Game Review
Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey

Compelling adventure immerses kids in Native American history

  • Use your earned skills to make good choices.

  • Learn how to conduct fair trades.

  • Help your tribe survive by choosing where to settle each season.

  • Make decisions that impact your tribe's health and safety.

  • Earn badges and skills throughout the game.

Quick Take
Pros: The game provides an immersive and fun personalized experience for the student.
Cons: Some violent content, while historically accurate, might upset sensitive children.
Bottom Line: Excellent free historic learning game with tons of curriculum resources.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Kids will be drawn into the experience and may want to play multiple times to see if they can earn more/different badges and have different outcomes.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 5

The experience changes based on the choices kids make and they can see how their decisions impact their character. All of the learning is well-integrated into the play experience.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 5

In-game help is available, but rarely needed. Kids can collect badges, skills, and "smart words" (vocabulary words) as they play. Extensive curriculum support is available via the Educator Guide on the game website.

Our Review
What's It Like?

Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey is a first-person adventure game where kids are given scenarios and asked to make choices about how to proceed. They take on the role of Little Fox, a young Cheyenne boy, as he grows up in the American Midwest in the late 1800's. He is maturing and taking on more adult responsibilities, but also coping with difficult decisions. Kids will choose whether Little Fox focuses more on becoming a warrior, or adapting to life among the "white man." Will his actions be brave? Generous? Impulsive? Wise? What skills will he learn? The choices the player makes impact Little Fox, his family, and his tribe. Kids can play numerous times, following different paths to see how the outcomes change. They will receive in-game badges for their values and skills, and they can collect Smart Words for looking up vocabulary terms while they play. In the end, kids can see how Little Fox fares, as well as how his descendants carry on his legacy.

As should be expected for the time period, the game includes some violence and potentially upsetting content. There is nothing graphic, but the lead character does have the opportunity to attack other characters with guns/arrows, as well as the chance to raid other camps. People die from gunshot wounds, arrows, and famine. There is also some reference to religious activity, include a Cheyenne version of the creation story.

Is It Good For Learning?

First-person accounts are a great way to engage kids in learning history and this is no different. In addition to introducing historical information, kids are challenged to think critically and use the information they have to make wise choices. Much like in real life, there aren't many right or wrong answers. Each decision has a consequence that may be far-reaching. This makes the game experience a personal one, and empowers each student to make their own choices. It also shows kids that conflicts can have more than one side and challenges kids to think about that when learning history. The Mission US website includes in-class activity ideas, writing prompts, review questions, and a collection of primary source material. 

How Can Teachers Use It?

The Mission US website has a wealth of resources for educators to help integrate this game into the curriculum, whether you're looking for a more casual integration, or something in-depth. It's a game that kids can play individually or small groups in class or can be assigned as homework. It has a lot of potential to tie into other curriculum areas through research projects, dioramas, etc. It can stand on its own, but is better suited to a larger learning experience. Because of the subject matter, you'll want to play through on your own to make sure that it is appropriate for your students and community. The game does include quite a bit of violence, both in general and at the hands of the lead character.

This review of Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey was written by

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