Mayan Mysteries

Common Sense Media says

Cartoony learning adventure about ancient Mayan culture.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game teaches kids about the ancient Mayan civilization, helping them develop a respect and understanding for different cultures. It also provides them with encouraging messages as they complete various tasks.

Positive role models

All of the characters in this story-driven game embody positive characteristics. No one character comes across as an especially strong role model, but they are all kind, genuine, and smart.

Ease of play

Most of the activities in this game involve reading a passage or paying attention to something on the screen, and then trying to remember what you just read or saw. As such, the game isn't especially challenging, but sometimes it is difficult to remember all the various facts and details. Players can repeat the activities until they are successful so there is no risk of "losing" the game.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mayan Mysteries is a story-based game in which players follow explorers on their journey to discover various artifacts and uncover details about the Mayan culture. Players read a lot about the Mayan civilization, from its geographical details to its historical significance, and everything in between. Along the way, the game quizzes players about what they have read, and they must answer questions correctly in order to continue. The content is designed for kids in grades 5 through 9, and even if they have difficulty answering the questions, the game will help them to prevent any frustration. A similar version is available on the iPad for $9.99.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • following directions
  • reading

Math

  • grouping
  • multiplication
  • addition
  • division

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • exploration
  • geography
  • global awareness

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • memorization
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • goal-setting
  • work to achieve goals

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This game makes learning about ancient Mayan culture fun. The educational content is presented in an easily digestible way. Players read passages and unfold new parts of the story, which helps tie the entire game together.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn about the ancient Maya civilization. Players are quizzed on what they've read by playing mini-games. The game encourages players and provides them with positive reinforcement. 

Support

In-game help and the LEARN Encyclopedia provide kids with constant support, but most of it is text-based.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • following directions
  • reading

Math

  • grouping
  • multiplication
  • addition
  • division

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • exploration
  • geography
  • global awareness

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • memorization
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • goal-setting
  • work to achieve goals

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn about the ancient Maya civilization. They learn everything from the geographical details of where the Mayans lived to the different customs they practiced and the various artifacts that were used. Mayan Mysteries presents players with historical details about Mayan culture in a game setting and then quizzes them about it so that they focus on the information they're learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Mark Raby

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What's it about?

MAYAN MYSTERIES puts players in the middle of an adventure to uncover artifacts and discover secrets about the ancient Mayan civilization. Players follow along with the story, which is displayed in the style of a cartoon-style comic book. In between parts of the story, players are quizzed on what they just read. Sometimes this is just a series of multiple-choice questions, and other times they need to play through a more interactive mini-game. Players will learn things like the meaning behind various Mayan artifacts, the difference between myths and historical facts, and the geography of where the Mayan civilization existed.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Mayan Mysteries is a game where the educational content is the primary focus and the gameplay comes second, but even as such, it is all presented in a fun and easily digestible way. Much of the game revolves around players reading various passages and unfolding new parts of the story. Because the gameplay and mini-games revolve around these passages, it definitely makes players pay attention to what they're reading and helps tie the entire game together. Even players who have no interest in ancient cultures can find this game empowering because it constantly reinforces the learning of new things. The game encourages players and provides them with positive reinforcement as they complete the quizzes and mini-games. This educational video game makes learning about ancient Mayan culture fun.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of understanding different cultures. What do you think of the things you have learned about the Mayans?

  • Games that teach history let you travel back in time. If you could travel back to any time in history, what would it be and why?

Game details

Platforms:Linux, Mac, Windows
Price:$3.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Dig-It Games
Release date:December 11, 2012
Genre:Educational

This review of Mayan Mysteries was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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