Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dig-It Games ~ Roman Town

My boys love history, and they love computer games. When we were given the opportunity to review Roman Town by Dig-It Games, it was definitely a good match.

The premise of the game is that you will be going to help an archeologist who is starting a dig in Italy. The scene is near Mount Vesuvius. The remains of a home destroyed by the eruption are being uncovered. When you arrive, there are a few quick lessons before you are set off to join the dig.

The game did a very good job integrating vocabulary and history into the game. There are facts about archaeological exploration as well as ancient Roman life. As you join the dig, you are given a certain number of men and tools. When items are found, there is a short time to retrieve the information. If you click quickly enough, you will uncover an artifact, and learn about it. It is no surprise that the game designer is a real life archeologist and teacher!

Once you have uncovered and studied all of the objects from your area, you are brought back to the lab. There you will find some games involving the items that were unearthed. While you do 2D and 3D reconstructions of pottery, word searches, figure out which items don't belong in a room, or any of the other activities, the game is also reinforcing the lessons. It teaches about how the Roman people lived, what they ate or wore, what kind of furniture, pottery and cookware were used, how they heated their homes and collected water. There is a wealth of information presented in a fun way.

To help you learn even more, the children who lived in the house before the volcano erupted are introduced to help. They tell about their lives, their parents, their home and other interesting facts.

Before moving on to the next level, there are some exercises to be completed which will ensure that the player has mastered the facts presented in each level. The final activity before moving on is a journal entry.

The game is sold as a CD-Rom and is added to your computer hard drive. Once it is installed, it can be played by up to five players. At his time, this for PC use only, but they are working on a a MAC compatible version. You will need at least an 800 Mhz CPU, 512 MB or RAM, and 350 MB of hard drive space.

There are six areas to dig. As you complete a level, the next one opens up. There is also an option to play mini games. If you should choose to play again after completing the six levels, they do change the items around a little bit so that the game is slightly different each time. There are also some mini games available to play on the website.

My boys really enjoyed playing Roman Town. I think it would be a good game for all ages, but it is important to know that all of the information is presented as text, to be read. The game does not "talk" to you. Littler children would need an older child or an adult to do the reading for them. 

I reviewed the home version of the game, which as I mentioned will allow for up to five players. There is a teacher's edition for use with more than 15 students which also includes an educator's manual, which I did NOT review. According to the website, the manual provides a little more information about archeology, a glossary, supplemental activities and discussion ideas. The manual is also available as a download for home use. I saw some sample pages, and the language was plain and user friendly.

For more information, you can visit Dig-It Games at , or like their FACEBOOK PAGE. For customer service, there is a form on the website. You may also use the email address, or the phone number 1-877-21DIGIT (1-877-213-4448).

Quite a few of the other TOS crew members have also been using this game at home with their families. To read about their experiences and their opinions, you can visit the Crew blog, as we'll all be linking our reviews up today.

***I was allowed to use this game as a member of The Old Schoolhouse Crew review team. I was not compensated for this review, and my opinions and recommendations are my own.