If my 13 year old could pick his favorite product that we have reviewed this year, it would be this one hand down. I mean, what's more cool than a game, and a computer game at that, that lets you dig up stuff???
Roman Town is a computer program designed by a company called Dig It! Games, which was founded by a professional archaeologist and teacher, that allows kids to discover facts and information about ancient Rome by participating in a virtual archaeological dig. It's "all the fun of a real archaeological excavation without getting your hands dirty!" The excavation is of a real Roman town called Fossura that was destroyed in 79AD when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. Students get to experience a real dig site by allocating diggers and by choosing the tools those diggers will use, which is what you see on the screen shot below. When a worker finds something, you get to finish clearing the dirt away to uncover it and then click through a series of informational screens to learn more about the artifact.
After all the artifacts are found, you have the chance to process them further in the lab. Below, you can see an activity to reconstruct a vase.
Many games are available to reinforce what the students have learned. Below, they can use a word bank to fill in the blanks of a report on their dig.
Other games like the one below show the difference between the artifacts and their modern day counterparts.
The screen below gives you an idea of all the educational activities there are to do.
The Pros: What a wonderful game! My son BEGS to play it. And on top of that, he actually remembers what he has learned. If only every subject could have a game like this! The game gives information about archaeology and how field work goes, but it also gives tons of information about Ancient Rome-their way of life, what each artifact was used for, and even virtual tours of the rooms you uncover as they would have looked in 79AD. It's very cool and very educational. While it's geared toward grades 5-8, their website recommends it to kids ages 8-88, and I'd say that's about right.
The Cons: What's not to love about a game that is so much fun your child doesn't even realize they are learning? Unfortunately, they recently had a price increase, but lucky for you there is a special discount code only for readers of the TOS Crew blogs, so read on below!
The bottom line: I wish there was _____________ Town...you fill in the blank, I'd buy it. What a great way to learn about Archaeology and about Ancient Rome. Two subjects, one game, endless fun and painless learning- LOVE it!!!
To check out Roman Town, go HERE. If you are interested in purchasing it, you want to use the code TOS2011. That code will give you an amazing deal. The 2010 price on Roman Town was $24.95, but the 2011 price was bumped up to $39.95. By using the TOS2011 code, you will get 20% off the 2010 price!!! BUT, that code is only valid until February 11th. so order NOW! To see what other members of the TOS Crew had to say, go HERE.
Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a free copy of Roman Town for the purpose of giving my honest review. That downloaded game was the only compensation I received.