 8 year old sons have been playing the Mayan Mysteries iPad app. My 8 year old is a little younger than the recommended age, but he was VERY interested in playing especially since we recently finished VBS that had an archeology theme. He did need some help with the reading, so we had the game read it to him. The Math and Calendar activities were very challenging, so I competed those with him. My 11 year old completed the activities with no problems.
Who doesn't love a good mystery? Mayan Mysteries teaches history in a fun and interesting way. Children learn lots of facts about the Mayan culture using a variety of activities while collecting clues to solve a mystery. The story, characters, and activities are appealing to both boys and girls. The app was very easy to download and start to use. The graphics are very well done. There is a variety of fun activities mixed in with all of the reading and comprehension questions. I really like the option to have the reading portions read to the child. The boys enjoyed the activities. Anthony loved digging for artifacts and finding the different items on the list in each room.
There is a section on sacrifice and a few comprehension questions on that subject. It is not graphic in nature, although the text is told from the standpoint of a young Mayan, so he is very excited about the prospect of having an opportunity to see a sacrifice.
There is a lot of reading for each section. Completing the reading and answering the comprehension questions make up most of the game. My guys got a little bored with that, but hung in there because they really liked the different activities. They really looked forward to solving the mystery and were disappointed in the ending of the game. After all of the work they did to find the thief, they didn't get to find him! The game is apparently two different parts. When you reach the end there is a message thanking you for all your help and to join them as they continue on their journey in Mayan Mysteries 2, coming soon. This was very disappointing because we did not know that ahead of time and they felt that they did all of their work for nothing.
Members of The Crew reviewed both the iPad app and the Online Game. To see what other Crew Mates had to say, click on the banner below.