I Spy with my eye, something that moves like a white sheet!
Do you like Halloween? Do you like thinly veiled Riddles? No? Well too bad, get in here and start spying!
A review by JHardin1112.
Game - I Spy Spooky Mansion
Version - Wii
Time Spent Playing - 4 hours
Completion Status - Completed
Obtained - Review Copy from Scholastic and Goodman Media
Do you like Halloween? Do you like thinly veiled Riddles? Do you like skeletons who lock you in their mansions and demand you solve said riddles in order to leave? No? Well too bad, get in here and let's play some I Spy Spooky Mansion !
I decided to review this game because I am a parent, and also because I was interested to see what fun, if any could be had while playing I Spy Spooky Mansion. While my son who is 2 1/2 is just a little too young to fully grasp the concept of this game, I have found and believe that children of a young age will enjoy this light-hearted, mildly challenging game. And yes, they will have fun (brief though it may be.)
Gameplay and Controls
Gameplay and controls are both very simple in I Spy Spooky Mansion and this is good for children. You begin the game by creating a profile name and choosing a color for your on-screen cursor represented by a skeleton hand. Once this is done you will point and click (by pressing A) on the front door, this action will take you into the Spooky Mansion. Once inside you are trapped by a mischievous skeleton who insists that you complete each of his I Spy riddles in order to escape the mansion. The entire mansion has a Halloween motif, but parents I assure you, there is nothing scary here and your children will enjoy the theme. Nothing jumps out at you and everything is done in the spirit of good natured fun. At the end of each riddle the skeleton appears to give you a scrap of paper which is part of the answer to leaving the mansion. You will take the scrap of paper to the foyer and right next to the front door is a picture frame with the title "Secret Message". Each piece of paper that you earn from solving a riddle can be placed into the frame to complete the picture. Of course, it's not that easy because even after you complete what you think are all the riddles and fill out the "Secret Message" picture frame you are then led by the skeleton around the house on what I would describe as a house sized I Spy riddle. You will go through over 30 I Spy puzzles by the time you explore the mansion and complete this game.
Players will use the d-pad to move the camera in order to look around the mansion and the Wii remote pointer to select an area or an item. When the cursor changes from a hand to an arrow that means you can either move in that direction by pressing A, or you can start a new I Spy riddle by pointing and pressing A. See I told you, the controls are simple. Of course, not too simple because then it would be just pointing and clicking, yawn. In each riddle there is always one thing you must find that will start a mini-game of sorts, in which you use the Wii Remote to either spin a plate, flick flies, swing a net, feed a fish, etc etc. I think you get the idea. The controls are responsive in these mini-games and work very well for the task at hand.
Visuals and Sound
The visuals are easy on the eyes and work well with the Halloween theme. As you look around each room you will see many small things such as spiders, paintings that move, rugs that shake, animal heads mounted on the walls that make noise, all minor additions to the game which add to the mood. The sounds are basic, really they are just there to create slightly spooky ambiance, but the sounds come off as playful to me. As you are working on a riddle you will hear footsteps and creaky floorboards (but there is no one there - spooky!) as well as rats squeaking and bats screeching. All the sounds play together very nicely and compliment the game quite well.
Concluding Overall Impressions
This is a fun and mildly challenging game. I am reminded of all the other Hidden Object and I Spy games already on the market. But there is nothing wrong with that, if a formula works, why change it? The visuals are pleasing to the eye and the Halloween motif is sure to make a good impression on the player. The subtle sound effects, lighting, and light-hearted atmosphere of the game are enjoyable and go well together. The difficulty is not much to speak of as you can't change the level of difficulty and all puzzles can be solved with just a good eye and a little bit of patience. While I found no replay value to the game, I believe that the target audience of younger children may enjoy playing through the game again as time progresses. But I personally cannot recommend any to purchase this game at the retail price of $29.99, however I do suggest if you want to purchase this game for your children do so once the price drops to something more reasonable, say $14.99. Until then kiddies, rent this game and start Spying.
FINAL SCORE - 2.5 out of 5
Our thanks to 'JHardin1112' for another honest review!