Monkey Tales: The Valley of the Jackal

Common Sense Media says

Exciting adventure that incorporates 6th grade math.

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

Kids rescue monkeys and defeat the evil tyrant by traveling through the desert of Egypt and underground temples, using logic and math to navigate safely to their destination. The game sends the message that using math can be fun and useful.

Positive role models

The kid characters are the adventurers (and heroes) while the adults are the storytellers that also provide hints and encouragement.

Ease of play

All games are presented with text as well as voice-reading over the text. Story text is also voiced. Controls are simple, using a few keys such as the arrow keys to walk and shove blocks, and the "Cntrl" key to get an overhead view of the map.

Violence

Kids can fall into pools of snakes and acid, be caught by jackals and monsters, and even zapped into ash by lasers. Graphically, kids just disappear and pop up again whole, at the beginning of the level for a do-over.

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 Valley of the Jackal is part of a series of European edutainment game that has been re-designed for the U.S. market, using the 6th Grade Math Common Core Standards as well as the 2009 Department of Defense Educational Activity (DoDEA) standards. Kids play through an adventure game using logic and typical math skills found in the 6th grade. The game is not meant to instruct but to provide a way to practice math lessons learned in school in a fun and challenging manner. The game has some slight violence in that kids can get caught by monsters, fall into pools of wriggling snakes, or be zapped by lasers if they misjudge, but characters will simply reform at the start of the level so that kids can try again.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Math

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

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

In this adventure game, kids use logic and strategy to navigate through environmental puzzles. An algorithm adjusts difficulty to challenge kids without stressing them. In this manner, this is a great game for kids to play.

Learning Approach

Kids can apply logic and learn math concepts appropriate for 6th grade. An algorithm adjusts the difficulty, allowing kids to progress at their own pace. "Do-overs" let kids learn from trial and error.

Support

All games are presented with text as well as voice-reading over the text. Adult storytellers also provide hints and encouragement.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Math

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

Kids can learn the math concepts of decimals, fractions, integers, multiplication, and division appropriate for 6th grade math while adventuring through Monkey Tales: The Valley of the Jackal. Kids will also apply logic as they navigate through the mazes and defeat enemies in the game. An algorithm that adjusts the game's difficulty to the individual player allows kids to progress at their own pace. Having the ability to do a "do-over" also lets kids learn from trial and error.

This Learning Rating review was written by Carolyn Koh

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What's it about?

The evil genius Huros Stultas is hatching nefarious schemes, and players are tasked with stopping him. To do so, kids must take on the ancient Egyptian god Wepwawet. In MONKEY TALES: THE VALLEY OF THE JACKAL, kids will have to traverse a treacherous desert and wind through the booby-trapped underground temples where jackals and mummies lurk to eventually confront Wepwawet himself in his lair.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Monkey Tales: The Valley of the Jackal is an adventure game where kids use logic and strategy to navigate through environmental puzzles. This includes using mirrors to deflect lasers, moving blocks to build bridges, watching their timing to avoid running into monsters, and jumping on moving platforms. They build pathways to collect bananas for the monkeys they rescue, and play math mini-games to rescue those monkeys and cross tricky tiled floors, where a mistake could mean you fall into acid. The mini-games are presented in a fun manner as kids use space-ships to grab numbers to make up the answers and cannons and blasters to blast numbers.

The uniqueness of this game however, lies in the algorithm that gauges kids' math levels and monitors their progress through the game, presenting progressively harder math puzzles as they move through each level. As kids progress through the game, they are presented with more challenging games, but they will not be stressed by games that are too hard for their personal level. In this manner, this is a great game for kids to play.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about games that are part entertainment and part education. Is it more fun to practice math this way or by doing homework?

  • Families can also talk about logic and strategy. Do you like to use the overhead map to look and think about the puzzles for a bit, or do you prefer to just try a few things and then re-do the level when you are wrong?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Price:$14.95
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Monkey Tales Games
Release date:November 11, 2011
Genre:Edutainment
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
ESRB rating:NR for (Mac, Windows)

This review of Monkey Tales: The Valley of the Jackal 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.

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