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Monkey Tales: The Castle of Draconian

(i)

 

Fun adventure game uses 5th grade math in gameplay.

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

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.

Parents say

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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?Available online
Developer:Monkey Tales Games
Release date:November 7, 2011
Genre:Edutainment
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:NR for Not rated

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