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iPhone Game Review: I SPY Spooky Mansion
      10/30/09 07:31 PM

iPhone Game Review: I SPY Spooky Mansion
Reviewed by JadeDragon

As you are getting ready to put on your Halloween costumes, curving pumpkins and preparing candy caldrons for the kids, I SPY has a kid-friendly hidden objects game for both kids and adults to play on the iPhone and iPod touch. I SPY Spooky Mansion is a Halloween themed hidden objects game that is easy to play. The game has spoken clues that are in rhyming children's book style with background music and graphics all fit the theme. I SPY Spooky Mansion isn't a long game but should be just enough to hold your little ones? attention long enough to play it through.



Gameplay

I SPY Spooky Mansion has the typical hidden objects gameplay: there are 7 locations/scenes and 21 riddles in the game, you will need to find items listed in each riddle to complete the level. The game is kid friendly not only because it provides spoken and written clues (tells you which items to find) but also only asks you to find a few items per level. But don?t worry, you will revisit the previous scenes to find more items. Each location has very different set up so you don?t feel like playing similar scenes over and over. The front yard has very different items from the ones in the living room; the study looks very different from the lab. The game even has a level in which you will need to find things/animals in the smoke coming out of the chimney. Of course there is a graveyard scene.

While most items are easy to find, the game offers no hints. When you find an item on the list, the game will read out the name of the item following a confirmation sound FX. The confirmation takes a bit of time, you won?t be able to tap on the next item as the game is still confirming the last item. It does slow you down a bit, but since the game doesn?t have a timer you are not being penalized for anything. This design is again more toward kids who might enjoy the sound effects and confirmations after they?ve achieved something. I SPY Spooky Mansion is rated 4+, but parents might have to help your kids in some scenes in case they include words the kids don?t yet know. There is no gore in any scene in the game.



Graphics

I SPY Spooky Mansion has stylish graphics. The mansion and its rooms, graveyard and all have that Adam?s Family kind of spooky yet harmless charm. Scenes are not over cluttered with items but sufficient enough to provide some challenge. The graphics look sharp and clear, and the touch control works smoothly.

Sound

The game has a single background music track and it will remind you of the music in a hunted house. It?s nice and charming but it?s the only one and loops throughout the game. There are aseveral sound effects, and a sound will play after each time you find a correct item. These sound effects are cute but they are not particularly Halloween themed. If you have played I SPY?s other games, you might even find the same sound FX used in other games as well. The voice acting has the typical children?s book story telling style and it?s great for kids who play the game.

Pro:
-Very easy to pick up and play
-Kid friendly with riddles in rhymes and only a few items per level
-Touch control works very well

Con:
-It might be a bit slow for adults
-Levels might seem short compared to other hidden objects games since there are only a few things you have to find
-Could use more sound tracks



Conclusion

If you are looking for something to play along with your kids this Halloween, I SPY Spooky Mansion is a fun yet challenging hidden objects game on the iPhone and iPod touch. With 7 scenes and 21 riddles, the game has decent amount of gameplay. The pace is good for patient adults and certainly great for kids. The rhyming riddles and spoken and written clues are very handy to help the little ones get through the game. The developer settled the price on $1 which is a good value for the added entertainment on a dark, spooky night.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: -4.5- Stylish graphics, sharp and clear.
Sound: -3.5- One track repeats through the entire game. There are more variety in sound effects but those are exactly Halloween themed.
Controls: -4.5- Touch control works very well. Some adults might not like to wait for the confirmation after each item found.
Gameplay: -4.5- 7 locations and 21 riddles provide good amount of entertainment. The kid friendly game design ensures the whole family can play together.



Playing Hints and Tips:

-There are shapes in the tree branches.

-Zoom in to the max for the best viewing experience.

App Facts:
Developer: Scholastic
Release Date: Sep 3, 2009
Price: $0.99
Buy App: iTunes App Store

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