Friday, February 4, 2011

Roman Town New TOS Review

Roman Town

CD game compatible with Windows OS

Dig It Games

Now through February 21 using the coupon code  TOS2011  you can get it for $19.96

There is also a downloadable teachers guide available

Do you have a budding archeologist or ancient history buff?  Are you trying to find activities to keep them entertained as well as learn something? Has your child heard terms like archeology, artifacts or ruins and wants to know what they mean? Dig it games may have just what you need.

Recently some members of the TOS Homeschool Crew were asked to play and review the game Roman Town from Dig It games.

Roman Town is an exciting archeology game set in the Ancient Roman city of Fossura.  Fossura  is a play on the Latin word for 'archeological dig'.  The creator of the game says the town was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvious and never rebuilt, thus becoming the setting for Roman Town.  The task set before the player is to assist a cartoon archeologist and guide in the excavation of a house in the town. The players first task is to choose   the appropriate tool for the animated stick figure diggers to use to uncover the artifacts. When this digger finds an item, the player finishes uncovering the artifact with a trowel.  Some of the artifacts include parts of the building, toys and household items.
The Learning Center
During play the user uncovers and learns facts about the various rooms in the house and their uses, what was found there, their design and the reason for the specific design.  The player also fills in a paragraph report of what they excavated and learned about the location. There is a list of words to use and the player just needs to fill in the blank.  Most of the text is provided with key words to be filled in by the player from a list.  There are also quizzes to be taken to help measure new knowledge as well as find a word puzzles.

The cartoon archeologist explains the excavation process and teaches about the items found throughout the game. One of the items found is a coin and he explains when the coin is likely from due to who is featured on it. Often he is joined by 2 children who supposed were inhabitants of the house being excavated. The children share tidbits about Roman life and why things were done the way they were.

Other activities also include matching the artifacts with their modern day counterpart, sorting the artifacts by their characteristics and composition, and virtually reconstructing the items by putting the pieces back together.  This is very similar to how an actual archeologist would reconstruct artifacts. Some of the items they put together are mosaics, frescoes, an amphora and a statue.

Reconstructing an Artifact

There are 6 different "levels" of play, but they all follow the same format. Each "level" focuses on a different room in the house.

You can see a short video of scenes from Roman Town on their website. 

The Dig it games website also has an Online video arcade featuring a puzzle, word search, hangman, and term scramble game.


Both of my children played the game and thoroughly enjoyed it.  My 6 year old was generally able to use it independently, however he would try to skip the information sections and just play the game.  He also got somewhat frustrated with filling in the paragraphs as he is still learning how to use context clues to determine the proper word.  He thought a  particular word should fit, but there was often a better choice if he looked at all the choices.

He loved to play 'Calculi' a game where the players took turns laying down black and red disks while trying to get 5 in a row and block their opponent from doing the same.

My 9 year old daughter also enjoyed Roman Town.  Her favorite activities were the reconstructions.  She also liked seeing the items as they were being dug up and learning about them.  She did all of the reporting and learning activities and accomplished them easily.

The only disappointment they expressed was that it was finished too soon.  They would have loved more levels too explore.

Copy of fill in the blank report
I also played through one of the sections of the game and enjoyed it.  I did find it challenging to use the trowel to uncover the artifacts.  I needed to sweep my mouse over the areas several times before the "dirt" cleared. I also discovered I had to be very exact when I was filling in the blanks on the reports because if I wasn't the words went back into the choice list. My children never complained about this so maybe they are better mouse users than I am!

I really liked how Roman Town explained new words.  The new terms were explained quite simply with references most children would understand.  The context clues were very well thought out and clear. 

Roman Town is a perfect addition to a study of Ancient Rome.  It could also be used along side a Latin course to help learn about the culture and put into practice some of the words learned.  While we haven't made as much progress on our Latin studies lately, both of my children recognized several words used in Dig it as some they had learned in Latin.  Roman Town is also a great means to learn about the profession of archeology.  It immerses the user in the workings of a real dig without all the dirt and grime or extreme weather conditions of an actual dig.  Roman Town gives users a hands on archeological dig experience, which is so much richer and detailed than what can be read in a book.

Roman Town is a great tool to bring ancient civilizations to life and give students an opportunity to see how knowledge is gained about ancient life.

See what other Crew Members have to say about Roman Town here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a copy of Roman Town to use in order to right this review.  I have not been compensated in any other way.  All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment