Friday, February 4, 2011
We have been talking a lot about dinosaurs and paleontologists lately. We've discussed fossils and how carefully you must excavate a site. So, I was excited to be chosen to review a computer game, Roman Town from Dig It Games. Roman Town is obviously not about dinosaurs, but it was a perfect way to expand their understanding of archaeology. Their familiarity with digging up fossils prepared them for a move into human archaeology.
Roman Town is not a difficult game to master and any child can successfully complete the game, although non-readers will definitely need help. Maggie, FRitW, and I played it all the way through. I, of course, did it purely for um, research- yes, that's it, research. ~grin~ Ok, so I had a little fun too and only had to ask Maggie for help once or twice. We all learned something. I learned what an impluvium was, that families often had garbage mosaics or frescoes (I can't remember which right now!) and that a 'Beware of Dog' mosaic in the Fauces (entryway) was to help discourage thieves.
The game is fun and was played extensively in our house. I liked that it was not an overwhelming, fast computer game, but more of a puzzle, think about it type of game. There are six levels to explore and each reveals a room of a typical Roman home. The player assigns diggers to work at various spots of a dig site and waits for a green speech bubble to appear (this means your digger found something). A click on the bubble takes you to a screen of dirt. Your mouse pointer becomes a trowel with which you must uncover the artifact hidden in the dirt. Once uncovered the object is identified - usually by one of the two Roman children that once lived in the home. The player can choose to L.E.A.R.N. (Locate Engrossing And Remarkable kNowledge) more about the object or return to digging. We really enjoyed reading on to L.E.A.R.N. more.