European Exploration: The Age of Discovery is a FREE app my son shared with me a while ago. They played at school. It is a simulation or a role-playing game like Oregon Trail.
The app lets kids role-play as 15th Century captains responsible for exploring the world. The goal of the game is to discover the entire New World. In the game, kids are in charge of everything from hiring a crew, to building the ships, to planning the trip, to manage the finances of their expeditions. Through play, kids gain historical knowledge about various locations around the world.
While choosing explorers for the crew, kids are presented with historical information about the explorers that are available to lead expeditions, such as Giovanni da Verrazano, Christopher Columbus, and Juan Ponce de Leon. Each explorer has a grade based on his navigation, cartography, and ship-keeping skills. Each explorer also has a different salary, and this goes into budgeting and finance planning of the game.
When ships and crew are ready, kids have to draw expedition maps and then send out their explorers. They will bring money back if the expedition is successful, they can then manage more expeditions and even be able to send out several ships simultaneously.
Like other simulation games, I believe, kids can learn a lot through playing this game. They learn what it takes to have a successful expedition. They learn how to build a team, how to manage budget, and how to solve problems on the spot.
As parents and educators, we can help kids learn more beyond the game. Some ideas: research the historical explorers, and compare different explorers on their strengths and weakness.
European Exploration – The Age of Discovery works on iPad. It is FREE on App Store.
If you would like to check it out or purchase it, please use the App Store link provided below. The cost is the same for you, but iGameMom gets a small percentage. Thanks for your support! Note: The link works for all countries.
Another simulation game with a historical perspective is The Oregon Trail. You can read more about it by clicking the picture below.