For the past month, my children have had the pleasure of playing Roman Town from Dig-It! Games, a game I was provided free in exchange for my review. From the outset, I was excited about the prospect of a game that allowed my children to take on the role of an archaeologist in order to excavate an ancient Roman town. Within the context of the game, children can choose a tool in order to dig for artifacts, learn about the artifacts they have uncovered, explore Roman buildings, and learn about Roman daily life. Since the game was designed by a professional archaeologist, you can be assured of the authenticity of the excavation experience.
The game begins with a small back story establishing what is known about the town under excavation. Armed with all of the available knowledge, kids "from 8 to 88" can then begin their own excavation. Flags mark off the portion of the field that needs to be excavated, and the tools available for use are shown on the right side of the screen. Children are taught which tool will accomplish which task, and then they dig within the given parameters.
Depending on the tool chosen, the artifacts will be revealed in due time. Once the artifacts are shown, children can then opt to learn about them in the Roman Town lab.
They can put pots back together in order to see what they once looked like.
In addition, children can play minigames and tour Roman buildings.
Although Roman Town suggests 8 as a lower limit for this game, my six year-old twins and my seven year-old loved it, while my 9 year-old found it a bit simplistic. I would say, then, that the game will appeal to a wide variety of children of all ages. Children who have studied Rome extensively, or who prefer to learn through reading and research than through games my not get as much out of Roman Town. If you have a child that loves to play games, though, or who resists learning unless it is disguised as a game, then Roman Town will be right up your alley. I loved the excavation aspect of the game!
Roman Town is available from the Dig-It! Games website, and retails for $39.95. For non-homeschoolers, there is Teacher's Edition of the game approved for classroom use. Finally, a Teacher's Guide to Roman Town is available as a $19.95 download.
Due to the way that I typically teach history, this game is not one I would probably purchase. For the right kind of learner, though, this game may be just the right introduction to Ancient Rome.