Academics' Choice Award™ Winner
The Time Tribe, Episode 1: The KeepAges: 10 and up
Price: $7.99 / 15.99
Type: Software, Website, Game
By ThunderSnow Media, Inc
The Time Tribe is a time travel adventure game series created for ages 10+, with a core audience of middle and lower high school grades. There are two game editions: Silver (digital only) and Gold (complete with real world components). The Gold Edition you’re reviewing includes collectibles and print materials to deepen player engagement with the game narrative, and the fascinating objects and cultures encountered within it. Play online (www.thetimetribe.com) or on iPad soon.
Brainchild of Dr Karen Wehner, professional anthropologist and parent, the game is based entirely on real history and archaeology, but anchored in an epic story of everyday life in different cultures, around the world, through time. The game environment and objects in it are designed to provide multiple levels of engagement with the history and cultures behind them, to suit individual levels of interest. But above all, this unique interactive adventure tells a cracking good mystery story that sucks players in, as participants in the action.
The core of the game is a player-driven branching adventure story. Players must piece together disparate narrative clues gleaned through exploration, dialogue, puzzle-solving, and research using an in-game wiki (“the Catalogue”), to untangle the mysteries of an ancient clan, and unlock the key to time travel. Replayable mini games and customization activities offer casual engagement at any time. Player choices shape their experience of the game, and decide the fates of characters they meet. The integrated Charity Portal empowers players to make current, real-world impact on complex issues they encounter in the game world, and highlights ancient roots for today’s pressing global problems.
The Time Tribe was designed for the home consumer market, based on the conviction that educational games can and should be fun enough for kids to want to play in their own free time. That said, the game is packed with rich resources to support a range of educationally-minded research, creative writing, and role-playing activities linked to literacy, history and culture studies, and the emotional literacies required for 21st century global citizenship.
Episode One is set entirely in the Keep, a mysterious mansion house that is a veritable cabinet of curiosities, crammed with interesting objects, nooks and crannies to experience and explore. It is the home base for future episodes which take players to the most exciting times and places in human history and back. Individual episode story arcs will feed back into a core story line designed to draw players in like a great fiction series, with deeply drawn characters, settings, and scenarios that bring history and other cultures to life - all within the familiar and fun frameworks of great storytelling and gaming styles we know kids love already!
We're pretty sure nothing else like it exists in today's market, whether designed for educational or home consumer purposes.
My daughter and I love the game, both for the puzzles and incredible musical scores. My daughter was immediately charmed and excited by the plot and the comic book introduction. I hope that The Time Tribe continues to add more episodes, videos and comics. A very engaging game that I am glad I was able to learn about.
Time Tribe is not your average educational game. It's a mystery novel, critical thinking course, and history textbook rolled into one gigantic game. Players explore issues such as poverty, hunger, and charity while time traveling all over the globe trying to find the missing members of the Time Tribe. The graphic-rich adventure quickly enraptured my 6th grade students as they worked cooperatively to solve the various puzzles and mysteries (for extra credit). The content is based on real history, culture, and archaeology. Players meet all sorts of historic figures on their quest. The game did a solid job of providing clues and assistance when players became stuck. It's an excellent way to practice decision making, induction and observation skills - cornerstones of critical thinking. Although the game is still in beta, and has a few kinks to work out, I would recommend Time Tribe to any parent or social studies teacher.
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