Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

I SPY Mystery

I SPY Mystery

Spring 2007 Software
Ages: 6 - 10 yrs.
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Price: $19.99
Platform: Windows, MAC
I Spy veterans will undoubtedly recognize some of the visuals from previous titles, but that doesn't distract from this game's smart challenges and fun. For newcomers to “I Spy” who won't experience déjà-vu, the hallmark problem solving and cerebral sleuthing is the kind of enriching educational gaming parents crave for their kids and smart kids love. Searching for hidden items is the name of the game, but before players can do that, they must solve word riddles (Example: “A face with no eyes?”—clock) to know what object they're looking for in the jammed-packed pictures. It's not easy. But it's always fun. And there are a few first-rate novelties. The microscope puzzle, for instance, requires players to adjust magnification between several settings—and that's especially cool.

Finding concealed objects and decoding clues is the lure of these mysteries. So recycling old visuals into this clever new context isn't a deal breaker—especially for those just discovering this engaging series. We'll look forward to Scholastic's freshening up the visual inventory for its next title.

Don Oldenburg   ©2007 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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Scholastic Inc.
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