A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What 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'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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, vocabulary
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: collecting data
- Price: $0.99
- Release date: December 18, 2009
- Category: Kids' Games
- Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
- Version: 1.2
- Minimum software requirements: OS 3.0
- Last updated: November 11, 2020