Monkey Tales: The Castle of Draconian

Common Sense Media says

Fun adventure game uses 5th grade math in gameplay.

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
10
11
12
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids are investigating and defeating a tyrant (by doing math!) who is suppressing the people of the land.

Positive role models

The adults in the game are the storytellers and encourage the kids on their journey.

Ease of play

Controls are simple, using only the arrow keys, the space bar, and enter keys to continue, the shift key to run, and the control key to get an overhead view of the entire map. All the games are presented with voice-over to read the instructions and tutorials can be repeated.

Violence

Kids encounter pools of acid, gargoyles, and laser traps as they adventure through this game. Graphically however, violence is limited as when caught, kids merely pop up again at the start of the level. The laser, though, does turn kids into a pile of ash.

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 Monkey Tales: The Castle of Draconian is an edutainment game that incorporates typical 5th grade math skills into the gameplay. This is the fourth in a series of edutainment games from Europe that has been redesigned for the US to follow both the Common Core Standards as well as the DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity) standards. The game is not meant to instruct but to reinforce lessons learned in school in a fun and challenging manner. The game has some slight violence when kids misjudge and get zapped by a laser. Their character, while fried to dust, immediately reforms at the last save spot.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Math

  • subtraction
  • addition
  • arithmetic
  • division
  • fractions
  • multiplication

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

An adventure game that kids play by solving puzzles, avoiding monsters, and playing math-based mini-games. With many levels, "do-overs," and an algorithm that adjusts difficulty, kids will have a fun time while practicing math.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn fractions, multiplication, and division and practice what they've learned during the school year. They answer math questions to further along the story and use logic to navigate environments.

Support

Controls are simple, using only a few keys. All the games are presented with voice-over to read the instructions and tutorials can be repeated.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Math

  • subtraction
  • addition
  • arithmetic
  • division
  • fractions
  • multiplication

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles

Kids can learn the math concepts of fractions, multiplication and division that is appropriate for their grade level when they play Monkey Tales: The Castle of Draconian. Kids get to practice what they learn during the school year and apply logic as they navigate through mazes and defeat enemies in this adventure game. With many levels, the ability to get a "do-overs" when they get stuck, and an algorithm that adjusts the game's difficulty to the individual player, kids will have a fun time while practicing 5th grade math.

This Learning Rating review was written by Carolyn Koh

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

The castle of Vladimir Draconian is a refuge for the evil Huros Stultas, and there are strange things happening in the castle. Kids are urged to investigate the castle in MONKEY TALES: THE CASTLE OF DRACONIAN by solving puzzles and playing math based mini-games. Eventually kids will find vampire Vladimir himself and beat him in math contests to win the game.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Monkey Tales: Castle Draconian is an adventure game that kids play through by solving puzzles, avoiding monsters, and playing math-based mini-games. The mini-games are presented in a fun manner, as kids blast correct answers to puzzles, steer spaceships around to collect enough numbers to solve an equation, and even cross a bridge by stepping on tiles that are lit by selecting the correct answer to a math problem.

Logic puzzles include deflecting lasers with mirrors to burn up an obstacle and pushing blocks to create bridges. The uniqueness of this game is that it has an algorithm which gages players math level and continues to monitor their progress as they play through the game, presenting progressively harder mini-games at each chapter and level. Kids progress while playing the game without being stressed by games that are too hard for their math level.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the logic puzzles and mini-games in the software. For the logic puzzles, does it help to use the overhead view and think about them a bit first? Do the mini-games match what you are doing in school?

  • Families can also talk about educational games. Is playing this game more fun than doing homework? Does it make math fun?

  • Do you feel better when you beat a harder game or an easier game?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Price:$14.95
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Monkey Tales Games
Release date:November 7, 2011
Genre:Edutainment
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:NR for Not rated (Mac, Windows)

This review of Monkey Tales: The Castle of Draconian was written by

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.

Find out more

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Kid, 12 years old February 9, 2012
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