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Mayan Mysteries

By Sally Finley - Posted Mar 1, 2013
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Company: Dig-It! Games, LLC, 4402 Elm St., Chevy Chase, MD 21202; 877-213-4448; Website:

Price: A single user license allows one user to register for a 1-year subscription of $21.99 for the online game. The Classroom Edition includes 1-year licenses of $299 for a class of up to 30 students and includes a Teacher Management System to track progress. Bulk pricing is available.

Audience: Grades 5–9

Format: Access to a Mac, PC, or tablet. It is available as an app from the App Store for use with an iPad.

System Requirements: The game runs in the browser.

Description: Mayan Mysteries is an online puzzle-based game. Players explore the world of the ancient Mayan civilization. 

Overall Rating:5 Stars
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: Access is easy and quick. The site requires a login and password. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: Learning activities focus on map games for identifying Central American countries, digging for artifacts using archaeological techniques, identifying artifacts, and understanding the Mayan language through glyphs, the Mayan calendar, the number system, and Mayan daily life.

Content focuses on social studies and meets the standards set by the National Council for the Social Studies national curriculum through the major themes of social studies: areas of culture; time, continuity, and change; people, places, and environment; individual development and identity; individuals, groups, and institutions; power, authority, and governance; production, distribution, and consumption; and science, technology, and society.

Users can excavate the Mayan sites of Cerén, Copán, Tikal, and Caracol as they search for priceless Mayan artifacts. They can discover artifacts, decode glyphs, learn their math system, visit ancient Mayan cities, and explore the Mayan calendar.

An in-game encyclopedia called L.E.A.R.N. (locate engrossing and relevant knowledge) provides topics to provide information on Mayan government systems, farming practices, and Mayan beliefs about time.

Mayan Mysteries can be played at home or at school.

A Teacher Management System tracks students’ progress and performance with the game. Teachers can follow individual and class progress and performance on standards-based assessments targeted for each grade level.

An Educator’s Manual provides valuable background information. There are playing instructions, an introduction to archaeology, a glossary, fun activities, and discussion ideas. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Any computer with a web browser will work. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Contact the company for help in solving any problems that arise. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: Mayan Mysteries promotes creative thinking, independent learning, and cultural understanding.

Students employ problem-solving skills to solve a variety of puzzles. An encyclopedia provides a wealth of information on archaeology that can help with solving the puzzles. The game format promotes interactive learning, engaging the student with challenging activities. History comes to life as students learn about the ancient Mayan culture. Students can use their mobile devices to access the game anytime and anyplace. The game can be obtained at the App Store for use on the iPad.

The game provides an in-depth study of a historical time period. Students must use higher-level thinking skills to analyze reading text, geographical knowledge, spatial reasoning, and science and math skills. The game content is aligned to standards based on the National Council for the Social Studies curriculum.

Content aligns with the Common Core State Standards for Language Arts and Mathematics. The game focuses on research and evidence and promotes a rigorous in-depth study. Critical reading skills are emphasized. The content is historically accurate and detailed. In math, the game promotes process skills stressing conceptual understanding of key ideas.

Teachers will especially like the evaluation tool that tracks student progress and performance. Highly Recommended.

Reviewer: Sally Finley is an educational consultant based in Coral Springs, Fla. Email:

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