I SPY Spooky Mansion

Common Sense Media says

Find hidden objects in spooky pics which aren't too scary.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The game is easy to play. Listen to the riddles and find the objects on the page. Some of the riddles might be challenging for kids (i.e. "a shoe" might mean a human shoe or a horse shoe) but that is part of why this app increases vocubulary. However, some of the objects can be difficult to find; and while there's no time limit, there's no option for a hint, either. Kids will need to know how to zoom out (expanded pinch) to get a closer look at the scene.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There is a link from the main screen that allows you to browse other apps from the publisher and go to a purchase website.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Scholastic offers a clear privacy policy that outlines the use of cookies, etc. Users are not required to sign in or give personal info in order to use the app. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that I SPY Spooky Mansion is a mildly creepy search-and-find game for kids. Each screen presents a riddle with a handful of objects to find. Zoom in to get a closer look and touch an object when you find it. The objects include things like skeletons, bats, and other spooky objects, but there is nothing scary happening in the game. The clues are read out loud and can easily be repeated in part or in their entirety, making this appropriate for early and even pre-readers. Children on the lower end of the spectrum will most likely need help with the clues and finding the smallest objects on the screen.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • collecting data

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The pictures are detailed and full of goodies in the classic I Spy-style, and kids who like puzzles will be entertained.

 

Learning Approach

Kids will look for details as they scroll throughout each scene looking for the named objects. 

Support

Lots more I Spy fun can be found on the Scholastic website, and there's also a searchable FAQ that provides tech support for each device.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • collecting data

Kids can learn to concentrate, focus, and pay attention to details. They may also develop a little patience as they scroll and examine every nook and cranny of the rooms of the haunted mansion. Developing the focus involved with that kind of examination strengthens reading skills, as it's important to take in every detail. Kids may also hear the names of some objects that may be unfamiliar to them, which could increase vocabulary. The spooky haunted house theme will engage kids, and the riddles and concept are easy to understand (but objects are just hard enough to find!).

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

Kids will look through every nook and cranny of different rooms in and areas around a spooky mansion. The background music and narrator's voice, along with spooky objects like skeletons, skulls, and rodents, contribute to the mood of the app, which is all in fun with nothing too frightening. Starting from an outside map-view of the property, kids choose on of the unlocked rooms to explore. Inside, they'll find the items named in the riddle, tapping them. Once all items are found, with no time limit or hints available, kids return to the map-view to choose another room to explore.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

I SPY SPOOKY MANSION is a high quality search-and-find app, and kids who like the hidden objects puzzle genre will most likely enjoy it. While some of the objects are very small, the developers seem to have taken into account that our fingers are not so tiny. Other than occasional trouble tapping on an object, they were generally easy to select one they were seen. The lack of a timer make this a nice choice for kids who are stressed by more traditional types of video games, but an option get a hint or some form of help would be ideal. The pictures are beautiful and this app is, overall, a good value for the money.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why it can be fun to get a little scared. Kids might especially enjoy playing this cooperatively at a Halloween sleepover or party.

  •   

  • Create a real-world game in your own home. Hide items in a certain room for kids to find, and provide a clue or riddle leading to the next room. You could even choose a spooky or seasonal theme.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$0.99
Release date:December 18, 2009
Category:Kids Games
Publisher:Scholastic Inc.
Version:1.2
Minimum software requirements:OS 3.0

This review of I SPY Spooky Mansion was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old January 7, 2011
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

Cute game.

Cute game.Might be spooky to the lil' ones though.
What other families should know
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