In I Spy, by Scholastic Inc., players must use all their visual skills to ferret out items and clues from the pictures show. There are 8 distinct games included on the program.
Oops Hoops is a sorting game. Players are shown a series of hoops in which objects are placed. More objects are scattered outside of the hoops. Players must place the objects outside into their correct places inside the hoops. Where the hoops cross, players must place objects that fit into both categories. This if one hoop contains red objects, and one contains food, where the hoops cross would be red foods.
In Wood Block City, players are shown a city scene. An "I Spy" statement is read to them and they must find the listed objects.The city can be turned to show three separate vistas, and some objects are only visible in one view. If a player finds all the objects, he is given a treasure, an object in the scene.
In Codebreaker, players are shown sets of objects. They must find the objects on the Alphabet screen and click on the letter that the object starts with. Together, the objects spell a word or words. Players must decipher three clues, and then the answer to the riddle. This exercise is timed.
In Balloon Popper, players must add objects to the Rube Goldberg-type machine to get the balloon to pop. At level One, the missing object is on the same screen. At levels two and three, multiple objects are missing and players will have to search the screens of other games to find them. Once they click on the missing object, they are taken back to the balloon popper screen. When all the missing objects are replaced, the baloon will pop.
In Chalkboard and Nature, players must also search for objects, as in "Wood Block City" above. The place they must search in Chalkboard is a classroom chalkboard, and in Nature, it is a variety of natural scenes featuring drawings, pictures, animals, and other natural objects. Correctly finding all items on the list awards the player a treasure.
In Find Me, players must find 12 of a certain special object hidden in all of the I Spy areas. When these objects are all found, the riddle item darkens. When all the items are found, the player is congratulated for his superior eyesight.
And finally, in Treasures, players can create their own I Spy riddles with the treasures they have gained playing Chalkboard, Wood Block City and Nature.
The only real problem with this game is the difficulty of finding some of the objects in the riddles. While many of the objects are easy to find, some will really stump younger children. They stumped me, and I'm an adult and like to think of myself as pretty observant. While these games should be challenging, they should not be so difficult that players quit in disgust. However, only a few objects are this well hidden, so the player can always go on to a new puzzle.
Graphics: Excellent. Everything in the program is taken from real photos.
Sound: Clear, easy to understand, and using the voices of kids, which gives it more of a schoolyard feel.
Enjoyment: Very enjoyable, with the exception of those impossible to find items and creatures.
Replay Value: While the number of games contained in the program is considerable, there are not that many, and truly determined players will soon run out of games.
People who downloaded I Spy have also downloaded:
I Spy Fantasy, I Spy: Fun House, JumpStart 2nd Grade, Magic School Bus Explores Inside the Earth, JumpStart 1st Grade, JumpStart Adventures: 3rd Grade - Mystery Mountain, Magic School Bus Explores the Human Body, Magic School Bus Explores the Solar System
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