A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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'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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Subjects: Math: addition, arithmetic, division, fractions, functions, multiplication, subtraction
Language & Reading: reading
- 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
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.