Friday, February 4, 2011

Roman Town - TOS

See below for coupon code.
Computer games play a very large part in the schooling of my kids.  With someone other than Mom challenging them, they look up answers and try, try again to beat the computer. They are exposed to not only the three R's, but to logic, perseverance, and thinking outside the box.

But with Dig-it Games' new award-winning title, Roman Town, kids are exposed to a concept that is generally only taught in a hands-on way, if it is taught at all: archaeology.

This game is set in 79 AD, the time period when Mount Vesuvius erupted.  Dragonette played the game all the way through and has wrote the following description.

"In Roman Town, you are helping the professor to excavate an ancient Roman house in the town of Fossura.  There are six dig sites, and once you choose your site, there is a dirt area where white flags will pop up.  Highlight a tool in the toolbar and click on a flag to make your stick people start excavating.  When a person finds something, a green speech bubble will appear.  Click on it before it turns red and disappears.  Then you'll get to use your trowel-cursor to uncover the object.  The professor (and /or his two ancient Roman friends, who lived in the house) will tell you about the item. You can find the same thing several times over (i.e. there were oil lamps in all of the rooms of the house).
Men Digging

    When you run out of new flags and all your men finish digging, you will sort your artifacts into four different boxes.  You'll then be taken to the lab--the professor's dig site tent--where you'll be able to play Calculi (an ancient Roman game), reconstruct mosaics, frescoes, or 3-D pottery, match the old Roman items to modern ones, or find what doesn't belong in the room.  The lab activities change depending on what you excavated.  You can also look back at what you found.  When you're finished with the activities, you can tour the room you just excavated as it might have looked in its prime.  After that, you help the professor with his dig site report by dragging words to the correct blanks.  Then you can start on the next excavation."       
Using the trowel-cursor to find object

The ages targeted by this game is 5th-8th grade, but that has nothing really to do with skills necessary for this game, as much as it has to do with education standards.  If you have a child that is interested in what archaeologists do, or has ever asked about Ancient Rome, this computer game will fit the bill.  It has very little sound effects and is reading intensive, so if you have a child that does not read well, you will have to sit with them.

Both my children learned more about the daily life of Romans with this game. Dragonette (14) enjoyed the games and while she did learn things, felt she was a bit old for it.  She feels she would have thoroughly enjoyed this game had it been available a few years ago. It was right on target for Flower (10), and while she did enjoy the parts she completed, she is not a big History buff and lost interest in the game before completing it.  It has nothing to do with the quality if the game, as it has to do with her interests (aka math) and personality.

In an age where so many things are available on-line,  it is nice to see a company that is still making quality educational software on disc.

Roman Town is available for $39.95 normally, but as a reader of this blog, you can get a large discount if you order before February 21, 2011.

If you enter in the coupon code TOS2011 while ordering you will bring your price down to $19.96.

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